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Why is it that women of a certain age usually over 40 find themselves telling their daughters, sisters and female colleagues never to walk home alone late at night?
Whether we like it or not, there are weirdo’s practically all around us, on the bus, in the community, attending church, walking their dog etc. To pretend there are no dangers out there is putting yourself and your loved ones at risk, FACT.
Scarily, every now and then one’s particular brand of weirdness will be triggered by seeing a woman on her own, one thing leads to another and we are reading about the poor girl in the papers the next day.
80% of rape victims know their attacker, and, because sexual predators study their targets before committing the crime, we can without a doubt say that attackers know their victims 100% of the time.
Maybe it won’t happen to you, but, if you don’t take your personal safety seriously and that of your loved ones who knows. I don’t know about you, but I won’t be taking a chance walking home alone from a night out with friends. It doesn’t matter wither you are 17 or 70, what size you are or what colour your skin is.
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Don’t trust taxi drivers who hang around outside nightclubs, they may be legitimate, but there is a chance that they’re not, and of course after you have had a few drinks you may not bother to check. Say like you don’t like the look of the taxi driver, what do you do? Easy, you don’t get in that taxi. “Its fine sir, I am waiting for my friend, thanks but no thanks”. If possible travel in groups, make a call when you are in the taxi, give a friend the taxi ID and registration number. If you have a funny feeling about things ask to go to an ATM at a 24-hour garage where there are security cameras and call the Garda.
DRIVING BY YOURSELF AT NIGHT
If you will be driving yourself home for your safety, it is best to get someone to accompany you to your car if its parked some distance away. Have a check inside the car before you get into it and once you are in the car, make sure to lock all the doors.
If another driver starts to hassle you if you are driving home, rather than go home, drive to the nearest Garda station or A&E Department. Chances are the person or people following you or giving you hassle won’t follow you there but if they do call the appropriate emergency number on your phone and stay locked in your car until the help arrives.
Always, always, trust your intuition, it’s very seldom wrong. It is your inner voice that lets you know when something is wrong…YOU HAVE GOT TO TRUST THAT INNER VOICE. You are blessed with your own internal alarm and its job is to warn you of impending danger and it only has your best interest at heart. This is extremely important information. Don’t question it or flight it, JUST TRUST IT, your safety is crucial.
Walk with purpose and keep your head up, make sure to keep looking around continuously, scanning your environment, watching out of people’s behaviours and hands. The name of the game here is blending in with your surroundings. Remember: Prey Behaviour Induces Predator Interest.
Always display confident body language, by displaying confident body language it can be the difference between being selected as a victim or being passed over for some other poor unfortunate soul.
Make quick, but not challenging, eye contact with people, keeping them aware that you can see them, you know they are there and now you recognise them.
Which would you rather, appearing rude to a complete stranger or putting your safety first? If a stranger offers help, and that little voice inside your head rings the alarm bells, who cares about being rude? Seriously…Just remember that THIS PERSON IS A COMPLETE STRANGER, YOUR DON’T KNOW HIM/HER FROM ADAM, AND THAT YOUR TRUST HAS TO BE EARNED, NOT GIVEN DUE TO SOCIAL OR PEER PRESSURE. Remember to say things such as, “I do not want your help, I do not need your help, No thank you, thank you and goodbye”.
NEVER, EVER, put your safety before the fear of appearing rude to a complete stranger. The word NO us a complete sentence, if somebody ignores your “NO”, they do not have your best interests at heart and most likely it is coming from an undesirable person and should under no circumstances be trusted. This goes for almost anything, from the person asking to walk you home, the person at the bar looking to buy you a drink. If your “NO” is being ignored, that person is trying to control you. Be extremely careful in this situation.
RETHINK YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Have a look at your daily routine, are there any areas that you see yourself as being a potential victim? Try to imagine how the attacker would think, ask yourself, would I make a good target? Try to be mindful of the attackers wants and needs when you rethink your daily routine, your safety is so important.
If you should end up in a confrontation and it has not escalated to physical, remember the four rules of verbal De-escalation:
The most fragile thing on this planet is ego, especially the male ego. Add alcohol, drugs, insecurities and you have a recipe for violence. Thread carefully when dealing with potentially violent individuals, listen to what they are saying (When their Problem is) and try to offer a face saving solution to the aggressor. Never use verbal strategies that can escalate the confrontation.
Never allow anybody to take you to a secondary location/crime scene, it doesn’t matter what their threats are, you have got to fight back in the location you are at, it is your best chance for survival. A secondary crime scene is where dead bodies are found.
Let’s say you make some bad decisions, by withdrawing money at an ATM in a remote, dark area. An attacker comes out of the shadows and approaches you, NOW it is time to fight back! Your possessions are not worth fighting for but now this guy’s wants you in a secluded location to cause you physical harm or murder you. The game has changed, this is now your best chance for survival, always remember, YOU ARE IMPORTANT. It goes without saying that if you let an attacker tie you up, the chances of you being found alive and untouched are sadly drastically reduced.
It is vital to remember to do what you would tell your loved ones or children to do if it was them in that situation. By doing this it will help you to decide the best course of action quickly and eliminate any threats. Only you can decide the best course of action to take, there is nobody there to help you make a decision, and nobody to protect you if you are in danger, the only person that can help you is YOU. Do yourself a favour and take your own advice, it is your life and your family, always best to have safety in mind first.