You lead a busy life. Your children are enrolled in self defence classes or martial arts training. They have learned about safety awareness. Please see this post, entitled Top Twenty Kids Stranger Danger Tips for Child Safety. But who is looking out for you when out on your own? Preparation and prevention are your best tools. Here are some simple tips to keep you safe.
When parking in the carpark, especially at night, park as close as possible to the overhead lights. A car that is parked in a well-lit area is less attractive to criminals. Also, it will be easier to see into the back-seat and floor, which is ALWAYS where you should look before you open your car door. Have the emergency number on your speed dial if you need it. Ask a store manager or security guard to accompany you to your car if you feel anxious.
When approaching the vehicle, in fact, when you leave the store, or other place, have the keys in your hand with the car key between your thumb and index finger. This serves two purposes. You will be able to get into your car faster if you feel threatened, and second, you can use it as a weapon if attacked. Immediately lock all doors when you get in the car and leave.
Never pull your car over, especially at night or at a secluded location. Attackers sometimes try to get their victims to the side of the road by motioning that they have a flat tire or other problem. Also, don’t stop to help anyone who is off on the side of the road with car trouble, even if it is a woman or they have a child. It may be a trap.
Never, ever get into a vehicle with an attacker, even if they have a weapon. Cause a loud commotion instead, and run away. Punch and kick if necessary. Your chances of survival greatly decrease if you go with them, and most likely, attackers will move on to an easier victim.
If you are ever thrown into the trunk or boot of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you, but others will.
Public Transportation Safety
Wait in well-lit, highly populated areas for transportation to arrive. Find a seat near the driver, and preferably, many other passengers. Avoid window seats, as this could allow an attacker to trap you. Stick with aisle seats near doors, so you can exit in a hurry.
Be aware of your surroundings. Stay off the mobile phone and iPod as you need all your senses, especially at night. You must focus on your surroundings, as a distracted person is always a target.
Safety When Out and About
If you are being followed by a car, run back in the direction from which you came. The car will have to turn around to continue following you, which will be make it more difficult for them, and will buy you time to get to a safe place, where there are lots of LIGHTS AND PEOPLE.
Always take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are dangerous places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at night.
Keep yourself fit. A stronger, fitter person is always a harder target for the bad guys (sorry to be sexist but they are almost always going to be male). Be able to run if you have to.
Trust your instincts. If someone makes you feel uneasy, there is a good reason for it. Avoid them.
If you are entering your house, and sense something is amiss, make plenty of noise, and if alone, pretend you are with someone. Say something like “Honey, bring in the dog from the car please”. Never mind what the neighbours will think. Surprised robbers are often violent; this gives them a chance to escape. If a door or window is ajar, or broken, do not enter. Call the police and wait with a neighbour for them to arrive.
Self Defence or Martial Arts Training
It is advisable to learn at least the basics of self defence. Many attacks are thwarted with a simple punch or kick to an unsuspecting attacker. You read about stories like this often in the newspapers. We offer martial arts classes for adults at selected locations around Sydney. Another benefit; you can train and practice at home with your children, helping them.
Any other safety and self defence tips for moms are welcome.