With discouraging stats of violent and sexual crimes on women in South Africa on the increase, you need to think of yourself as the superwoman you are, whilst remaining vigilant and aware of the dangers that lurk around most parts of South Africa.
Below are our top 10 safety tips everyone should know:
1. Pay attention
Do not be on your cell phone whilst walking, even if it’s in a crowded area. Present strong body language and walk confidently. Use your peripheral vision. Be observant when entering your home, be aware of signs and sounds as you open your gate or get out of your car.
2. Pay attention to current affair
Before you leave the house make sure that you know the latest local news stories, especially regarding accidents, protests, roadblocks and the weather. This will give you an updated understanding of the current situation in your area and it will give you an opportunity to prepare yourself ahead of time to avoid any danger zones.
3. Change your daily routine
You are likely to have adopted a daily routine, from home to the world and back. This redundant cycle of known movements could make you an easy target. You need to change up your daily whereabouts by taking a different route.
4. Opt for smaller handbag
Take the smallest bag and have as little cash as possible; rather carry a bank card. Amongst the make-up, wallet and other accessories in the handbag is the superwoman's most secretive yet fierce friend; the pepper spray. It is only to be used in necessary situations where you are physically attacked. Make sure that you have read and understood all its methods of use so that you do not misuse it when confronted by a criminal.
5. Lay off the tune
As groovy as the song may be; refrain from wearing earphones when you are out walking or even jogging, especially in the evening and early in the morning. With earphones on you can barely hear any sound from your surroundings, including approaching criminals and/or vehicles.
6. Create a safe room
In the event that an intruder breaks in while you’re home, you should have a safe room in your house to which you can retreat. Such a room should be equipped with a strong door, deadbolt lock, phone (preferably cell phone), and a can of pepper spray or fire extinguisher.
7. Hit where it hurts the most
If you have to defend yourself against an attacker, you will want to aim at whatever is going to hurt the most, regardless of the attacker’s strength and size. These are vulnerable areas like the eyes, nose, throat, groin and shin. Invest in life like self-defense training which prepares you for real-life scenarios. Every move has to be 100 percent giving you have a chance to run, so make sure it’s explosive.
8. Trust your gut
Women are naturally equipped with a ‘sixth sense,’ an almost overwhelming knowing when something is amiss or isn’t what it appears to be. Pay attention to it and trust it as though your life depends on it!
9. Travel with a door wedge!
If you’ve rented a room for the night, be it in a hotel or a local flatlet - travel with a door wedge! It’s often stronger than the door it secures and will ensure you have no unwelcome guests in the night.
10. Be Prepared!
Every predator has two fears: getting caught or getting hurt. When you don't act as the predator expects you to, you ruin their plan. Yelling or screaming will attract attention, which can save your life.
Lastly, you have to do everything in your power to prevent a predator from taking you to a secondary crime scene. Once they get you alone, there may be no way to escape. Be vigilant and safe out there!
Date Published: 30 August 2018