Women, Take Precautions!
How many times have you fumbled around for your keys, couldn’t find your car, or you were just in a hurry and laser focused on one thing only? All of us! Take a minute to think about how long it takes for someone to be abducted, held by force, or held at knifepoint/gunpoint. That is only a matter of about ten seconds or less. I can’t stress how important it is to be aware of your surroundings at all times and try to best prepare for threatening situations. I’m not saying to be overly worried or only think about this every time you leave your home. Simply put, just take precautions!
The reason I have addressed this to women is because we are far more sought out and easier to hold captive or impair with less force. In general, women are weaker than men and are more sensitive to harm. What does this mean? Men are stronger and willing to fight back easier than women. Women tend to hesitate and are more impacted by the thought of inflicting harm upon others. When your life depends on it, absolutely nothing should stop you from doing everything in your power to stop a predator as soon as possible. Don’t think twice about blood or inflicting pain. While it is very unpleasant to think about, you must protect yourself!
There are several things you can review and assess to determine what simple changes you can make in your everyday lives that will have a huge impact on your personal safety. Let’s take a moment to review your daily routine and the activities that you regularly take part in. Do you work full-time weekdays and usually go out for lunch? Or, are you employed on weekend nights? Do you visit a gym or go shopping regularly? How often are you out at night or in a low-lit location? Are the places you visit familiar to you or are they normally in a new, different environment? If you typically park somewhere that is secluded or has little light, such as a parking garage or a guaranteed open space, be aware and think a bit more thoroughly before you park. Maybe park in a new location that is heavily populated or as close to a street light, elevator, or entrance as possible. Being around others who can see you is key when it comes to self-protection. In most cases, stalkers won’t be trying to abduct you in an area filled with surrounding people.
Another way to take precautions in regard to self-protection is to continually make sure your hands are free before leaving a location. Get your keys out ahead of time and know exactly where you’re headed. If you need to, get help loading or unloading your vehicle. With your hands busy and unavailable, it wouldn’t take much to hold you by force. And, common to our day and age, get off your phone! If you must, check it briefly and call or text later when you are inside your locked vehicle or inside a place of business or home where familiar people are around. It happens all too often that I see people, not just women, staring at their phone while walking and paying no attention to anything else. If you need to search for something on your phone or device, do it while you are somewhere safe. Try and think ahead as much as possible.
For those of you that have your CCL (conceal carry license) for personal protection, be alert as to where your firearm is stored and how accessible it is. Pay attention to things like storing your handgun in a backpack and then putting it on your back. How accessible is that really? I guess if that is your best option, then it’s better than nothing. Or, what about keeping it in a handbag holster with kids around? You must be certain to always have it on your body or somewhere safe from curious kids. Please take precaution! When you carry a handgun, it is most important to keep it clean. If you fail to do this, your handgun may not perform when you need it to. If it won’t perform, your practice and gun power become unimportant. Next, be sure to practice using your handgun with your choice of holster so it becomes second nature if and when you may need to use it. You do not want to cause yourself unnecessary anxiety about simply presenting your handgun and using it properly. If you can hit your target, then your ammunition is also important. Do you keep HP (hollow point) or FMJ (full metal jacket) rounds in your handgun at all times? If you’re not sure, please check. HP’s will expand with the shape and allow internal organs and tissues of the target to be severely impacted and wounded much quicker. These projectiles will also cease forward motion when penetrated. So, it is safer for high traffic areas or when loved ones are nearby. Whereas, an FMJ can go in and come right back out, and it may or may not cause severe injury. Overall, the HP round shuts down body systems (circulatory or nervous) quicker and is a safer option for anyone else in close vicinity. This becomes especially beneficial when you are carrying a firearm that doesn’t store many rounds at one time.
Not only is it important to be aware of your environment and those around you for personal safety, you also need to stand tall and carry yourself with confidence. By doing this step alone, it will deter predators from messing with you. When you are out and about, be sure to look others directly in the eyes. Not only does this help you to become familiar with one’s identity, but it also lets them know that you are well aware they are around you. If you get a bad vibe around someone or in a particular location, remove yourself as quickly as possible. Trust your gut! It is usually right on.
It's also beneficial to keep your local police department phone number stored as a contact in your phone. You never know when you may need it or if you’ll have data service to look it up when you need it. Please take a minute and do it now.
Who knows how we’ll respond in any given situation, but if we are aware, it will be to our advantage. Take time for thought, assess your situation, and prepare yourself. Any of these small changes will help keep yourself safe and are well worth it…You are worth it!
For further instruction, you can look for advanced conceal training or self-defense classes in your area. Your awareness and response time in a threatening situation, under increased stress, will definitely improve with the help of a trained instructor. In the meantime, take daily precautions.