I recently took a women’s self-defense class through the Sheriff’s Department in my area. Some of the best things I learned in the class were the simplest to do. I want to share some of the tips that I picked up in the course with you because I think it is such vital knowledge. (Disclaimer: Please note that I am not an expert in self-defense. I am simply conveying what I learned. Please consult an expert for questions you may have about self-defense or for instruction in self-defense techniques.)
1. Time of day does not matter. Be aware of your surrounding at all times. Our instructor pointed out that crime can take place at any time of the day. In fact, many crimes take place in broad daylight in crowded areas. Stay aware of who is around you when it is both light and dark out.
2. Resist the urge to carry on cell phone conversations in stores and parking lots. Who has not been guilty of that one at some point? The instructor emphasized that individuals looking to do no good, often go for the distracted person to accost. A person deep in a cell phone conversation is not paying much attention to the surroundings (Hard for us humans to do two things at once).
3. When shopping, even if you have only a few items, take the items out to the car in a cart. The idea here is that the cart can provide a barrier between you and someone approaching you. The cart can put physical space between you and a potential assailant.
4. Do not hit the car door clicker over and over in the middle of the parking lot to help you find your car. Had not thought of this before the instructor mentioned it, but this leaves your car doors unlocked with you not right there at your car.
5. A small flashlight can be a very good thing to carry in your hand in parking lots, parking garages, and various other places. If need be, you can shine the light in somebody’s eyes to temporarily disturb vision or utilize either end of the flashlight as a protective device.
6. Trust your instincts. If you feel something isn’t right, it probably is not. Remove yourself from those surroundings as quickly as possible and seek any help you feel that you need.
Participating in this course certainly made me much more aware of many things regarding personal safety. I hope that these tips help you as well.
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