There are so many disheartening stories in the news about women being kidnapped, raped and even killed and there are ways to make sure this doesn't happen to you. A lot of things happen to women in parking lots of shopping centers, malls, and parking garages. Vigilance is key to discouraging a would be attacker and a great way to protect yourself.
One thing to do is make sure you have your keys in your hand for your vehicle. Not only will you be ready to get into your vehicle, but the keys can be used as a weapon too. You can use them to mark a face up or even gouge at the attacker's eyes.
Check your backseat before you get into your car as well. There are so many stories about an attackers who are able to get into cars and hide on the floor in the backseat and attack women when they are at their most vulnerable, sitting down with the seat belt on.
Avoid going shopping alone at night unless you absolutely have to. At night time, try to park under a parking lot light. Get a security guard or a store employee to walk you out to your car. Of course, you do not have to wait for nightfall to get an escort to your car. Do not be afraid to ask for an escort at any time of the day or night. Especially if you see someone hanging around by your car or see someone sitting in their car nearby. When at all possible, bring a friend with you.
DO NOT BE DISTRACTED BY YOUR CELL PHONE. Facebook and Candy Crush can wait until you get home. If you are texting on your way out to your car, you are not paying attention to your surroundings and become vulnerable to a possible attack. Put your cell phone in your purse and forget about it until you are home.
Once you are in your car, do not get back out of it. I have read stories of how women get into their car and see a piece of paper on their windshield under the wiper and they get back out to check and see what it is. Someone may have put it there just to get you to get out of the car. The paper can wait until you get home to check it out. If someone approaches you and demands your money, your car or both, give it to them. Money and cars are not worth dying for. However, always try to get a description of a would be attacker. Skin color, looks, tattoos, scars, clothing they are wearing, anything that will help police find the person. Know your make, model, year and license plate number of your car. This will be crucial in helping police find it, if it is stolen.
If you are grabbed by a man, keep in mind that his groin is very sensitive and a swift kick or punch will lay him out instantly for a few minutes and at the very least, he will release you or loosen his grip enough that you can run away.
If you do not have a can of pepper spray or do not know where to go to buy one, bug spray works just as good. If you can, keep a small can in your purse, your car, and at your home. Bug spray stings and will temporarily blind someone so you can get away.
Do not be afraid to scream like a maniac if someone accosts you. Scream, kick, scratch, slap, whatever you have to do for him to release you. If he has you and is walking you to another vehicle or something, go limp. It is harder for him to carry dead weight than it is for him to walk you somewhere. Drag your feet, try to fall to the ground, flail your arms wildly. Do whatever you can to make it hard for someone to carry you off.
Ladies, above all else, please remain on alert. Look, look, look. It may be the key to saving your life.