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It's Time to talk about Self Protection

Posted on Friday, April 30, 2021
One of my favorite things to do at night when I have some wind-down "me time" is watch some crime television. Whether it's "The First 48", "Law and Order SVU" (Elliot is back btw) or "How I survived" - it always comes to my mind - "What would I do if I was in a situation like that?"
The answer is, I don't know. Sure, I have watched enough TV shows that other's have had that same thought and some make it out alive, while others do not. But what can help my chances of survival if I was ever kidnapped, assaulted or held against my will?
From my research, there are a few different ways to protect yourself.

The first thing I noticed, was not too many websites shine light on staying aware of your surroundings. Family Watchdog's motto is "Awareness is your best defense!" and that rings true. It's obviously not a good idea to go walking down an alley in the middle of the night in a sketchy neighborhood - but sometimes not everyone is afforded the same luxury of not having to. Keeping an eye on your surroundings is key if you want to stay aware. Know the area - and if you don't know, ask around. Usually someone has something to say about the area. Also, don't be distracted by talking to a friend or playing on your phone. I saw something the other day that made me chuckle because it's so smart - when getting unwanted attention by a stranger repeatedly, SCREAM in their direction like you're the last surviving velociraptor. Not only will it draw unwanted attention to them and you, it will more than likely scare them off.

Secondly, many sites talk about using a weapon of some sorts. Maybe your not keen on keeping a gun on yourself or in your home. They make pepper sprays of all kinds and handheld protection devices and alarms. One of my personal favorite tips is keeping wasp spray by your front door. Not only does it spray further than most conventional pepper sprays, you don't need an ID to purchase it and you can pick it up at almost any store for cheap. Many states have laws and regulations on what kind of personal protection devices you can legally own or carry on your persons. Keep updated and be knowledgeable of the law in your area to make sure you are in the right to carry your self protection weapon(s).

Thirdly, and probably one of the most helpful pieces of advice that I found, is taking a simple self protection class. Many campuses and clubs offer this for free or at low cost. Some lessons are even taught online through a zoom meeting from your own home due to COVID. There is no reason that you can't take these classes to better prepare yourself for any unfortunate event that may happen in your life. Sign up with a friend, or a sister, so you can have a practice partner.

Finally, if something ever does happen, Speak up and report it! You might not be the first, or the last. Any time a crime gets reported, it has to be looked into. Who knows, you might save someone's life. There is NO SHAME in being a victim of any type of crime, no matter your race, occupation, sexual preference or circumstances. NOBODY deserves to be assaulted!

The key is to always be aware of your surroundings and the dangers in everyday life. You might think that you don't need any special training, because you're safe in your own home. But what if you're not? Listen to your gut and know when to break out that self protection tool that you carry or have taught yourself. Self protection (self defense) is more than learning a few simple yells or carrying a spray to ward off attackers. It is a habit of mind. Self protection is the way you think, dress, and walk. You have a traffic light in your head that tells you stuff all the time.


Resources:

Insider
11 tips everyone should know to stay safe, according to self-defense coaches

Psychology Today
Tips for Self-Protection: Physical and Mental

The Penny Hoarder
Want to Learn Self-Defense? Here's How to Build Your Skills for Free

Spy.com
Learn to Protect Yourself From an Attack Anytime, Anywhere With These Online Self-Defense Courses

Know Prepare Survive
2021's 13 Best Self Defense Weapons (That Are Legal!)