I have found that women all around the world struggle with thoughts of self-defense. They often wonder if they’ll know what to do when the time comes. Women have made great strides in the world, as we know it today towards their independence. However, we lack the skill of our own personal safety. As we fight for our right to be who we are, many men fight back through their own methods, strength, and control. Personal safety then becomes an issue.
More women today live alone now more so than ever because of our ability to make choices. Living alone can be a liberating experience, as well as a scary one. Let’s explore tips on how to stay safe, and look for warning signs in an abusive relationship. These tips could be the tips that would save your life.
There is no ONE answer to self-defense problems for women, but a combination of actions will protect you!
1. Learn how to physically protect yourself, through some sort of self-defense class.
2. Be aware of your surroundings, look for signs in a relationship, be suspicious of strange odd behavior where ever you are.
3. Know where and how to get help fast. (police numbers, abuse hot lines, any online resource). Have a friend or relative available to assist.
4. Get to know your partner
1. Jealousy and Possessiveness(becomes jealous over family, friends, and co-workers)
2. Control (he becomes over demanding of your time)
3. Superiority (he claims to always be right, has to win or be in charge)
4. Mood Swings (the mood switches from aggressive, to abusive, to apologetic, to loving)
5. Punishes you (withholding sex and emotional contact)
6. Disrespects women
7. Unwilling to seek help (an abusive man won’t think there is anything wrong with him)
8. Actions not matching words (he breaks promises, says he loves you and then abuses you)
9. Manipulates (tries to make you feel it’s your fault he is so abusive)
10. Abusive history (animals, other women)
3. Parking lot/garages
4. College campuses
5. Gas stations and convenience stores
1. Keys - Take the biggest key on your key chain and hold it in your palm, letting the shaft of the key slip between your middle and ring fingers. Now close your fist tightly so the key protrudes firmly from your hand. You now have a weapon.
2. Walking - Do not walk alone, especially at night. What if you are alone? Wait for someone else to arrive in the lot, and walk into the building at the same time. The same is true when leaving: wait for someone who has made a purchase, and walk to your car at the same time.
3. Car - Look under and around your vehicle as you approach it. If someone is walking behind you or approaching you, change directions. You need to know that car-jackers will confront you just as you open your door, and 92% of successful jacking involve a weapon. However, car-jacks also happen just as you leave your car, so stay alert make sure there is nobody nearby before getting out.
4. Cell phones - Keep your eyes and ears open: put the cell phone away. Making calls while walking is a clear distraction, and you may not hear people approaching from behind. Texting while walking is equally risky because with your head down and straight forward, you can easily miss dangers around you (cars as well as people!).
5. Garages - When you drive into your garage, it is very easy for a criminal to sneak under the door just before it closes. From within the garage they could gain access to your house, wait in the back seat of your car, or at the very least, steal belongings from your garage. You should WAIT IN YOUR CAR while the door closes behind you, and watch the rear-view mirror until it closes completely.
6. Deterrents - Use visible deterrents. Burglaries are not random: criminals usually “case a neighborhood or apartment area” to find vulnerable houses or apartments. They then return in the day while the residents are at work, and as they say, “the rest is history”.
I am a martial artist, so personal safety is important to me. I encourage women of all ages to make the decision to make safety and self-defense a priority. It could be the decision that would save your life. Only you have the power to change your own personal safety. Please note that the tips I’ve provided is a growing list. I encourage you to leave a comment with your own personal safety tip, story, or advice. Stay safe!
Live, Laugh and Love
“Making a difference in the world one person at a time”