In a perfect world, you would never have to worry about looking over your shoulder or walking to your car late at night. There would be no date rape and no stalkers. But the world is far from being safe. Every day, women are raped, kidnapped, stalked, and murdered.
However, paying more attention to obvious danger signs could help keep you safer.
Do you put yourself in danger by focusing on a cell phone or texting when you are in the public? Could you ignore or not hear a predator because you are you so plugged in to a device? Do you broadcast personal information on Facebook, foursquare, or even your luggage tags? Does your publicly available personal information allow would-be attackers or thieves to track you or approach you with familiarity?
Do not ‘friend’ or social network with people you do not know, or who are not referred by friends. Check referrals. Keep your information private and never use viable labels on belongings.
It is better to post impressions and pictures after attending an event than during it, especially if you have left your home or apartment vacant. Always report any suspicious strangers. Do not worry about looking foolish. Always have your keys in your hand ready to open your door so you do not have to fumble in the dark looking for them. Never leave your car unlocked. Always park in safe, lighted areas. Never hesitate to get security to walk you late at night to your car or subway stop. Learn to scream loudly. It is harder than you think. Take a good self-defense course.
Never, overestimate the security screening of dating and social media sites. These sites are designed to make revenue, not protect you. They can be the perfect way for predators to approach and victimize young woman. Be cautious when meeting strangers, even in public. Remember, we know that many people lie about simple things like their height and age on dating sites, so they can lie about anything else, too.
In his must-read book ,The Gift of Fear: Survival signals that protect us from violence security expert Gavin de Becker points out that ignoring natural apprehension or fear from a sense of polities often gets young women killed.
De Becker, one of the leading U.S. experts on violent behavior, believes there are clues to violent behavior, as well as ways to protect yourself from it. Learning to be alert to danger and having respect for fear is empowering.
So darlings, learn to look up from your gadgets in public, sharpen up your senses, hone and resect your intuition, and read The Gift of Fear.
Finally, if a place or situation seems wrong, dangerous, or just off, leave right away. Do not let anyone tease you out of following your instincts. The worst thing that will happen if you are wrong is that you will get a good night's sleep. If they are wrong, you may end up dead.