Vibe Mantra: Self-defence is a lifestyle and a mindset.
- Respect your inner voice. Don’t ignore your “bad feelings.” Police statistics show that 90% of people attacked felt there was “something wrong,” but ignored those feelings. Trust your gut instincts!
- Watch where you’re going. Pay attention! Keep your eyes up, and critically view where you’re going. Many crime victims have walked right into a crime-in-progress situation by being on autopilot, and not recognizing the signs of crime. Make eye contact with strangers who come up to you. This is disarming to a potential attacker, as you will be able to identify them. Don’t shy away, as that makes you appear weaker, and therefore a better target.
- Listen! This one is even more important in our blue-tooth tech times. Don’t wear headphones, ear buds, or blue tooth accessories when out walking or in public spaces, including transit. Predators watch for easy targets, and if you disable your sense of hearing, you’re increasing your appeal as a target.
- Say “No!” Predators usually present themselves as friendly, helpful people. This approach disarms your natural unease around strangers. If someone offers to carry your packages to your car, or home, say “no.”
- Maintain your personal space. A five-foot zone around you is considered your personal space. Don’t allow strangers into that zone. Predators will want to appear friendly and familiar and get into that space. You’re in charge of your space, so step back, or firmly ask them to step back. Five feet may seem a lot of space when in line-ups, or crowded spaces like transit. So use a combination of strategies to maintain your safety.
- Never, ever, go to “crime scene number two.” Predators will often try and get women to a more secluded space to assault them. Don’t go. Fight loudly and/or physically—do whatever you can to stay where you are. This will lessen your appeal as a target, and increase your odds of attracting some to help you.
- Take a course in self-defence. Invite a friend, sister, or your Mom to join you. There are some teachable physical techniques you can learn and employ should you ever be physically grabbed or attacked. Invest in your strength, stamina, speed, physical abilities, and your safety in advance as the fitter you are the more likely you will be able to break free.