Personal Safety Tips | Crime
By Greg Norred, CEO, Norred & Associates
Over the course of your life, the chances of being the victim of a crime are at least one in three, higher if you live in a large city, and higher still if you’re a woman. The criminal’s objective is to maximize gain and minimize risk, and he’ll usually pick the easiest target with the most to offer. Given these odds, it pays to take precautions by following some basic safety rules:
1. Don’t be the easiest target with the most stuff. Travel in pairs whenever possible, stay in shape, consider self-defense classes, and wear flat shoes so you can easily run or fend off an attacker. Be conscious of your appearance; leave your expensive watch and glitzy jewelry at home when you go to the store. If you have a choice, drive an older car instead of a late model or luxury vehicle. Would-be criminals may choose a more promising target if you look like you don’t have much worth taking.
2. Monitor your surroundings. You could be as much at risk in the grocery store or office building parking lot or a public restroom as in a parking garage late at night. Keep your eyes on what’s happening around you instead of talking on your phone or texting.
3. Be prepared. Have your keys in hand when you approach the car; keep a can of mace in your bag and carry it, too, if you have a free hand.
4. Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable about a person or situation, pay attention; these gut feelings are usually on target.
5. Always give up your valuables. Be cooperative in surrendering your wallet, phone, etc., but no matter what, never agree to get into a car with your attacker or any stranger. Letting someone harm or take your children is not negotiable.
6. Set boundaries. If you’re being followed, whether by a stranger or someone you know, point your finger, scream, and tell him to back off. This signals that you won’t be an easy target and may deter the attacker.
7. Sound the alarm. Scream or blow a whistle. If your attacker thinks help is on the way, he may leave. Plus, someone may come to your aid.
8. Always give up your valuables. If you're attacked, always run and scream to draw attention. If you can't run and are being assaulted and have no other choice but to fight, use any weapon at your disposal...keys, fingernail file, fingernails, ink pen. Attack vulnerable areas such as eyes, throat, groin. Remember, you don't necessarily have to win the fight, you just have to be too much trouble and not an easy target.