According to U.N. Women, it is estimated that 1 in 3 women will experience physical and/or sexual violence committed by an intimate partner or non-intimate partner in their lifetime. Data from this source explains that women who have experienced this type of trauma in their lives, also experience higher rates of depression and other life-altering illnesses compared to individuals who have not.
As professionals working in the security industry, we understand the importance of having awareness and a plan of action when we are out and about. However, not everyone is familiar with the potential dangers we may come face-to-face with in our daily lives.
To help women feel empowered and prepared for whatever life may throw their way, we have created the five-point safety plan listed below.
Top Five Safety Tips for Women
1) Have a Plan
When you are going out, whether it be alone or with a group of friends, it is best to have a plan in place. Knowing your surroundings, such as who and what is in the immediate area, is one of the most crucial safety tips to remember. Making a habit to pay attention to what is going on around you will help you become more aware of your environment. In addition, as an extra level of precaution, let someone outside of your group know your whereabouts and what you have planned for the day/evening.
2) Ping Your Location
Smartphones are not only a great tool for taking photos, sending messages, and sharing news, but they can also be lifesavers. Most smartphones have a great emergency feature that allows users to ping their location to anyone in their contact list. This feature is easy to setup and will draw attention to the user should they find themselves in an unsafe situation.
3) Tools for Self-Defense
When it comes to selecting a self-defense device, it is important to choose one you feel most comfortable carrying. Items such as pepper spray, a safety whistle, and a mini flashlight, are great options to have on hand when going out. Each of these tools can also be easily clipped to a purse or keychain for quick access! This YouTube video from Tech Insider and Gabrielle Rubin of the femaleawareness.com has a list of self-defense tools you should carry and how to use them.
4) Create Boundaries
Regardless if you are out alone or with a group of friends, if you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe with someone’s attention toward you, do not be afraid to put distance between yourself and the individual. There is nothing rude about protecting yourself in a potentially unsafe situation. At the end of the day, always remember to follow your gut!
5) Power Up
Turn safety into fun and try a class in self-defense! We never want to think the worst could happen. However, in terms of learning to protect oneself in a potentially dangerous situation, being equipped physically and mentally to handle those scenarios is key.
In addition to these five tips, we recommend doing some research on the location that you will be going to. Becoming familiar with the risks that you may encounter during a jog in the park, attending a concert or studying late on campus will help you create a better plan and carry the right tools to defend yourself.
Going to a crowded venue? Read our blog on safety tips for large crowds.
Safety Tips for Women Living Alone
- Avoid oversharing on social media. Posting your location, travel plans and details about your home layout on social media can make it easy for people to know exactly how and when to break into your home.
- Tell someone you got home safe. Tell a friend or family member to expect a text message from you when you get home and what to do if they don’t hear from you.
- Mind your garbage. Don’t leave boxes from expensive TVs or speakers immediately outside your home. This can make your home a target for thieves.
- Get to know your neighbors. Knowing who is around you will help you know when unusual behavior is happening and build a community.
- Use technology. Smart doorbells, security cameras and motion detectors can help secure your home and deter potential thieves.
Safety Tips for Women Driving Alone
- Don’t let vehicle maintenance slide. Roadside breakdowns can occur when you least expect it. Changing your oil regularly, making sure your tires are in good shape, and keeping the battery up to par are minor maintenance checks that will help to prevent your vehicle from breaking down in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
- GPS is your friend. If you do get lost, use your car or smartphone navigation system to guide you back to a main road. Remember to keep your car doors locked at all times, even if you feel like there is no immediate danger.
- Update your friends or family. Let your friends or family know where you’re going and that you’ll be alone. Giving them updates along the way will give the both of you peace of mind.
- Remain calm. If you sense that you’re being followed do your best not to panic. Continue driving at a safe speed and make your way to a busier area if you’re in a more remote location.
It is everyone’s right to feel safe and empowered in all aspects of their lives. For women, it is especially important for them to know they have the ability to protect themselves.
Share these five safety tips with your friends and family so that we can change the statistic to 0 in 3 women.
Learn more about the women at PalAmerican who are changing the face of security in our Women in Security blogs.