According to the United Nations, violence against women is global phenomenon. In fact, according to the studies done by the Justice Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 19 million women in the U.S. report attacks annually — from ABC link. It is a harsh reality, but there are some steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
Criminals take advantage of the element of surprise, so being aware of your surroundings is your first line of defense. Before walking to your car or home, know and be comfortable with the route you plan to take. Also, when walking alone, be aware of your surroundings. Instead of looking at your cell phone or rummaging through your purse, keep your head up and take notice of your environment. Before leaving a party or restaurant, take your keys out of your purse so you aren’t looking for them on the way to your car. If possible, stick to well lit areas. Making eye contact with the people you see along the way may also scare off potential predators.
Having a plan in place in the event of an attack can prevent you from freezing up or panicking, which are both natural reactions. Every situation is different, so this plan may vary. For instance, if you are being robbed, you may choose to hand over your wallet or cash to get the criminal to go away. In the event of a physical attack, your plan may be to try to run or make use of a weapon such as pepper spray to fend off the attacker.
If you are being physically attacked, know that you are perfectly within your rights to do everything you can to protect yourself. Screaming, kicking, throwing punches or using weapons are all acceptable ways to defend yourself in the event of attack. According to the book, Total Awareness: A Women’s Safety Book, your odds of survival are greater when you fight back. Knees, eyes, throat and groin are vulnerable areas, so aim for those when possible.
Go with Your Gut
A woman’s intuition is her greatest gift. If you are feeling uncomfortable, it is for a reason. Trust your instincts and steer clear of a neighborhood that gives off bad vibes to you. Further, don’t take that ride home from a new friend if something isn’t quite right. When in doubt, always go with your gut.
Though studies show that women are more likely to experience violence than men, at Wilson Law, P.A., we think these tips apply to everyone, no matter your gender. Don’t be afraid to fight back!