The first thing that mostly came up in peoples mind when they hear ‘’Personal Safety’’ is martial arts or firearms training. By being a Close Protection Operative the last 10 years I had the chance to attend in many training courses available to improve my skills. The conclusion I came up with is that preparation and prevention can be your number one tip for your personal safety.
We know that only in some cases women are ultimately stronger than a man. Yes, there are examples of men being weaker, but generally speaking, I will say this is not the case. So, the aim is to help women think differently and a bit more strategically. We don’t have to learn to beat someone down, we have to learn where we should be, or what we should do so we don’t end up in a situation where violence is likely to occur. We have to learn to speak up when you are not comfortable –being vocal will scare the daylights out of a perpetrator.
We should not accept our environment, rather, we should shape it and learn where we should be and where we should not. We can take control just through our posture and by thinking, “I won’t be a victim,” and then not allowing it to happen. I would also like for people to consider what kind of environment they do want and then go out and seek such.
No one can offer you a 100% safe environment, someone can attack you because he has the opportunity to do it. By being trained and self warned you get this opportunity from him to attack you. According to statistics more than 2/3 of the attacks against women could be prevent if they were trained in simply and basic self defence tips.
As women, we have a strong feeling of intuition, something that always alert us or make us feel that there is something wrong with, use it! Think in advance what actions you could take that would provide you more safety. While you are driving, shopping, being at home, clubbing etc.
This time I will take the opportunity to share with you some simple tips that you can use when travelling, tips that every one of you can follow.
-Make an online research over the last criminal incidents on the area you are going to visit.
-Make some copies of your ID, Driving License, Flight details, hotel you are staying and give them to someone you only trust and you know he/she can act calmlyy if anything happened, at least it will be someone who can give full details for your trip to the authorities.
-Choose a hotel room that is closer to emergency exit. Even if a fire occurs wouldn’t you prefer to be closer to the exit? Make sure your room is locked during all time you are inside.
-Get yourself a map of the area you are visiting and mark on it ‘’Safe Places’’, those places can be Hospitals, Police Stations, generally places that have crowd and are guarded. If anything happen run there to ask for help.
-Use a money belt, to secure your passport, ID, credit cards and money. Keep only a small amount on your pockets or wallet only.
-Sometimes it can be difficult, but try not to attract the attention. As a traveller is better to blend with others instead of putting a mark on you that will say ‘’new in town I have no idea’’.
-Be aware of people who approach you to get information, make questions, accidentally fall on you etc. In most cases they may be pickpockets trying to get a chance to reach your pocket.
-If you are going to visit a club and someone offer you a drink, prefer something that can be in a bottle and opened in front of your eyes. Keep your drink always attention so make sure no one put anything in it. If you have to leave it for a while, order another drink when you come back.
At the beginning, keeping those tips in mind can be difficult or makes you tired, but remember as long as you follow those steps in your daily life those will be automatically thoughts later and you will follow them without even thinking of it as your brain will adopt them.
Founder, Athena Worldwide, LLC
Female Protective Services, Training & Consulting