Everyday Situations That Can Be Dangerous For Women
When are the times women feel afraid for their safety? Well, as a woman I know that to some degree, we’re always afraid for it. But just speaking of the times we are on high alert, it may be when we do things like meet a stranger that we met online in person for a date (something millennials do all of the time), or when we go to a crowded place like an airport or concert where attacks often occur. But we can be targets when we’re just running errands and going about the tasks that we do every day. In fact, attackers know that the best time to attack is when people are in a seemingly everyday, normal situation—a time they never think something would happen. As a woman, it’s especially important to be aware of these dangerous situations that can happen any day, and how to get out of them.
Leave space when driving
Even if you get impatient while driving, always leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you, especially in congested areas where you aren’t driving very fast. These are the kinds of places a carjacker may attempt to get into your car, or pull you out of it. You must leave space in front of you so you can quickly pull away and drive off if you see someone approaching.
When a cop pulls you over
Should a cop put on his sirens and try to pull you over at night, on a deserted road, or a combination of both such scenarios, you have the right to wait until you see an off-ramp, and pull over in a well-lit area where there are other people. There have been incidents of attackers posing as police to make their attacks.
Wait for a more crowded bathroom
When you’re on the road for a while and nature calls, don’t stop at the very first bathroom you find. It’s not a good idea to use the toilet at an abandoned truck stop, or even the outdoor restrooms at a gas station when nearly nobody is around. Attackers can make their moves in these places. Wait until you can use the restroom in a more crowded place.
When closing up shop alone
If you own, manage, or work at a business where you’re often alone at night closing up shop, lock the doors when you do so. Make sure to lock the front and back door. If it isn’t your business, and the place is meant to stay open late, ask the owner if you may lock the door, but leave the “Open” sign up, so you have the power to keep anyone out who looks threatening.
Travel with a door wedge
If you’re traveling alone, bring a door wedge as hotels may not always provide one. If you’re staying at an AirBnb, you almost certainly won’t find one there. A door wedge can be very effective at keeping someone out who is trying to break down the door. It can give you those few extra moments to call for help or escape through a back door.
Beware of when you use the ATM
Funny enough, many of us prefer to wait until the ATM area has cleared in order to use it. But if you are the only person at a row of ATMs, this would be an easy time for an attacker to approach and demand you give him money. It’s best to actually use the ATM when there are other customers around, handling their own money matters. Or, even better, just get cash when you’re inside the bank, with a teller, or get cash back with a cashier next time you’re buying groceries
Don’t take the elevator alone
This is one we rarely think about, but can quickly become dangerous. If you get into an elevator alone, there is no knowing who else may join you. Perhaps an attacker. Don’t get in an elevator if the doors open and there is only one other person in there, and he appears threatening. If you ride an elevator alone, it stops at a floor, and a threatening individual gets on, just get off at that floor, even if it wasn’t yours.
Wait for a better parking spot
Sometimes, we arrive at our destination while the sun is still up and plenty of people are around, but we may be leaving under different circumstances. Think about that when you park. It’s worth it to wait for a spot to open up that’s close to the entrance and well lit.
Don’t share cabs with strangers
Though it can mean a cheaper fare, it can also mean alerting complete strangers to your whereabouts. If you are grabbing a cab to take you to your hotel or other accommodations, anyone you share it with will hear the address of where you’re staying.
Choose safety over being polite
One of the most important safety tips for women is to always choose your personal safety over being polite. Yes, refusing to get on an elevator with a suspicious-looking stranger can feel rude, but it’s much better to be rude, and perhaps wrong, than polite, and perhaps attacked. It can feel rude to cross the street if a man you don’t know is walking behind you, but again, just be rude. And know that any man who doesn’t have bad intentions would understand, and wants you to feel safe.
When your partner is away, be discreet
If you live with a partner or roommate and that person is away for a few days, don’t tell anyone. Maintain the illusion that someone else is at home with you. Move that person’s car a few times. Perhaps even yell across the apartment a couple times a day, as if you’re talking to someone.
Ignore highway “do-gooders”
If you’re ever driving at night or on an abandoned road, and someone pulls up next to you, trying to alert you that something is wrong with your vehicle, do not pull over there. This may be an attacker. Pull off at an off ramp, and pull into a well-lit area with other people to check your vehicle.
When giving car keys to anyone
Between valets and auto repair professionals, we actually give our car keys to a lot of strangers. Many of us attach our house keys to our car keys. Take that house key off when giving the car key to a stranger. Remember that they can duplicate the key, and may be able to find out where you live.
Don’t greet service providers alone
If you live alone and have a service provider like an electrician or exterminator coming over, have a friend join you for the duration of that visit. Never be alone in your home with a stranger—and that’s what your electrician is. He’s a stranger.
If an attacker wants you in his car
Police actually advise this: if you are walking and an attacker pulls up in a car, pointing a gun at you, insisting you get in the vehicle, just run and scream. They almost never actually want to shoot you. They want you to get in the car so they can drive you to a remote location.