Most woman experience unwanted attention at some point in their lives – suggestive comments, lustful glances, unwanted attention, sexual harassment, and much worse.
However, most women never take a self-defense class or educate themselves on the necessary ways to protect themselves in dangerous situations.
As a woman, I have been there!
I have been stalked, sexually harassed, chased by a group of intoxicated men in a parking lot, and encountered several dangerous safety situations.
These experiences showed me the necessity of taking responsibility for my own personal safety and educating myself on how to stay safe!
Below are some of the tips that I have learned from other woman, law enforcement officers, and self-defense professionals.
These tips are easy and practical, but they have the capability of saving your life.
1.) Look strangers in the eyes and acknowledge them
When you see a suspicious character, it may be your first instinct to lower your gaze and avoid looking at them.
However, it is actually very important for you to make eye contact and let them know that you acknowledge their presence without fear.
Although I rarely go out at night, I sometimes find myself stopping by the grocery store to grab a random item.
If I am walking back to my car and encounter a suspicious man who is making me feel uncomfortable, I make eye contact, nod, and say “Good evening, sir” in a firm and loud tone.
This shows him that I am not intimidated and affected by his demeanor.
If he says something back, I do not stop, but keep walking. I always make sure I subtly watch over my shoulder to ensure he is not following me
2.) Walk confidently
Wherever you are, stand tall and walk confidently.
Walking with purpose represents authority, making you look like a difficult target.
If someone speaks to you, acknowledge them, but do not let them control your environment.
You can continue to walk, while giving a short reply – indicating that you are busy and unfazed by their unnecessary attention.
Learning the steps to successfully appear more confident could protect you from harm. Confidence also indicates that you will not go down without a fight!
3.) Be aware of the vehicles that are parked around you
Always know who is parked beside you!
Look into the windows of the vehicles that are around you before walking down to unlock your door. When you are wedged in between two vehicles, this is a very easy way for someone to open their door and grab you.
I am highly alert when parked beside a van with a sliding door – a vehicle notorious for abductions!
Last year, I was parked at the back of a grocery store parking lot at dusk. As I left the store and walked back to my vehicle, I noticed a large, white van parked very close to my car.
The van was so close that I would have had to walk sideways to get to my car door. With my cart in between me and the van, I stood on the other side of my car and watched the van door.
After a minute, I noticed the head of a man quickly bob up and look at me for a split second – then bob back down.
I yelled at the top of my lungs, “I see you! I see you!” A group of people were coming out of the store, so I made them aware of the situation and asked them to assist me get into my vehicle.
ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings – you never know the horrible situations you can avoid by taking a moment to look around.
4.) Don’t sit in your vehicle on your phone
Woman who sit in their vehicles, unaware of their surroundings, lost in the world of social media are easy targets for predators.
When you get into your vehicle, ALWAYS lock the door immediately.
I have heard of several instances where a predator simply walked up to a woman’s car, opened the door, and got in.
When I use to sit in my car on the phone, I had several strangers walk up and knock on my car window. I NEVER opened the window, and instead shook my head and drove away.
It is MUCH better to appear rude than to make an unsafe mistake and regret it.
5.) Do not take pity on random strangers
Attackers prey on the sympathetic and kind-nature of women.
When it comes to safety, you must fight your natural instincts!
Never roll your window down for a stranger – unless it is just a small crack in times of necessity.
If asked, do not help a crippled old person to their vehicle. Do not take pity on the man with the broken arm, trying to load groceries into his car. Do not comply if someone asks you to do a random act of kindness.
Instead, kindly offer to get a security officer to assist them with their need or ask several other people to assist you with the task. There is safety in numbers.
As a kind woman, it may be hard to decline a person’s request for help, but you MUST be aware of the predatory behaviors that many attackers have shown in the past. Don’t be the next victim!
6.) It is OK to be paranoid!
As women, we are often incredibly suspicious and paranoid creatures.
This is a very important part of our nature – often keeping us out of harm’s way!
If you see a car that has been following you for a while, take a different route home. Drive straight to the police station if you are truly scared.
If a suspicious vehicle is parked out front of your home, call your local law enforcement. That is what they are there for – to keep you safe!
If you feel insecure about walking to your vehicle at night, ask the store’s security officer or an employee to walk you to your vehicle. Call a friend and have them pick you up.
You must take your personal safety very seriously – taking as many precautions as necessary to ensure you stay free from harm!
7.) Never open your front door without knowing who is outside
The days of door-to-door salesman are over! (At least that is what I think).
When an unidentified person is at the door, I never answer it if I am home alone.
Once you open that door, you are defenseless against what is on the other side.
There are far too many stories of woman who answered the door only to be met by an attacker.
8.) Don’t post your location on social media
Although it may seem harmless, posting your current location on social media can be very dangerous.
It is very easy for a predator to track you via your social media posts! If you post that you are currently out at a certain restaurant, then shopping at your favorite store, or stopping by your local coffee shop – they will begin to know your travel patterns.
This also allows people to know when you are not home, allowing burglars to easily access your home when you are away. Be very selective when adding your location – it could be a safety hazard!
9.) Always look under your car before approaching it at night
This tip is rather self-explanatory.
There are stories of predators that have hidden under the cars of woman and grabbed their ankles and pulled them down as they attempted to get into their vehicle.
Always bend down and look under before you approach your car.
10.) Put your purse in your car and lock it
When getting gas or loading your groceries, always keep your cellphone and keys, but put your purse in the car and lock the door.
This will discourage a possible predator from approaching you to steal your purse.
I was given this tip by a store security guard who had witnessed several women getting mugged and injured because they kept their purses on them as they loaded their groceries into their vehicle.
11.) Give an attacker everything they want – except you!
It is always better to lose your wallet, jewelry, or cellphone then to lose your life!
If an attacker orders you to hand over your wallet and you fear for your life, throw the wallet as far as you can and then run.
They will most likely not shoot you, but instead rush to retrieve the wallet. This will give you a chance to run and escape further harm.
12.) Never comply and get into an attacker’s vehicle
If an attacker orders you into their vehicle at gunpoint, NEVER comply!
It is much better to be hurt in a public place than to be taken to a deserted area where you may be tortured and killed.
Always scream, run, and fight back if necessary.
Many predators have not been willing to shoot a victim in public, at the risk of calling attention to themselves.
If they do attempt to injure you, it is much more difficult for them to hit a moving target. RUN!
13.) Always check for cameras
When staying at a hotel or Air B&B, entering your cruise ship cabin, or moving into a new apartment, always check the area for hidden cameras.
This may seem like a paranoid requirement, but it happens more than you know!
A week after my husband and I went on a cruise, a hidden camera was found in one of the cabins of that cruise ship.
Employees, landlords, and previous customers all have the capacity to be total perverts!
It doesn’t hurt to give a one-minute check around the room(s) – checking smoke detectors, alarm clocks, ceiling vents, televisions, and other hidden spots.
14.) Don’t wear both headphones
This can be a tough one – especially if you are a runner!
However, your ears are the first things that alert you to the presence of someone behind you.
Many predators have been given a major advantage over their victims because they were wearing headphones and unable to hear them driving up behind them.
Whenever I am outside with my headphones, I always keep one ear free – allowing me to be aware of my surroundings.
15.) Be aware when pulled over by the police
I have great respect for law enforcement officers and the protection they provide us.
However, there will always be people who use their power for evil or disguise themselves as an officer to gain access to you.
I have friends who have had terrifying experiences with men who they initially thought were law enforcement officers. Always be cautious and alert – but also remain respectful and compliant until you see something that is out of the ordinary.
If you are pulled over, the police vehicle should pull behind you – not in front of you. Their vehicles have dashboard cameras that can only record your interaction if they are parked behind you. If they pull in front of you, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will do you harm. However, you should be on guard!
If you are pulled over by an unmarked police vehicle, keep your doors locked and do not roll down your window.
Always wait until the officer emerges from the vehicle and you can see their credentials. If the officer is not in uniform and refuses to show you their badge “clearly”, do not comply with his orders. Ask for the officer to call additional law enforcement to the scene. A real officer will understand your concern and fear as a single woman and will give you the respect of calling additional backup.
If the “officer” starts threatening you or acting in an unprofessional manner, you do have the right to stay in your vehicle. If you are alone and know there is no reason to get out of your vehicle, you do have the right of refusal. Although this may cause a tense situation, always put your personal safety first if you suspicious of their actions.
Immediately call 911 and tell the operator that you have been pulled over by someone who you do not believe is a real police officer. You will know very quickly if the person behind you is a real law enforcement officer or not.
If you have reason to scared, turn on your emergency flashers and drive to a public area. This will signal to the officer that you know that you are leaving without permission and that something is wrong.
As stated above, I have great respect for law enforcement officers. I have personally only encountered officers who were respectful and professional. In turn, I complied with their requests and remained very respectful.
However, I have a friend who was horrifically abused by a corrupt police officer. Remain lawful and compliant, but always stay alert!
16.) Always let someone know where you are going – especially at night
Rarely do we let others know our plans 100% of the time, but it is important to let someone know your whereabouts – if possible.
If you are going shopping, sightseeing, hiking, partying, road-tripping, etc. it is very important to let someone know your plans!
Whenever you get into a cab or Uber, take a picture of the license plate and send it to a friend. If you feel insecure about your surroundings, immediately call someone.
If you do not return, someone should always be able to contact law enforcement on your behalf.
17.) Appear to have a weapon on you
If you are walking in an unsafe area or find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, you can easily make yourself appear to be carrying a concealed weapon.
The two most common areas women conceal weapons are in their purse or in a holster resting on your lower back.
When I am walking in a parking lot, I tend to put my hand into my purse or under my jacket in a way that appears that I have my hand resting on my handgun.
However, I have my keys tucked in between my fingers – ready to deliver a powerful and painful punch to the face.
The safest precaution is obviously to own an actual handgun! However, most women that I know do not conceal and carry. Appearing to be “packing” is your next safest bet!
18.) Practice saying, “No!”
I know many females who have a hard time turning people down. Many girls I know are sympathetic, kind-hearted, and very agreeable. These character traits are often accompanies with an inability to confidently say, “No!” However, this one small word could save your life.
Don’t be afraid of appearing rude – especially if you feel unsafe! Turn down that suspicious guy’s request for a date! You can buy your own food and drink.
Go to the mall or an area where you know there are a lot of salesmen. Walk by their booths and practice turning down their advances and sales pitches. Look them in the eye and say, “No!” or “No, thank-you!” This will help you to build up the confidence to turn down someone’s aggressive attempts to get you to comply.
19.) React Immediately!
If someone grabs you, immediately start to struggle away from them and yell at the top of your lungs! Do anything to draw attention to yourself and your attacker.
20.) NEVER GIVE UP!
If you are in a dangerous situation, fight for your life! But more importantly, fight to escape.
It is time to play dirty and go crazy! Yell, scream, scratch, claw, and kick. Aim for the eyes, throat or groin. Y
our one goal is to give yourself a chance to run! A throat punch or eye gouge can buy you some time to escape. If you realize that you are injured, keep fighting!
It is much better to sustain serious injuries rather than be taken to a secluded area where you may be raped, tortured, and killed.
Although you may be independent and self-sustaining, make wise choices when it comes to your safety.
Try never to go out at night alone – especially if you have to walk in a secluded area or parking lot. Take a self-defense course and educate yourself on how to protect yourself against attackers. Always stay aware of your surrounding!
If you have any questions about this article, just let us know in the comment section below! We’d be happy to help you out!