Crime can happen to anyone at any time and any place. January is National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month. Are you prepared to protect yourself if the need arises?
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This may be the single most important element of self-defense. Raising your awareness of your surroundings reduces 90 percent of your risk to be a victim. Use good common sense. Assess parking lots, garages, gas stations, convenience stores, etc., for any warning signs before you get out of your car. Do the same when entering your car. Don’t let your cell phone, iPod or headphones distract you while out in public. Do not jog with headphones.
Live with a Survival Mindset
If violence occurs, and you aren’t mentally prepared for it you most likely will be frozen in fear and not able to help yourself. Visualize what actions you might take in a bad situation to prepare your mind to deal with the trauma. Preparation is key, and doing so while in a safe environment goes a long way.
Trust Your Instincts
Listen to what your intuition tells you and trust those little voices.
Lights, People and Noise
These are your greatest allies; they are the three things criminals fear most. Travel in groups and in open populated areas. It is especially important to do this at night. Avoid dark and isolated places where you give the criminal the advantage, especially if you are alone.
Be prepared: pre-program important numbers into your cell phone.
These may include 9-1-1, roadside assistance service, an ICE (in case of emergency personal contact), your office number, medical doctor, etc. Whenever possible, make sure your cell phone is on a full battery charge and pack your charger to go with you for extended trips. Check in advance that your phone will be serviceable to your destination when travelling alone.
Choose FLIGHT over fight.
The primary goal of any threatening situation should be to escape from immediate danger and call for help. If you feel uneasy and feel an encounter with an individual could become threatening, HAVE AN EXCUSE READY to give you an out, or prompt them to leave. Ex: You left something important in your car, your cell phone went off and you need to leave to respond to a call, etc.
Never Accept Offers For Help from a Stranger
This is a common lure for sexual offenders. Ex: “May I help you with your bags?” If the situation feels wrong, run away screaming. If you can’t run–fight to impair the attacker so that you can get away.
Give Away Your Money
If you are being mugged, it is for your money. Do not fiddle with your wallet, hand it over willingly. It is a good idea to prepare a “mugging” wallet that contains only cash that you can give in a situation without your mugger getting your credit cards, important ID, etc. Avoid carrying large purses and wearing expensive jewelry. Keep purses and valuables securely locked, and out of sight in the trunk of your vehicle.
Prevent a Second Crime Scene
If you are mugged, and the attacker wants to take you somewhere it is important to fight for your life NOW. Statistics show that if you go with them, you are less likely to survive or come out of the situation unharmed.
Education is your best resource. Enroll in a local self-defense class or workshop. The local police department is a good resource for lists of free options. In April, Howard County General Hospital will offer a workshop tailored for kids.
Kids Self Defense-Howard County General Hospital —Children (8-12) Learn basic safety awareness and age-appropriate self-defense techniques. 4/9, 9–11 a.m. Free. Online advanced registration at www.hcgh.org is advised for all programs.
We share home security tips with our clients while they go through the process of selling or buying a home. Please give us a call at (301) 785-5889 we can share some with you!