Personal Safety Tips for Women

Be Paranoid and Suspicious. It is always better to be safe than sorry. When in a parking lot, look at the cars parked on either side of your vehicle. If a male in a vehicle is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, or if you are parked next to a van, always enter your car from the side opposite the strange vehicle. If the parking lot is particularly dark or deserted, it may be wise to go back and find a friend or guard who can walk you to your car.

WHEN IT'S TOO LATE

If you have gotten yourself into a violent situation, the most important thing is to react immediately.

Run, Run, Run. If the predator has a gun but you are not under his control, take off. Experts say the predator will only hit you, a running target, four out of every 100 shots. And even then, it most likely will not be a vital organ.

Stay Put. Do not let your attacker take you to an abandoned area. If he does, the likelihood that you will be seriously injured increases tenfold, says Burns. You do not want to get to "crime scene number two" so do whatever it takes and never give up.

Hit the Attacker Where It Counts. The eyes, knees, throat and groin are very vulnerable, good places to gouge and kick. But listen to your instincts and try to determine if a counter attack by you is the best approach. If you do decide to fight, make sure your first move is as forceful as possible. It may be your only hope.

Try Anything and Everything. Additional approaches are offering your wallet, jumping out at a stoplight, doing something to cause an accident, or signaling to other drivers. If you are thrown into the trunk of a car, experts advise you to kick out the back tail lights, stick your arm out the hole, and start waving wildly. The driver won't see you but everyone else will. This trick is said to have saved lives.

Safety Tips compiled from contributions by; Jayne Hitchock, president of Women Halting Online Abuse, Mary Ellen Burns, spokesperson for the Boston Police Department, and The Women's Safety Project, a non-profit organization founded to provide self-defense information to women and girls.

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