Safety Tips for Women to Remember:
1. Always be aware of your surroundings
This applies whether you are traveling alone or in groups. Do not just focus inwardly on your thoughts if you are alone, or your friends if you are together. Keep one eye out for your environment, looking out for suspicious characters, possible danger, etc.
Also, do not assume that because your area has been “safe” thus far, that it will continue to be so.
2. Travel in groups
“There is safety in numbers” is not just a cliche. Its true. Make a point of traveling together with other sisters, whether its on public transportation, on campus, in cars, etc.
3. Change the route you normally travel by
If you have taken the same bus, train or highway to get to work or school, change your route. Even if it takes you a little longer, your safety is more important. By changing your route, you can avert possible attacks or harassment from those who know your schedule, method and route of travel well. Please note though that you should avoid short cuts that take you through unfamiliar or unsafe areas.
4. Look confident
Walk with a straight posture and your arms swinging by your sides. Avoid slouching or walking like a victim. This makes you an easy target for attackers.
5. When riding by public transportation choose the right seat
If you are riding by bus or train, do not sit on the window seat as you may be “blocked in” by a potential assailant. Always select the seat next to the aisle so that you can quickly leave if necessary.
If you are taking public transportation alone after peak hours, sit as close to the driver as possible and/or choose the section of the bus/train that is most crowded. Try to get a seat near the exit as well.
6. If you are driving alone
Don’t think that if you are in a car, you are safe. Windows should be up and doors locked even when driving to avoid unwanted passengers at intersections. When you are walking to your car, always have your keys ready, so that you can quickly get into your car.
But do not just get in right away. Always check your car before entering, especially the back, for any intruders.
7. Never leave your car door unlocked
Even if it means for one minute to drop something off in the mailbox thats a few feet away. Attackers have been known to lie in wait for such an opportunity.
8. Be careful in parking lots
Always be alert in parking lots, especially when it’s dark. Ask someone to escort you to your car. Between cars and inside cars, it’s easy for someone to hide and wait until an un-alert person comes along.
9. If you are traveling by taxi
Always check the identification of the driver (usually located near the visor) and ensure that it matches the driver. Once inside, don’t sit behind the driver as it may be easy for the driver to lock the rear passenger door. Always choose the adjacent seat .
In addition, avoid flagging taxis. Always order taxis so the driver can be traced if something happens.
10. Do not use the MP3
If you are used to listening to your Mp3 while outside, drop this habit, especially in isolated areas. With your MP3 on, you cannot hear the approach of a possible attacker.
11. Note “safe houses” along your route
Mentally note houses at intervals on each route you take that can be used as “safe houses” if you are attacked, such as shops or houses that you know to be occupied by a friend or acquaintance.
12. When you make a call from a phone booth
After dialing the number you wish to call always turn around so that you have your back to the phone and may see who or what is coming your way. You will then be able to tell the person to whom you are speaking that you may be in trouble and you may be able to use the weight of the phone as a weapon. The door of a telephone box could be used to wedge in the limbs of the attacker.
13. Do not open the door of your home without checking
DO NOT open the door to your home without first checking from a window, peephole or by asking and verifying who it is. Instruct children to do the same.
14. Report any suspicious activity around your home
If you see people loitering on the streets near your house, call the police on an emergency number and report it immediately without thinking too much.
15. Stay off the phone
Walking around with a phone clamped to your ear is dangerous as you will stop monitoring your environment effectively. Make your call from somewhere safe whilst stationary.