There are several safety tips that every street smart woman uses to stay safe when they’re alone and away from home. Simple things like knowing what to shout, how to protect your belongings, and being spatially aware can get you a long way. Staying safe can be more than just common sense and trusting your instincts. In fact, specific actions and knowledge can help to keep you out of danger.
Because we care about your safety, votreART is sharing some of the most simple and effective tips for how to handle dangerous situations.
1. Walk in the opposite direction of traffic.
This can be useful in many situations, even if you aren’t worried that someone may be following you. Walking in the same direction as traffic gives drivers an opportunity to stop next to you, follow you, or even grab you from the sidewalk. However, walking while facing traffic means that you can see who’s coming. This can be an easy and practical way to keep yourself safe while walking on the street.
2. Use shadows and windows to check your surroundings.
When you’re out and about, it’s generally a good idea to be spatially aware. It can help you to see who’s around you, especially if you’re in a situation where you feel like you’re being watched or followed. It won’t look suspicious if you stop and look in a store window to discreetly check who’s around you on the street.
3. Turn around if you think someone is following you.
If you’re in a public space, then this is advisable because you can get a good look at the person. This can help you remember what they look like and what they’re wearing if you need to. This may deter them if they know that you can positively ID them later, and you may have become a difficult target for them.
4. Shout, “Stop!” or “Help my child!” — not “Help!”
Unfortunately shouting, “Help!” won’t necessarily get you the attention of those around you. Rather, you should shout something more emotional to grab attention, such as, “Help my child!” or even “NO! Stop!” This is more likely to make people look at you and come to your aid when you need it.
5. Hide nice jewelry on public transport.
This is because they can bring unnecessary attention to yourself as you may unknowingly become someone’s target. You can turn that nice ring of yours around, tuck in your necklace under your clothes, and take off your earrings. Try and cover any flashy items that can’t be easily removed. This will help you to blend into the crowd if any robbers are scouting the area for a possible victim.
6. If someone asks where you’re headed next, say the hospital.
Sometimes, people get a little too friendly or flirtatious, and telling them you aren’t interested just isn’t enough. In this case, you can tell them that you’re actually headed to the hospital to stop them from tagging along with you. This will put most people off as they would prefer not to be around a hospital. Also, a hospital is a secure building with security, staff, and cameras all around it.
7. Store your cash in a pack of gum.
Storing all of your cash in one place can put you in a difficult and vulnerable position if it’s stolen or lost. Instead, make sure that you always have cash stored somewhere else on yourself. This can be in a hair scrunchie, an old chapstick or deodorant container, or a mirror. This way, if you’re ever mugged, you won’t need to hand over all your cash.
8. Don’t walk around after dark, staring at your phone.
This is because it draws attention to yourself and shows anyone around you that you aren’t watching your surrounding environment. For one, your face will be lit up from a mile away by your cell screen. Secondly, because of this, your eyes won’t be able to adjust to the dark quickly enough if someone does approach you while you’re distracted. This can make you vulnerable and a target.
9. Ask a security guard to walk you to your car.
It’s important to remember that if you ever feel insecure or worried about going to your car alone, a security guard can escort you. This is especially useful if it’s dark out and the parking lot isn’t well lit or it’s empty. Or perhaps you’ve noticed someone hanging around the area who made you uncomfortable. However, always approach a security desk or booth to make sure that they’re legit.
10. Check the child lock before getting into taxis.
This is advisable because it can warn you about automatically getting locked within a car, unable to get out even when the car is stopped. To check the child lock, you need to open the rear door and look for a small switch on the edge of it. You’ll see an “open/closed” or “on/off” label by the switch, which will tell you if the driver has turned it on or not.
What methods do you use to stay safe? Which of these do you already know?