June is National Safety Month: 7 Things You Can Do To Avoid Being a Crime Victim
One of the things I often say when my kids head out is, "stay safe." But what does that really mean? June is National Safety Month and the ideal opportunity to spell out more specifically what's intended when I say those two words. Here are some simple tips to increase your personal safety and possibly prevent you from experiencing an act of violence.
1. Make eye contact with people who concern you. A would-be attacker now knows you've seen their face. They are often looking for an easy target and aren't interested in people who will put up a fight, and/or identify them.
2. Don't worry about being polite. If you feel uneasy about someone who got into the elevator, simply step out. You don't have to stay on just to avoid an awkward situation.
3. Avoid parking next to vans or large vehicles. Someone waiting inside can quickly grab you as you're trying to get into your car.
4. Don't sit in your car, especially at night. Once you park, get to where you are going. The longer you wait in your car, the more of a target you are.
5. Be aware of scams. If you see someone needing help on the side of the road, call 9-1-1 and keep driving. And if you get pulled over alone, you are permitted to call police to verify the person who is pulling you over is a valid police officer. (Before stopping, it's suggested you put on your flashers and drive the speed limit to a busy, well-lit area while making the call)
6. Practice being aware. Know who is walking behind you. If you're walking alone at night, don't be on the phone, and don't use your earbuds. These are all described as distracted behavior that attackers look for.
7. Escape is always the best option. Even if this means you may get hurt in the process, don't be afraid to scream, fight, and do what it takes to get away. Never let anyone take you anywhere without a fight.
A little self awareness can go a long way. The more you understand about how people are targeted, the better you can make safe decisions that will become second nature to you. Stay safe!