As beautiful as the world we live in is, scary things can happen, even in the safest of neighborhoods. As a woman, I find that it is imperative to be aware of my surroundings and to not give in to inappropriate cat calls or feel threatened by someone walking too close while walking alone. Just the other day while I was walking to class a really gross man hollered at me, “Yeah! Shake that ass! You know I want it!”. I mean, how freaking disgusting is that?! In my mind, I put a stick in his bike spoke and watched as he flew off his bike and directly through a parked car’s windshield. Is that too much? But for real, what is someone supposed to say that? In my best judgement, I chose to just ignore him. Why didn’t I react or scream at him? Well, because I’m too scared to. People are CRAZY these days. Who knows if he would come closer to me or even pull a gun out on me, so I did some deep breathing and walked on. Nothing came of it and he probably went on with his day and creeped out a plethora of women who were minding their own business going about their day. With that said, anything can happen and with the proper precautions whether be it alone or with a friend or group of friends, crimes against a woman can be deterred. I’ve taken several self defense classes and enjoy researching ways to stay safe, so below I’ll share with you all what I have learned. Granted, many of these tips are common sense, but sometimes those are the easiest to forget.
Be alert! Put down your phone, look ahead and around you. Perhaps save the tunes for when you are seated on the el or in a coffee shop. There were a string of muggings in Bucktown against people glued to their phones. Easiest targets. Keep your head up and give off the vibe that you are alert and on top of your sh*t.
Is your driver a creep? These days with so many options for rides around the city and burbs, there can be some bad seeds driving folks around. Keep a record of you current driver and if the dude/dudette looks like he/she wants to steal your skin, jump the hell out the next time they stop and run like hell. Be sure to call and report them in so they are off the road.
Walk down the middle of the street. When I was at DePaul University there were numerous sexual assaults against women. Lincoln Park is typically a pretty quiet area with even quieter tree lined streets with alleys…sometimes making it easy for a When I asked cops about this, they said something so simple. Walk down the middle of the street. You can put up a bigger fight and it’ll be harder to drag you into a dark alley. TIP: in college when I was stupid, younger and drunk – on a rare occasion, I would walk home alone at night. I didn’t think twice about asking for a ride home from a cop if one was near. Still would if need be.
Keys and location. If it’s dark and you’re alone (next time don’t be!) – put your keys between your fingers and call a friend to chat and let them know your location.
Call 911. If you know me well, you know I call 911 without thinking twice. If something looks messed up or you’re scared for your safety, call the police and request help immediately. If you can’t call 911 for whatever reason but able to text, text a friend or family member the status of the situation and your location. What can it hurt?
Give the whole purse and nothing but the purse. Here’s the deal, if someone wants to take your crap, just give it to them. I’ve also heard to throw it so the loser can run and grab it and you can take off as well. However, if they want more than the purse or want to take you somewhere – scream, shout, kick, scratch, punch – do anything and everything you need to do to keep the chances of you getting hurt worse lower.
Your elbow is your best friend. I learned in self defense class that your elbow is one of your strongest weapons. Use that sucker to elbow the pervert in his face, neck, throat, gut, nose and eyes. As soon as you have him hurting, get the f out of there.
Take a good look around. If it’s dark or late at night, look around before getting out of your car to head inside your home, get gas or whatever it is you are doing. Be alert.
Nope. Listen, if there is a dude or even a couple on the side of the road seeking help, be a good person and call into the police and send them proper help. If they really are in need of help, they’ll be in better hands than you helping them. Ever heard of Ted Bundy???
Never be home alone. I had a person come to my door a few weeks ago and I saw them and he saw me through the window. In hindsight, I should not have answered the door because I was home alone. However, I did go out the back door and meet him up front so I didn’t open the door to my home to him. Honestly, the entire exchange was odd, but I finally told him that my husband was working upstairs and I had to get back to my baby. Whaaaaaat? Lol. Not sure where that came from, but it worked. Never let someone know you are home alone.
Don’t let your inebriated friend out of your sight. If your friend is HAMMERED, just get homegirl a burrito, some water and help get her home. Too many bad things can happen if a pervert like that Stanford creep is keeping an eye out for vulnerable, intoxicated women to be left alone.
Don’t leave your drink alone either. This is an oldie but a goodie. Don’t leave your drink alone – even with the cute guy you met at the bar while you run to the bathroom. Nope.
Eyes, throat, balls. Those are the sweet spots to attack if you are fighting for your life. As gross as it sounds, gouge that turd’s eyes out, stab him in the throat with your fingers and kick him in his balls until he passes out or away. You can also punch him so hard his nose breaks. Hit him with the heel of your hand, striking him under the nostrils and septum, hitting in an upward motion. Learned that from a professional Muay Thai boxer!
Take a self defense class. Speaking of…check out your local kick boxing studios and sign up for a self defense class. All you need are one or two to walk away with tips you’ll never forget.
Parking lot thoughts. Never feel silly to ask a store employee or security guard to walk you to your vehicle. If you cannot find help, be alert, look around, walk swiftly to your car and lock the doors immediately.
Being followed? I was once being followed while driving. I called 911 (duh) and they prompted me to do three left turns – make a circle essentially. I did and he was. But then whatever reason, perhaps he sensed that I was onto him, he suddenly sped away. I also did this at Target once when an 11 year old asshole was trying to mug me. I was one of his several attempts. He ended up locking himself into the bathroom when security caught on and they had to coax him out. Hilarious.
Being shot at? Apparently you are suppose to run in a zig zag line to avoid being hit. Done – I’ll take it.
Lock your doors – home and car. My sisters always laugh at me because I’ll go visit them in the burbs and I’ll lock the door right behind me. It’s a habit of city living I suppose. I find no reason to have the doors unlocked unless of course we are having a party and people are coming and going as they please.
Be aloof. My dad told me to “be aloof” upon entering high school. I like to think of it as being a happy medium of completely clueless and terrible bitchy. I mean, when you look it up it says to “not friendly” – same difference. There is no need to be a Chatty Kathy and super friendly to anyone that talks to you, especially if you alone and some dude feels like chatting you up. Perhaps acknowledge his presence and stay alert. Ok – so don’t be completely unfriendly, but no need to be their new best friend either.
Weapons. Whether it’s pepper spray, a bat next to your door or hairspray and a lighter to create a torch, do and use whatever you need to to protect yourself.
TSPeeps, please feel free to share any ideas or tips you have learned or picked up along the way. Be safe!
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