We’ve all seen it on our timelines: Numerous missing persons, an abduction at a gas station, lifeless bodies found on roads. These are scary times we’re living in. Just because these cases might have happened miles away from your city doesn’t mean it’s not possible in yours. That’s why we have to stay vigilant at all times and remind our loved ones too. Here are a few helpful tips you can do to keep safe and ward off a potential attacker.
Equip yourself with self-defense items
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Danger is everywhere, it’s better to be prepared. Local stores like Stay Safe offer self-defense keychains that equip you with items like no-touch tools, pepper sprays, discreet taser guns, key knives, whistles, and more. If you don’t have the means to purchase self-defense items, you can always DIY them. For example, you can take keys and hold them between your fingers to form a sort of spike that will hurt your attacker when you punch them. Or you could make your own pepper spray with just three household items.
Avoid walking home alone at night
If you’re coming home late, ask your partner or a family member to pick you up, especially if the location is far from home. If that’s not possible, you can always ask a friend to drop you off somewhere along the way. But if you have no choice but to walk home alone, choose streets with enough lighting or go through crowded areas so you’re not totally by yourself.
Always let someone know your whereabouts
If you’re taking ride-hailing services, make sure you send the tracking link to your friends or family. You can also take a photo of the plate number of the taxi, UV Express, or other means of transportation you’re taking. On Facebook Messenger, you can even turn on your location sharing so people know exactly where you are. Remember, it’s not “OA” to document these things — it’s for your safety.
Keep an eye on your surroundings
Being distracted gives abductors and criminals the advantage. Put your earphones away while you’re walking the streets and don’t use your phone. Be vigilant and don’t let your guard down. Walking with a confident posture and being aware of your surroundings will also help thwart an assailant’s plan, especially if they see you’re aware of them.
Study basic self-defense
You don’t have to be an expert in martial arts, you just have to know basic self-defense moves. Besides, self-defense is meant to buy you time to get away and not for a prolonged close combat fight. Memorize the weakest points in a human body: eyes, nose, neck, groin, shin, etc. Use your elbows, heel, or legs to strike as hard as you can. And when all else fails, remember that you’ve got teeth and you can bite.
Don’t just shout for help, shout out information
Remember that one scene from Taken (2008) where Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) instructed his daughter to shout out any information about her kidnappers? It eventually helped Brian track them down. If you ever find yourself in the same situation (or about to be assaulted by an unknown assailant), focus and shout out any identifier — hair color, tattoo, built, attire, height, car color, plate number. Hopefully, it’s going to be a big help in the future.
Leave your things behind
If an attacker grabs your bag, your jacket, or gets any item of yours, leave it. Run away. These material possessions are not worth risking your life for. If that’s what they’re after, then they’re not going to chase you. But if they’re after you, you just bought yourself a few precious seconds to escape while they’re preoccupied with your things.
And finally, trust your gut
Instinct is a funny thing. Sometimes you can’t explain it but it could save your life. Once you feel like that stranger on the jeepney gives off weird vibes or that guy has been walking behind you for a few blocks now, act on it. Go to a safe and public place where more people are more likely to help you. Get out of the car. You will never regret trusting your gut.
Stay safe out there!