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Making Safer Choices - Tips For Reducing Your Risk of Assault

Call First Step (740-622-8504) for more information on Safety and Self Defense for Women, or for the date of our next Self Defense workshop.

View safety tips as a collection of habits you may wish to embrace to create safety. Keep a collection of tips and ideas, pass them on, gain ideas from others. Not one of us knows more than all of us together.image1

In Your Home:

  • Always lock your doors; have secure locks on your doors and windows.
  • Keep your house - entrances and garages - well lit.
  • When moving into a house or apartment, change or re-key the locks.
  • If you live alone, list only your first initial and your last name on your mail box and in the phone book.
  • Never disclose to anyone at the door or on the phone that you are alone.
  • Use a peep hole in your door. Don’t open to anyone you don’t know or feel uneasy about. If they ask to use the phone, offer to make the call for them.
  • If someone comes with unexpected flowers or gifts, tell them to leave them outside. Flattery is another ploy used to gain entry.
  • Ask for identification and do not escort a service representative into your basement or other secluded area.
  • Have a friend with you or stay on the phone while a service representative is in your home.
  • Consider keeping a cellular phone or separate lines for security. If one phone is taken off the hook, the other can be used.

You can greatly reduce your risk of attack by simply becoming more aware and adopting safer habits.

In Your Car:image2

  • Don’t park next to a van with a sliding door.
  • Leave a clear distance between your car and another car at a traffic light so you can always go around if danger approaches.
  • Plan your route and check a map before you start out.
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain sight inside your car; don’t leave your purse on the passenger seat. Give only the auto ignition key to parking attendants or mechanics.
  • Check your surroundings before getting out of your car.
  • Check inside and around your car before entering to be sure no one is hiding there.
  • Always keep doors locked and windows rolled up so that no one can reach their hand in.
  • Have keys ready when you approach your vehicle.
  • Park in a well lit, well travelled spot. If your car has broken down, ask anyone who stops to call the police; do not get out of your vehicle or unlock the door.
  • Keep your car well-maintained; always drive with at least a quarter tank of gas.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers. If you see a stranded motorist, stop at the next phone and call for help.
  • If signaled that something is wrong with your car, don’t pull over. Drive on to the nearest service station or other safe place.

In Public Places:image4

  • If you suspect someone is following you, whether walking or in the car, don’t go home. Find a nearby safe place where you can use the phone to call police.
  • Never hitchhike.
  • Leave word at home as to where you will be and when you will be home, and your route and method of travel.
  • Always walk assertively. Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid activities that keep you distracted.
  • Don’t overload yourself with packages; this ties up your hands and keeps you off balance.
  • Do not wear music headphones while walking or jogging - stay aware.
  • Make sure you keep your body space and avoid letting any stranger into that space, such as someone asking for directions, change, etc. If you decide to talk with someone, make sure you are at least two arm lengths away. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes so that you have freedom of movement and maneuverability.
  • Be careful using ATMs, especially in the evening or in unfamiliar areas.

image3Self Defense for women begins with being aware of safety measures, making conscious choices about which ones to follow, and caring enough about yourself to follow through on these choices. Simple changes in your daily habits can make you much safer.

Self Defense also includes being aware of your environment at all times, trusting your intuition if something is making you uncomfortable and acting upon that intuition.

Many assaults begin with a “testing period” in which the perpetrator checks out the potential victim by trying to intimidate her or by engaging her in conversation, “innocent”questions, or “accidental” touches. Women who act with assertiveness at their first intuitive feeling of trouble are more likely to avoid being assaulted.

First Step offers a variety of free services to assist survivors of sexual assault, as well as sexual assault prevention programs for the community.

First Step offers workshops in Women’s Self Defense or other sexual assault awareness topics.

Call 740-622-8504 to schedule a speaker or a Self Defense Training for your group.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2009 06:28
 

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