Taleema Talks: Top Tips for Holiday Shopping Safety
Have you ever had that uneasy feeling while walking alone or felt as if someone was following you? Would you know what to do if an attacker ever approached you? Unfortunately, the world we live in is full of violent predators and we as women have to be informed on how to stay safe and protect ourselves. There is some very important information I would like to share in order to help all my fellow women stay safe, not just during the holidays, but for life.
The busiest shopping season of the year has arrived, as you are out and about getting gifts and attending holiday parties there is an important fact you should know – 1.9 million women are assaulted every year in the U.S. I share this not to scare you, but to help bring awareness so you can lessen the chance of becoming a victim.
Predators are out searching and waiting for women who may be timid, intoxicated, weighed down with objects, preoccupied or alone. Ladies while out shopping please remember to get your keys out before exiting the store, park in well lite areas, shop with a partner(if possible), keep your eyes open and stay alert.
When you are alone the number one advice given is to be AWARE!!!
We must be Aware of our surroundings, people, cars, alley ways, and empty/vacant buildings. Keep the headphones in your pocketbook and stay off your cell phone. Cell phones and music are major distractions and predators are looking for easy targets.
A few safety tips:
- Walk with confidence ( stand tall, shoulders back)
- Make eye contact
- Carry pepper spray
- Keep hands as free as possible
- Let love ones know your whereabouts/agenda
If you find yourself in a shady situation TRUST your GUT!!
Many predators will ask seemingly harmless questions. Set boundaries, if they move into your personal space take a step back and put your hands in front of you (establishing a clear boundary). Answer questions as quickly as possible while using a strong and confident voice (Call the attacker Sir, in hopes he may think you are in law enforcement or the military).
Maintaining eye contact is crucial- you’re looking for any identifying markers (scars, tattoos, height, ethnicity, clothes, and eye/hair color). Most predators want easy prey, so if attacked it is imperative that you FIGHT back!! The strongest weapons for us to use as women are our elbows and knees. Aim for sensitive body parts (eyes, nose, temple, throat and groin), scream/yell for help and then RUN. Under NO circumstance should you go to a second location (the intent is not for you to survive). If you are attacked in your car and are forced to drive, (drive erratic or crash), if put in the trunk (kick out the tail light and stick your hand out and vigorously wave).
I implore you to share this information with any women you care about (mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, aunt or friend) you never know-it could save a life. Awareness can be the difference in making it home safe, fighting for your life or possibly losing your life.
“Alert today, alive tomorrow.”