Article Originally Featured on Her Campus:
Every day more and more people are falling in love with big cities, and the tall buildings and bright lights make it difficult to avoid being lured to the city. Out of these people, a good amount is women who embark on the independent lifestyle and take on these jobs that are located in these big cities. It is a beautiful time for women as they are charging head first into what would be considered a “man’s world”, but titling yourself as independent doesn’t change the fact that predators and thieves target women when doing their dirty deeds. Here are six ways a woman can stay safe when out and about by themselves.
Cell Phones Can Be Dangerous at Times
Cell phones are addicting at times, but it is important to be cautious on when you’re using your cell phone. When you are walking by yourself, avoid staying off your cell phone. Keep your eye on your surroundings- people who are occupied and not paying attention are more than likely to get attacked than someone who is observant. Though you shouldn’t walk with your eyes glued to your phone, keep it somewhere on you where you can easily access it and call for help if needed.
Always Check Your Car
Before getting close to your car, try to remember to observe underneath it, as well as checking inside before getting all the way in. Escaping an attack while entering your car is difficult because you can easily become trapped between your attacker and your car. Being observant of those around your car and specific cars/vans parked near your driver-side door is imperative as well. If your gut is telling you something isn’t right, then something probably is not right.
Always Drive Off
I can’t deny that I sometimes sit in my car, fix my hair, send a text message, or do some other unnecessary activity when I first enter my car. When pulling off immediately removes the risk of being attacked while sitting in your car. After ensuring that everything is accurate when entering your car, drive off immediately.
Be Aware of Your Attire
Having on clothes where you can easily defend yourself is important. If you’re leaving work and have on high heels and your car is far away, make sure you have shoes that you can change into. This helps you get to your car quickly and safely because it takes away the risk of you being targeted and allows for an easy getaway if the worst was to happen. The same goes with jewelry, hide or remove expensive looking jewelry when walking long distances by yourself.
Your Location Should be Known
Ensure that you know where you’re going before venturing out alone, and if you don’t know then don’t let other people know that you don’t know through your body language. Try your best to blend in, and not stand out. Providing someone close to you with your location and your expected arrival time to that location can be significant if something happens too, lessening your own worries on if someone can find you, and making the search for you easier if need be.
Protect Yourself by Any Means
It is extremely sad that women have to take these precautions to protect themselves, but since they do, they should be willing to do whatever is needed to ensure their safety. This means taking defense classes, carrying pepper spray, a taser, or even getting a gun and a license to carry if their age permits them. Your safety should be your top priority.