It takes three things for a violent or aggressive incident to happen – a victim, a criminal and an opportunity. By taking some appropriate safety precautions, you can reduce the opportunities and therefore the risk of becoming a victim.
Personally, I am aware, I park in well lit areas, I carry a handgun, I generally keep my phone away and my eyes everywhere. Simple tiny things that all add up to a great safety standard.
Here are a few other ideas on being safe and decreasing your chances of becoming a victim of crime or human trafficking
- Plan ahead. Before you go out, think about how you are going to get home, e.g. Can you travel home with a friend? What time does the last bus/train/BART leave?
- Avoid danger spots like quiet or badly-lit areas, deserted streets or isolated parking lots.
- If you do have to pass danger spots, think about what you would do if you felt threatened.
- Consider heading for a public place; somewhere you know there will be other people, as there is safety in numbers.
- Avoid passing stationary cars with their engines running and people sitting in them.
- Try to keep both hands free and don’t walk with your hands in your pockets.
- Use well-lit, busy streets and use the route you know best.
- Whenever possible, walk facing oncoming traffic.
- If you do have to walk in the same direction as the traffic and a vehicle pulls up suddenly alongside you, turn and walk or run in the other direction.
- Keep your mind on your surroundings – remember if you are speaking on your mobile phone or wearing a personal stereo, you will not hear trouble approaching.
- Be extra careful when using an ATM. Make sure nobody is hovering nearby and don’t count your money out in the open.
- If you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and take action. As confidently as you can, cross the road, turning to see who is behind you. If you are still being followed, keep moving. Make for a busy area and tell people what is happening. If necessary, call the police.
- Beware of someone who warns you of the danger of walking alone and then offers to accompany you. This is a ploy some attackers have been known to use.
- Never accept a lift from a stranger or someone you don’t know very well, even if you are wet, tired or running late.
- Try not to keep all your valuables in one place. It’s a good idea to keep valuables such as wallets in an inside pocket.
- Consider carrying a personal safety alarm, which can be used to shock and disorientate an attacker giving you vital seconds to get away.
Here at Saving Pearls we are dedicated to freeing the victims of human trafficking by donating 50% of our profits to the fight, and helping everyone else remain free.