social & justice

13 Safety Tips For Women - They Are Simple And Practical

Sheena Joseph | Apr 07 2019
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Gender equality is something the ideal world should have where the genders enjoy the same status, freedom and rights. Unfortunately, that is not yet the case.  Most of us live in a world in which women can not let her guard down, irrespective of the legal protection of safety and equality she is entitled to by the constitution and governments.

Acts such are leering, voyeurism and stalking are behaviours many women encounter which makes them feel less safe. Many women avoid venturing out alone for the fear and worry of these menaces. Sometimes even a  movement in the shady street corner can startle us and make us uncomfortable.

Do you have to be in this state of mind and live your life on the edge, if you know how to keep yourself safe? Isn’t it important to guard yourselves rather than giving out your safety string to anyone else to manage? It is possible. You can certainly prepare yourself to take care of your safety. Following certain guidelines will ensure that your safety isn’t at risk all the time. Here are 13 tips for women who commute to work every day or for any women who venture out for any purpose. With these practical tips,  you can are empowered regarding your safety.

1. Practice Mindfulness

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The most important tip is probably the easiest one to follow. If you are not aware of your surroundings, it is easy for any perpetrator to trap you. Being mindful will make you more resourceful. You will notice any shady looks before they close in on you.  You will know how to navigate better. If you have noticed a pocket road that leads you to a crowded place, you will know where to run in case of an attack.

2. Carry A Pepper Spray

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Commoners aren’t allowed to possess a taser gun aka stun gun in India. But, no one will stop you from carrying a bottle of pepper spray. Keep it in an accessible place and if a perpetrator approach you, spray it to his face without thinking twice. The unexpected move shall startle him and at the same time the spray will cause a burning sensation in their nose and eyes. The effects aren’t permanent, but you will get enough time to escape. Be sure to always keep the pepper spray in the outer pocket of the bag. If it is buried underneath all the other things in the bag, you might miss the opportunity to prevent the attack.

3. Trust Your Intuition

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Sometimes intrusions are strong notions to bang on. There are research evidence that confirms women’s intuitive power which is better than that of men. If you feel that a person who walked past you is going to circle back and come after you, do not hesitate to take out the pepper spray out of the bad and walk faster. This may seem like overreacting. But, most of the time your intuitions are reliable. You are not paranoid or finding meanings that aren’t there. Maybe that man isn’t going to come after you today. But, there must have been something in his body language or eyes that made you uncomfortable. Trust your gut.

4. Take Self Defense Classes

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How confident will you be if you are strong enough to fight and know some good tactics? Taking self-defence classes will prepare you to save yourself in case of a physical attack. Not only they will teach you some amazing, quick and practical techniques, but the practice shall make you fit too. You need strong muscles and stamina to run away from the offenders. But, the main benefit of self-defence class is that it boosts your confidence.

5. Do Not Be Predictable

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If you take the same bus and the same route every day, it is easy for the perpetrator to predict your moves. They will have another advantage over you. They have been observing you for weeks, and you don’t even know that they exist. If possible, figure out three or four routes to your home. Or, you can travel at different times. Always give preference to roads with CCTV cameras. Criminals are likely to avoid these streets.

6. Keep Your Phone Close

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Another easy safety tip for women is to carry the phone in your hand. If someone approaches you, the phone can be used as a weapon. Hit the attacker in the face with the phone. Aim for his eyes and nose. Hit them multiple times until the attacker is on the ground or away from you. Anyone will be thrown off guard by getting hit on the eye and nose. Do not hesitate to attack them because your safety is the most important thing.

7. Share Your Location

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It is important that someone knows where you are. When you are travelling in an auto or cab, share the vehicle number with someone who lives in the same city. Sharing your live location with someone on WhatsApp is also a wise move. Safety tips for women are not complete without the good old ‘fake conversation’. If you find your cab driver to be shady, pretend to talk to your parents or friends. If the predator knows that there is someone who knows where you are at the moment, they will be discouraged.

8. Speak Up

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Many women are hesitant to yell or shout in public without an evident reason. But, if you feel that the guy who has been walking behind you for the past one hour is stalking you, do not hesitate to turn around and question him (in a loud voice) about his intentions. This will discourage him from harming you as he has drawn public attention to himself.

Also read: Me Too Movement: The Story So Far And The Way Forward

9. No Real Time Updates On Social Media

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Whether you are a social butterfly or not, there should be a limit on how much information you share on social media. Never post real-time updates. Be careful not to post address or phone number on social media. Finding your address or phone number on social media will help the stalkers to track you easily.

10. Be Discreet With Your Whereabouts

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If you have to exchange your address or phone number with someone while you are in a public place, be discreet about it. You may find shouting it out much easier. But, this creates a dangerous opportunity for an attacker to find you. Always write down or message the number to your friend instead of announcing it.

11. Lock The Doors

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Lock the doors behind you as soon as you get home. Leaving the doors open is like helping the intruder. Similarly, installing double doors - the typical wooden one and one made of grills will ensure that there is a layer of safety between you and strangers. Also, never open the door without taking a look at who is outside. Installing a peephole will ensure that you are never caught off guard.

12. Plan Your Parking Spot

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One of the few moments when your attention is divided is when you are unlocking your car and getting in. You may not notice if someone comes from behind attacks you. Make sure you always park the car in a well exposed and well-lit area. This will discourage criminals from closing in on you due to the fear of being seen.

13. Mix Your Own Drink

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When you are at a party, it is easy to spike your drink and go unnoticed. Most people including you will be distracted and having fun. But, mixing your own drink will make sure that you are not drugged. If you ever leave your drink alone, do not drink it after coming back. Getting a fresh one is much safer than taking the risk.