14 Tips and Tricks on girls safety

Every time we walk into an unfamiliar environment, the fear of something unpleasant happening to us crosses our minds. The challenges are even more pronounced for women, and because the motive of a sexual assault is different from other crimes, it’s difficult to predict who will turn into a predator. Hence, we have to rely more on our instincts and measures to prevent an unwanted situation rather than counting on a system that acts only when a crime is committed. Yes, the administration is trying its best to provide a secure environment for women but it hasn’t been hugely successful, to say the least.

We understand it’s not an ideal situation where we have to limit our activities and access to public spaces for our own safety but unfortunately, we don’t have too many options because the reality is far from what is acceptable. Sex offenders, in most cases, operate individually and it’s difficult to predict or control the behavior of individuals. Moreover, they can’t be apprehended until they commit a crime. So, we will probably never have an environment where we will be able to drop our guard without making ourselves susceptible to potential danger. Hence, it’s better to take preventive measures to minimize the chances of anything unpleasant happening to us. Following are some of them:

1. Escape

If you sense a potentially threatening situation then try to avoid it instead of confronting an individual or a group of people alone. Who doesn’t want to teach these criminals a lesson? But life is not always how it has been portrayed in movies, and the actual situation can be worse than how you perceive it. So ensure your safety first and escape from the situation even if this action is against everything you stand for.

empty street in night

2. Stay Away from Dicey Places

Avoid places that don’t look right. It’s easier for criminals to commit a crime in places that are not monitored by authorities because they don’t face any resistance there, as a matter of fact, the people in such localities encourage them to carry out heinous crimes. So, it’s highly unlikely that you will get any help in such places if you are attacked.

3. Avoid Taking Shortcuts Through Deserted Streets

The same goes with deserted streets as well. Try not to take an abandoned or isolated street even if it saves your time. There are reasons why these streets are less frequented by people.

4. Wear Inconspicuous Clothing

It has been proven beyond doubt that there is no correlation between clothing and crime against women, yet it’s a no-brainer that looking different from the rest attracts unwanted attention. Although these attentions are usually harmless, they are annoying nonetheless. We have made significant progress as far as changing our mindset is concerned and we will continue to improve, and hopefully one day our freedom will not be constrained by trivialities, but until that happens, let’s keep our favorite dresses for the places they deserve.

Girl walking with a stranger

5. Don’t Share Personal Details with Strangers

Don’t reveal your personal details in front of strangers. As a matter of fact, refrain from discussing your personal life in front of anyone who you are not familiar with. We all love discussing the events taking place in our lives, but do it only when you are aware of your surroundings and you know the people around you.

If you have to share you contact details for any reasons, make sure you trust the person or the entity who will be storing your number. The same goes with your social media as well. Try to limit the personal information you share on public domains, and even if you do that, make sure they are not accessible to everyone.

6. Using ATMs

Banks have opened a plethora of ATMs almost everywhere for the convenience of their customers, but some of them have been installed in isolated locations. Try not to use any ATM that is on a deserted street, and strictly avoid them at night. In case things go wrong, hand over the cash and don’t try to chase the robber. Ask a friend to accompany you to the ATM. An attacker is more likely to target you when you are alone and not when you are with a friend or in a group.

girl travelling in a metro

7. Public Transport

If you commute by public bus or metro, know the schedule beforehand to minimize your wait time at the bus stop or metro station. Avoid isolated bus stops or dark platforms and catch your bus or metro from a well-lit and crowded spot. Pay attention to other passengers who get off the bus or metro with you. Always keep spare cash for emergencies in case you have to hire a cab.

While hiring an auto rickshaw or a cab, make sure the driver is alone and no one else is inside the vehicle. Take a picture of the number plate and send it to a friend before you board it. Some drivers may not like it but you are within your rights to take the picture of the number plate. Take another vehicle if he continues to resist. You don’t have to be nice always, especially when your safety is at stake.

If you have to work late hours then in all likelihood your company will provide transportation for you. Make sure the cab driver and the transport department is strictly adhering to the guidelines set for them about the safety of women employees. If you notice any violation of the rules, report it immediately to the management. Keep your conversation with the driver to a minimum.

8. Set Personal Space and Let Others Know About It

If you feel someone is making advances that you don’t approve of, be assertive and let that person know it. It’s ok to hurt someone because you can’t be nice and enforce your boundaries at the same time. A few moments of awkwardness is far better than inviting a danger. You have no obligation whatsoever to respond to someone’s feelings positively.

9. Dealing with Strangers

Use discretion when engaging in a conversation with a stranger. We are not saying you shouldn’t talk to strangers at all because we get to know people and make new friends only when we initiate or encourage a conversation with someone for the first time, but make sure you are not compromising your safety while doing so. Withdraw from an unsolicited conversation if you have the slightest of doubt about the intention of the person.

Women Aware of her surrounding

10. Awareness

The more you are aware of your surroundings, the less likely you are to be a victim. At least pretend to know your surroundings and walk purposefully. Don’t appear to be lost. Miscreants don’t think twice before attacking someone who appears vulnerable and confused. It’s a basic human trait. Stay alert and avoid using a headphone or a mobile phone that can distract you. However, keep your mobile phone ready to make a call in case of an emergency. Include the number of your friend on your speed dial list who is easily reachable.

We don’t want a situation where we will be involved in a physical confrontation with a criminal and try to avoid that as much as possible. Fighting back is the last resort, but if it comes to that, remember, it’s your right to fight yourself out of the situation.

11. Self-defense Classes

A real life situation is entirely different from a classroom scenario. So, if you are taking self-defense classes, then ask your instructor to prepare yourself for situations you are taking the classes for.   Target the eyes of the attacker, if you get into a physical confrontation with the attacker, because eyes are the most vulnerable spots in a human body followed by throat and groin. Your goal should be to escape when you fight your attacker. Don’t try to win the fight when you are up against someone bigger than you. You will only exhaust yourself and may lose the chance to flee the spot.

12. Pepper Spray

Pepper spray has been widely used as a tool for self-defense; however, reports suggest that it is not as effective as many would like to believe, and it doesn’t work on everyone. Moreover, you may waste precious time while searching for it in your handbag while the attacker is in front of you who will not wait for you to find it. However, keep it in your bag as it can be useful in certain situations but don’t rely on it entirely. Also if you are carrying any other weapon for self-defense, make sure you know how to use it otherwise the attacker may use it against you.

Girl waiting for taxi

13. Do Not Get in a Vehicle With a Stranger

If someone persuades you to get in the vehicle, refuse it straight away, and if the situation is worse and the person forces you to do so, then run away to a safer location. If an attacker manages to take you to a deserted place, you will have less chance to come out of the situation than you will have at the primary location.

If you come out of a store or a theater late in the night and you have your car parked in the parking area, don’t be shy to ask an attendant or an employee to escort you to your car.

14. Trust Your Guts

If you feel something is wrong about a place or a situation, get out of it immediately. There could be reasons why you are frightened about a place, a situation, or a person. You don’t feel in a certain way without a source that triggers the feeling. It could just be a case of misconstrued suspicion, or you may just save yourself from a dreadful situation by following your instincts.

A lot of emphases has been placed on women safety over the past few years. Activists have been demanding answers from the authorities while the government has been trying hard to implement their policies to ensure a safe and secure environment for women. So while that happens, let us take care of our own safety because, at the end of the day, it’s women who have to handle the situation. And it’s an entirely different ball game for those who face the problem and those who empathize with them, and the latter may not understand how crucial it is to avoid a potentially threatening situation rather than fighting it.

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