The best defense is to be prepared
It’s wise to know how to protect yourself should the unthinkable happen. And it’s smart to pass on that wisdom to the people you love so that you can all be as safe and secure as possible.
Prevention is obviously the very best defense, so the best way to protect yourself is to avoid dangerous situations. But when you do have to be out and about, remember these tips:
- Walk with confidence at a strong, steady pace
- Walk close to the curb, avoiding doorways, alleys and bushes
- Walk with a buddy, especially if you have to be out at night
- Make sure you can see and hear everything around you — take off your headphones so you’re able to hear if someone is approaching you from behind
- Park in well-lit areas
- Hold your keys in your hand as you approach your car so you can enter your vehicle quickly
- Vary your route, if possible, as well as your times of travel so that no one can anticipate your routine
- Carry a personal alarm so you can make noise if need be
- Never assume that you’re safe—be alert at all times
- Trust your instincts: if you don’t feel safe, leave the area as quickly as possible
If you do find yourself in a physical confrontation, remember that you are more important than anything you own. If someone demands your purse or valuables, hand them over. Things can be replaced. You can’t.
Consider checking your local YMCA, gym or community center for self-defense classes. Sign up and encourage a friend or family member to join with you. It could be one of the most important things you ever do.
If you have young daughters or granddaughters, you might be interested in watching a free self-defense movie aimed at girls age 11-19 called Just Yell Fire.
For more information on personal security at home and while traveling, visit the US Department of State website.
409352 CAN/US (04/15)