Sadly, we live in a world that is not immune to bad things happening. No one should have to live their life worrying about whether or not they are safe, even if it is something as simple as walking to your car by yourself at night in a Target parking lot. We shouldn’t have to teach young girls how to protect themselves, but sadly there are sick people out there, so it is necessary to do so.
One thing my mother taught me that I probably should do, even though I feel like I shouldn’t have to do it, is to have my car keys in hand when walking out to my car. That way, if someone attempts to approach me, I can get in my car and lock the doors as quickly as possible. At first, I thought maybe she was paranoid, but so many abductions happen in parking lots to young women and girls. You never think it will happen to you, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
You might have seen Facebook posts where someone has come to their car to find a plastic bag placed on their windshield wipers or money placed on their windshield and instead of grabbing the odd item, the person got in their car and drove away. The reason for this is because predators will do this in hopes you reach over your car to take these items off and while you are distracted they will grab you and take you away. So, if something has been placed on your car that is anything other than a parking ticket do not acknowledge it, get in your car, lock your doors, and drive away, making sure no one is following you. Again, it seems crazy we have to keep such things in mind, but since these things do happen, it’s better to be informed than remain blissfully ignorant.
The best thing you can do is always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert in times of vulnerability. This is when you are alone or are in a place you have never been before. It also never hurts to keep some pepper spray with you (you can get it at any sporting goods store). If you feel like someone is following you or you feel threatened in any way, let someone know. Usually, any bystander will be willing to help, and especially any manager or employee will help if you are out shopping. Your safety is then their concern. If you do not know who to notify, then do not be scared to contact the police or even just scream (yes scream and call them out) for the sake of your well-being.
If absolute worst comes to worst and someone DOES approach you and actually threatens you, do not be scared to knee or kick this person in the groin. Personally, I am always prepared to do so. Any kind of self-defense knowledge you have will help protect you and those you love, but sometimes people can get so scared or shocked in the moment that they forget this simple tactic. Make the person who dared to mess with you sorry they ever thought about messing with you.
These are all simple things that can make a big difference in your own safety. Most of us can tell the difference between being in a safe environment and not when we are in an area we are familiar with, but keeping these in the back of your mind can help protect you from the unexpected. As women, we shouldn’t have to live in fear, but when you learn to protect yourself in the best way possible, it can give you peace of mind.