Ladies Stay Safety
There are many things women can do to stay safe, avoid threats and defend themselves if faced with a dangerous situation. This “top 10” list focuses on attitude and preparedness to ensure you are aware of potential dangers, confident of your ability to deal with them and have a plan to defend yourself if you are attacked.
1. Be aware. Look around you, front, back and sides. Listen to what is around you and not to your phone or to the thoughts in your head running through all the things you have to do. Keep your keys in your hand, stand up tall and strong and walk with confidence.
2. Have a plan. Never leave home without one. Run “what-if” scenarios through your head. What will you do if… You are pumping gas and a stranger approaches? You are at your car unloading groceries and someone tries to shove you into your open trunk? Your car breaks down late at night and you have to walk a mile to the nearest business? Having a plan gives you an advantage because it allows you to react and act swiftly.
3. Visualize yourself executing your plan. Short of actually practicing eye gouging or groin kicking, visualizing it can be equally effective. World-class athletes use visualization techniques to improve their performance – it is a proven technique that works.
4. Know high-risk areas. Some common “danger” spots include: grocery store parking lots, parking decks, public restrooms, gas stations, hotels, stopped at a red light in your car or anywhere when it is late at night and there are few people around.
5. Know high-risk demeanor/dress/actions. When you know you are going to a high-risk area, plan accordingly. Avoid pony tails or hair buns that are easy to grab. Loose and easy-to-remove clothing are a rapist’s preference. Flashy jewelry or an expensive car can attract a thief. Talking on your cell phone makes you an easy target for anyone.
6. Have a “weapon” handy. Anything can be a weapon. The best weapons are ones that are on you – pepper spray, a belt/belt buckle, pen, shoe/high heel, umbrella, your purse. The next best weapons are ones that are around you – a broom, a rug, a wet-floor sign, a grocery bag with a full can inside.
7. If attacked, remember: “Move, hit ‘em to the head”, repeat. Move what? Anything – hands up, feet moving/circling. Hit ‘em with what? Anything, preferably your weapon (i.e. swinging your grocery bag with the can) or hands, elbows, knees and feet. Head targets include eye gouging, ear popping, shoving their nose up into their brain. Groin kicks are the next best target. Be fast and furious.
8. Use your voice as a weapon. Shouts for help or to deter your attacker come from your abdomen. You know that yell when you get really mad and your stomach tenses up as well as the rest of your body? That’s the one. It gives you extra power and a feeling of control and command that can also startle your attacker giving you that extra second to make a getaway or deliver a crushing blow. Yell any sound as loud and as powerfully as you can.
9. Fight. Fight. Fight. Never quit. Scream, yell, hit, move, kick, squirm, stomp, strike, swing! There is no quitting ever! Make winning/success part of your plan.
10. Last, but not least – trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel safe or right, don’t do it. Ask for an escort in parking lot or wait for another customer to leave and walk with them. Hide in the bushes if your car breaks down and wait until daylight/morning traffic. NOTHING is more important than your safety.
From Kudos Little Pink Book. By: Laura Hardy, owner and chief instructor of Four Seasons Karate in Goodrich, holds a 4th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.
Four Seasons Karate periodically offers Self Defense Classes for Women. Call (810) 636-8000 for more information.