Top 5 Tips for Womens Personal Safety

Have you ever felt like someone was following you?
Have you ever felt like someone was following you?

Are We Naïve?

I would like to give women some tips on a few things you can do to make yourself safer when you go out. Some of this information has come to me from safety specialist and law enforcement officials. Some of this information comes from personal experience. Fathers, brothers, husbands and sons as well as ourselves should review these tips on womens personal safety.

Being the age I am, 50 plus, I have learned a lot from life. There is one thing that I continue to see that really frightens me. That is the naivety of most women regarding their personal safety. Ladies, please don't be offended. We, as women, think more with our hearts than our heads sometimes. We tend to presume that most people are good at heart and mean us no harm. This is not always true. Sometimes we put ourselves in dangerous situations without realizing it.


The Numbers

Crime against women is on the rise. Approximately 2 million women are assaulted in the United States each year. Approximately 1 in 6 women have reported either an attempted or a completed sexual attack. These numbers are only the ones that have been reported. Most women do not report sexual abuse, either because they are afraid or they are ashamed that they "let" it happen. Most sexual assaults are not by "strangers", but by people we already know.


Personal Short Story

A short story from a personal experience that taught me to think before I act!

I spent about 15 minutes in a dimly lit warehouse, alone, with a serial rapist! Fifteen minutes may not sound like much time, but it can take less time than that for an assault to occur. I will keep this short. I was to meet a friend of mine at a warehouse he owned where he stored merchandise for his business. I arrived about 15 minutes too early and found that my friend was not there yet. There was one person still there, a young man in his mid-twenties, I will call him Sam. Sam seemed very nice, he didn’t give me the “creeps” or anything. I had not met him before, but he seemed like a very nice guy. He offered to stay with me until my friend arrived. I should have “thought” right here and said “No thanks, I will just come back by in a little while”. But no, I agreed and like an idiot, went into the warehouse with him.

The warehouse was rather small and dimly lit. The only light that was there was from the windows and I didn’t see any light switches. I still didn’t have a bad feeling about anything, so we chit chatted for a while and he began walking towards the back of the warehouse. Then he asked if I wanted a soda from the machine in the back. Ok, my brain finally started working and I realized I did not want to go to the back of this warehouse with him. I told him that I really didn’t want anything to drink, but he kept insisting. I finally agreed but told him that I really didn’t like being in dark places, and asked if he would mind going to get it for me. He kind of laughed at me and said he would be right back. Of course at that moment, I went back outside and went to my car. When he came back out, he acted a little mift at me, but I really didn’t care. By this time my friend arrives and Sam says his good-byes and leaves. I didn't think any more about it.

Now it is about 3 weeks later and I get a phone call from my friend telling me that the police has arrested Sam the night before just as he was breaking into a house and about to rape his 13th victim! He would stalk single women and find out where they lived. Later at night he would break in to their homes, tie them up with their bras or stockings and rape them. They had labeled him the “Northside Rapist”! OMG!!! Luckily, I didn’t live in town, if he had tried to follow me home, he would have had to drive almost 2 hours, I guess he thought I wasn’t worth it! Thank God!

Nothing bad happened to me that day, but, I had allowed myself to be put in a very dangerous situation. Ladies, we need to think about what we are doing or where we are going. Below are some things for you to think about and some safety tips on what you can do to help keep yourself safer.


Pay Attention

One of the most important things you can do is to pay attention to your surroundings! If you are in the parking lot walking to your car, keep your head up and look around. Don't be distracted by talking on your cell phone. You don't want to look like an "easy mark". Most women that are attacked in parking lots are not paying attention to their surroundings and do not see their attackers until it is too late. Think about this, if you were a predator, whom would you choose to attack? Would it be the woman that is walking at a brisk pace and paying attention to her surroundings or the woman who is not paying attention and talking on her cell phone?


Parking Lots

If a man approaches you in a parking lot, continue walking until you are either around other people or out in the open. If you have bags in your hand, be prepared to drop them. Better yet, put your bags in a buggy if possible to keep your hands free. Have your keys already in your hand. Be prepared to get into your car quickly, you don't want to be digging in your purse for your keys and let someone walk up behind you. Keep in mind that you can use your keys as a weapon if you need to. Go for the eyes and the throat. Carry a small can of pepper spray on your key chain. If you have an alarm button on your key, use it if necessary. It will attract attention to you.


Before you get in your car, look around. Is there anyone just "hanging around" near you? Is there a van parked next to you with someone inside? If so, keep going. Most women are attacked just as they are getting into their car. Get in your car quickly and once inside your vehicle, immediately lock the doors and be on your way. My best friend was attacked just as she was getting in her car one day in the Wal-Mart parking lot. A man grabbed her door just as she was closing it. Luckily he did not have a good grasp and she was able to close the door, lock it and started honking her horn. He ran away and she drove off and called the police.


Experts say that women tend to be sympathetic and want to help. Statistics have shown that serial killers tend to play on the sympathies of woman and lure them into dangerous situations. Sure you want to help someone in need, but be smart about it. If a man approaches you asking for help, be courteous but keep walking. Tell the person, as you are walking away, that you are going to get help. You can always use your cell phone to call for help from a safe location or find someone else to go back with you. It is very rare that a man is going to ask a woman for help. (It's just a man thing.)


Back Roads

If anyone attempts to stop you on a back road, don't stop, be sure your doors are locked and keep going! If they attempt to block your way, back up and keep going. You can call the authorities and let them know that someone needs help at that location. Ladies, never stop for anyone on a back road! Many criminals have been known to use another woman to lure their victim into stopping, while they are waiting where they can't be seen. Criminals have even used children to get you to stop. If someone appears to be injured, you can pull farther up the road and call for help, but don't get out of your car or turn off the engine. If that person begins coming towards you, keep moving forward. Do not let that person get close to you!


Stairwells and Elevators

Take the elevator instead of the stairs if you are alone. Many assaults on women happen in stairwells, especially at night. They may be lying in wait for an unsuspecting woman to come down the stairs and grab you or your purse. When you get on the elevator by yourself, stand directly in front of the door. If you have an uneasy feeling, you can get off quickly. Don't get caught in the back corner of a crowded elevator. That is a very easy place for some creep to get a quick hand some place that it doesn't belong!


Listen to Your Inner Voice

Listen to your inner voice. If for some reason you do get that uneasy feeling, there is probably a good reason for it. You don't have to overreact, just get out of the situation as quickly as possible. I can look back on several "close calls" that I have had in my life and I realize that I had that uneasy feeling and almost waited to long to do something about it. Luckily, I was able to stay in control of the situation and walk away. Now that I have said that, don't depend on that uneasy feeling to warn you that something is not right. Don't put yourself in a dangerous situation to start with. Think about where you are going and what you are doing first.

Mothers, tell your daughters. Brothers, tell your sisters. I know, they are going to tell you that you are just paranoid, but tell them anyway! It's so important for their safety. It is always better to be safe than sorry.


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Comments 28 comments

Chris 2 years ago

If you are in a group with ANY unfamiliar people it is also a good idea to stay sober so if the situation becomes uncomfortable you can exit. There's nothing worse than feeling threatened and being too stoned or drubk to leave the situation.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Thank you Au fait! I agree, we must be responsible for our own safety. We don't need to be paranoid, but we do need to be smart about our safety. There are some really evil people in this world and we don't want to make ourselves "easy targets" for them. Thank you for your wonderful comment, vote and share! Have a wonderful day, my friend! :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

So much good advice! Agree with everything you've said and would even go further. I believe we are all responsible to the extent we're able, to keep ourselves safe. That doesn't mean we are responsible for the terrible things other people do. Everyone is always responsible for their own actions and deeds, but I do think we should do our best to keep ourselves safe. Excellent hub and every woman and the men who care about women should read this. Voted up and useful. Will share!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello again GlstngRosePetals! Sometimes we women just need to pay a little more attention to what is going on around us and think of the possible consequenses. It is good to keep a cool head and remove ourselves from dangerous situations. Thank you for your comment and votes, it is always appreciated! :)


GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 4 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

This is some great advice. I agree we do need to stay alert and not panic but stay focused and remove ourselves from the situation before it is able to happen. Voted up!!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Time Traveler2! Hopefully my article will help someone to avoid a bad experience. I have had several in my lifetime and have learned from each one. I always tell my daughter, learn from others mistakes, don't wait to make your own. Thank you for your kind comment and vote. It is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

This one really hit home with me because I, too, have had some bad experiences in my life. Your advice is wonderful, and I hope every woman has the chance to read what you wrote. Voted up and awesome!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Alecia! For some reason, I have had several "close calls". I guess being single and living by myself for years before I married, didn't help matters. What a wonderful gift your aunt gave you! It's obvious she loves you very much! I am sure it is very comforting to know what to look out for and can protect yourself more than most people. Thank you for stopping in and your wonderful comment. It is always appreciated. Have a safe and wonderful day! :)


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I know that one experience probably changed your life for the better. Sometimes you don't know what you're doing is wrong until something like that happens. Fortunately, I haven't had an experience of being terrorized or threatened and I don't plan to either.

One of the best gifts I got was a series of self-defense classes my aunt gave me before college. I had a really great instructor (my cousin) who was helpful and knowledgeable. While scary incidents did happen at school, it was also comforting to know I knew what to look out for and how to protect myself. Great hub!


Nicole S profile image

Nicole S 4 years ago from Minnesota

Great tips here! You can never be too safe, and I agree, we need to keep our wits sharp and our eyes open. Very useful hub!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Blond Logic. I am so sorry to hear that you were robbed by armed men! That would really be scary! I am glad you and your family are safe. People don't realize how close they come to danger everyday. I just never hurts to be a little cautious. Thank you for commenting and your vote, it is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Peggy! I don't want anyone to be paranoid, but we, as woman, need to be a little careful. Going with someone else is always a good idea. Thank you for your comment and share! I appreciate you! Have a safe day! :)


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

A Black man in a hoodie! This is the opening of a can of worms. This picture could bring in some traffic. I am a beginning senior citizen, and I have warm-up suits with hoods, and I have single hoodies. I have not worn them since . . . . because I didn't want anyone to think that I was a thug. Crazy! I was thinking about trashing them, but a part of me said, "Wait a while." Mixed feelings . . . .

On subject: You said, "Being the age I am, 50 plus, I have learned a lot from life. There is one thing that I continue to see that really frightens me. That is the naivety of most women regarding their personal safety. Ladies, please don't be offended. We, as women, think more with our hearts than our heads sometimes. We tend to presume that most people are good at heart and mean us no harm. This is not always true. Sometimes we put ourselves in dangerous situations without realizing it."

On target and worth repeating and sharing! Many White women think that they are safe with all White men because some crime statistics report higher incidents among Black men. I would feel safer with the group with lower incidents, too, but there are criminals in every group.

I worked in a nursing home once, and my superviser said in a training session on avoiding the hazards of diseases, "Treat every patient as if they have AIDS." That message was very clear and can be applied to many things in life.

What a worthwhile and fantastic article! It will. no doubt, save lives. Thanks for sharing, and I will share, too.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 4 years ago from Brazil

This is good information. I think as an American I am more suspicious than others I have met. Perhaps this is down to media hype or self preservation but it has served me well.

After living in England for many years, I think I had become complacent until we were robbed here in our home by armed men. Living as a victim is awful. If we are robbed or accosted again, the result will be different.

Definitely tell not just daughters but sons as well. Everyone deserves to be safe.

Thanks for sharing,

Voted up and useful.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is advice that everyone should know. As you say, better to be safe than sorry. Another tip is to go shopping with someone else if at all possible. Solitary targets are easier for predators than when in groups. I know it is not always possible, thus the other precautions become even more necessary. Voted up, useful and sharing with my followers.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Same here, MelbourneTrades, have a wonderful day! :)


MelbourneTrades profile image

MelbourneTrades 4 years ago from Melbourne

=)

Cheers been good chatting


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello MelbourneTrades. It was not my intention to portray all males as a potential threat. I apologize if that is the way it came across to you. You are correct, most sexual assaults occur from people he victim knows. My point was that more women are assaulted, and not just sexually, than men. Women just need to pay more attention and not walk around with their "head in the sand", sort of speak. Thank you for commenting back, so I could clarify. :)


MelbourneTrades profile image

MelbourneTrades 4 years ago from Melbourne

I Don't Know if you got my point, Majority of male's are not a potential threat. One thing I find that works is to make a phone call or even cross the street. If your talking about safety it should involve risk assessment. Not, Every male is a Predator waiting for an opportunity to arise. Maybe it is different in the states. From the stats most assault's happen from people the individual know's. I Respect your opinion but it's incorrect


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

I'm sorry, but if they are smart, you cannot. If a woman does not know you, walking late at night, and she is alone, she should be wary. Perhaps, dont' try to get "close" to her and if she does want to talk to you, ask to go to a place where there are other people around.


MelbourneTrades profile image

MelbourneTrades 4 years ago from Melbourne

Just From previous experience, I am sure I have scared woman in the past walking in the city late at night. I'm certainly no threat to anyone, But I can tell that they feel uncomfortable. How does a male ease the mind of a woman?


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello MelbourneTrades. I don't think you can be too cautious. I also think the numbers speak for themselves. I'm not saying you need to be walk around paranoid all the time, just use good common sense. I appreciate your opinion and your comment. I hope you have a great day. :)


MelbourneTrades profile image

MelbourneTrades 4 years ago from Melbourne

In Australia I don't think assualts are not as common as the state's. Are you sure your experience is not just a freak occurrence? Are you being to cautious or safe ?


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Flickr. It is very important for us ladies to pay attention to our surroundings. Thank you for visiting and commenting on my hub, it is always appreciated. Have a wonderful day! :)


Flickr 4 years ago

krav mega ladies, it's very easy and effective self defense and a great work out. Very nice hub.


SaferDates profile image

SaferDates 4 years ago

Excellent safety tips here. As always awareness of your surroundings is the key to your personal safety.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Thank you for your vote up Brett! It is really scary when you look back on your life and realize just how many times you have put yourself in a dangerous situation with out realizing it. I feel honored that you are sending to your daughter to read. Thank you! :)


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 4 years ago from US

Wow ... what a scary experience you had! You give good advice here. I totally agree about paying attention, and listening to your inner voice. I am so glad you were kept safe! I'm going to send this to my daughter to read. Voted up.

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