Well another year has come and gone. As we embark on the new year, it is wise to reflect and review on the past year. Did we meet our goals and objectives? Personal safety is an area that is often overlooked. Are you vulnerable to a would-be criminal? Is your wife or children an easy target? Most of us find ourselves consumed by our day-to-day lives. The last thing on our minds is falling victim to an assault, robbery, rape or home invasion. Unfortunately, for many of us it only becomes a priority after we've been directly affected.
I challenge you to make personal safety a top resolution in 2016. Here are some tips to help you be successful.
Pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your eyes open and trust your gut feelings. If you feel something's not right, it probably isn't right
Stay in well lit and populated areas. Don't even think about walking through an alley-way to save time.
Walk with confidence and purpose. Know where you are going and if you get lost, make it look like you know where you are. Don't allow yourself to be easily surprised.
If you’re being followed, or see a person or group ahead you want to
avoid, make changes in your path. Cross the street, walk in another direction, or duck into a well populated place.
In public or social situations work on keeping an eye on your surroundings. Keep your hands free, eyes and ears open. Don't allow yourself to become distracted by your smart phone or other activity that you loose touch with your surroundings.
Make eye contact. If you feel threatened or intimidated it's natural to avoid eye contact. But looking someone straight in the face is the best deterrent. That eye contact may scare off a potential attacker because they fear you will be able to identify them.
Change things up often. If you are a walker, jogger or biker, it is best to change your route regularly. Plan out different routes and identify safe places you can go for help. If trouble arises, you can stop at these places and know you will be safe.
The "buddy system" works, use it. If at all possible, go places and do things in groups. If that's not possible, there are several safety apps available that allow you to send contacts a text message with your location so they can track your safety throughout an activity. Some apps allow you to check-in or broadcast your current location to contacts through SMS messaging.
What happens when it's too late. If you find yourself in a violent situation. Fight like your life depends on it. Having and using good quality pepper spray can stop a determined attacker quickly. Many law enforcement agencies consider pepper spray to be the most effective non-lethal personal security solution because of it’s ease of use and it's high rate of effectiveness.