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Personal Safety Tips

Updated on September 25, 2016

Practical footwear can come in very handy when delivering a kick where it is needed most

A few tips to help you stay safe in todays warped world

Not many people like to think about bad situations or how to defend themselves should these situations arise, but these days, it's extremely important for a person to know how to look after themselves as much as possible, especially when it comes to physical confrontations. Women are especially vulnerable in such situations, because many attackers tend to view them as soft targets, owing to the fact that they often do not know how to fight back.

Virtually any object can be used as a weapon if you are prepared in advance. Car or house keys can be an especially effective weapon if you do not have anything else at hand. High heeled shoes, or even your old faithful walking/running shoes will do the job as well. Ladies, even that handbag that weighs more than a weeks worth of groceries, can be used as a very effective weapon.

99% of the time, your most effective form of defence is awareness. Awareness of your surroundings, and awareness of who is around you at all times. Always walk with an air of confidence, and keep looking around you, to make sure that you are aware of what is happening around you. Attackers tend to target those who appear vulnerable, as they know that they will inevitably be able to get away with it.

Pepper spray is also extremely effective, but there are a few precautions to consider when using it. Never ever use it if the wind is blowing towards you, as this will end up disarming you more than your attacker, and they will then be able to gain the upper hand in the situation very easily.

If your attacker is facing you, and you use it, always try to take a step or two back after spraying, to prevent it from affecting you as well, so that you will be able to make a fast getaway. Always remember that the main aim of fighting back or defending yourself, is to put as much distance between you and your attacker(s) as possible, and not to stick around to see if they will recover. Once you have managed to get them to release their grip on you, run.

If you are taken by surprise and grabbed from behind, and your arms have been pinned to your sides, or they have taken hold of your wrists, always remember that your feet can be an extremely effective weapon as well. Kick wildly until you make contact with their legs, knees and shins.

This will give an almost 100% guarantee that they will let go of you, as these moves can cause serious pain, especially when they are unexpected. A hard enough kick to the knee can actually dislocate their kneecap, which will definitely guarantee that you will be able to get away. Should you be wearing high heeled shoes, do your best to scrape the heel down along their shin or jab it down into their foot as hard as possible.

Should they make an attempt to grab you in a choke hold from the front, try to take a step forward, lift your knee and use it where it hurts the most. Once they release their grip on your neck, give another well aimed kick to the groin, and run. Another very effective move in such a situation is (if they are standing close enough to you), to take your index fingers and jab them into their throat area, which will also cause them to release their grip on your throat. If you still have your keys in hand, these will work as well.

If your attacker has your wrists gripped from behind, you may also have enough leverage to headbutt them sharply on the collarbone, as this will cause them a lot of pain. Although, if you are tall enough, this move will also work if you headbutt and you happen to hit their nose. This will at best, cause a broken nose, which will also give you the opportunity to get away and put as much distance between you and them as possible. Should he make an attempt to hand gag you, bite his hand as hard as possible (gross, yes, but getting away with your life is a little more important than being grossed out for a few seconds).

Always remember though, that your safety is the most important in any confrontational situation. If you can initially avoid becoming involved in such a situation, this will be your best course of action. But, should you be unfortunate enough to not be able to avoid it, then you will need to act fast, as well as responsibly.

If your attacker happens to be armed, it is not always wise to try to fight back, unless you are 100% sure that you will be able to get the better of him. Should you be able to disarm your attacker, always make sure that you keep a hold of the weapon while running away from them.

These tips may not be rocket science, but they should at least help you to an extent, should you find yourself in an unsavoury situation.

Always be aware of your surroundings. Store front windows can often come in very handy for this purpose as illustrated here


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    • Shona Venter profile imageAUTHOR

      Shona Venter 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you hypnodude. I shall make a plan regarding pictures, as I am a sideline photographer as well :-)

    • hypnodude profile image


      8 years ago from Italy

      Very good article with many good tips, especially the one on awareness. If I can add a little advice, which has been given to me when I begun writing here, adding some pictures would make it even better. :)

      Rated up, useful and stumbled. :)

    • Shona Venter profile imageAUTHOR

      Shona Venter 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks a stack, Chris. I've only recently started writing as well, and find it to be a great outlet for my creativity.

      These days, it is even more so important for us women to be able to look after ourselves, owing to the fact that many of us are unattached or have no permanent SO in our lives.

    • christalluna1124 profile image


      8 years ago from Dallas Texas


      Again congrats' on a well written and important article. I live in a rough area and being in a wheelchair now I often worry if I have to go out, thought thank God its not often.Even though I was swat team trained when I worked in the department of corrections I can no longer defend myself physically like I could before. I am able to purchase mace with my officers license, and since a person would have bend down to harm me the keys as you stated are great eye gougers. Also I never let anyone walk behind me. I will always cross to the other side of the street. I also wear a alarm that is super loud. This was a great hub. I will watch for new ones from you as you are very talented.

      Warmest regards,



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