While the incidents of violent crime over the last 25 years have dropped dramatically – between 48% and 74% depending on the study – many Americans remain uneasy, with the majority believing crime has gone up, despite the downward trend, probably due to in part to the reports we see in the media.
Whatever the numbers, we all want to feel as safe as possible in our homes and our communities. By no means exhaustive, here a few everyday self-defense tips and strategies to improve your safety and confidence.
Put away your cellphone: Though we like to think of ourselves as multi-taskers, the reality is if you’re walking and talking or texting, you’re likely not paying attention to what’s going on around you. Especially if you’re in a dark parking lot or street, keep the phone handy but not in use.
Crowdsafe: If you’re alone and worried about your safety, or if you suspect someone may be following you, head to a busy spot where people are gathered and, if appropriate, ask for help.
Remain calm: It may be easier said than done but if you’re in real danger, calming yourself down will give you a better opportunity to make the smartest move.
Keys: It’s a good idea to have keys ready as you reach your car or front door. But avoid holding your keys like a weapon. Though it seems intuitive to use them to protect yourself, in a self-defense situation, they tend to jam back into the palm of your hand.
Elevators: Hitting the emergency button may seem like a good idea if you’re worried about someone suspicious on the elevator but doing so usually stops the elevator and traps you inside with the potential attacker. A better strategy is to push the Lobby button or the next floor so you can get off as soon as possible. Even better, push every button and force the elevator to stop at every floor.
Muggings: If someone approaches you and demands your wallet or phone, never argue. Instead toss it as far away as possible, forcing the mugger to run towards it and away from you. Then take the opportunity to run and call for help.
Hit him where it hurts: If you’re being attacked, be as loud and aggressive as possible. Don’t aim for the face, which we all naturally protect by raising our hands, but instead target the groin or throat – or slam down your shoe on his foot.
In your home: If you’re robbed or attacked at home, call 911 first (if you can) then run the kitchen – where there’s usually no shortage of knives, pans and plates to make noise or throw at the attacker.
What are your most effective self-defense tips? Please share them with your fellow Shop Talk blog community forum members!
Did you know? Men need self-defense training too
Criminals may choose to attack women more often than men but men are often victims too. Self-defense training can help, no matter your gender (Source)