Flip through today’s newspaper (or any other day, for that matter) and you’re bound to find a report from anywhere in the world on women being attacked, raped, or worse, brutally murdered. Crimes against women are rising steadily. According to recent government statistics, a woman is raped in India every 32 minutes whereas in the United States of America, a woman is raped every 46 seconds (that’s 78 rapes per hour, by the way).
Don’t panic just yet. There are simple steps you can take to protect yourself (and don’t, for one second, think that it’s never going to happen to you). Here’s how you can minimize your chances of being attacked and maximize your personal safety:
1. Be aware of your surroundings. No attacker would choose their victims at random. Perpetrators usually stalk their victims for a period of time so, be sure to focus on your surroundings. If you notice someone watching you closely or following you, make note that you know. Chances are the perpetrator will abandon his plans if he knows that you’re aware of him.
2. Avoid being alone. Sure, shortcuts are great because your feet are tired, you are lazy, and it saves you the long walk in your three-inch heels. If you really want to take a shorter route, do so in a group of people or get someone (preferably male) to escort you. If you’re alone, avoid walking in deserted or poorly lit lanes. Stay on the main road!
3. Grab attention. Grab a lot of attention! When an assailant attempts to attack you, the first thing he would usually say is, “I will kill you if you call your help!”. Don’t obey him or fall for his empty threats. Instead, immediately start screaming at the top of your lungs. This will get people passing by to notice and they can come to your aid.
4. Confront your attacker. If you plan to run away, there’s a great possibility that your attacker will be able to catch up with you before you reach a safe location (especially if you’re going to run in heels). Standing your ground might be a safer option. In such a situation, you may have to fight back. Don’t need to go all “Jackie Chan” on him. Just incapacitate your assailant by attacking vulnerable areas like the throat, groin, or eyes. Like this:
Just remember that you may be attacked at any place, at any time. The best person you can rely on to protect yourself is you. Walk with your eyes and peeled, and be safe!