Basic Personal Safety Tips
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. That’s an example of inductive reasoning, and criminals use this to help them select targets of opportunity. Modify this old saying as a way to look for a victim or “mark” and you get the idea. If he or she looks and acts like an easy target, then it’s probably true. Body language is a great communication tool and many times you may not even be aware of what you are saying. Body language and situational awareness are the two primary components in basic personal safety awareness, and should be part of your plan to be safe.
Body language is a non-verbal form of communicating feelings, intentions, or thoughts through physical actions such as facial expressions or eye movements, actions or positions of the body, arms and hands, even the amount of space a person keeps around or between other people.
Simply put, situational awareness is being aware of your surroundings. More specifically, in the context of personal safety tips, it refers to a mindset that allows a person to notice potential threat scenarios in time to react accordingly.
Appear to be a Hard Target
With a proper combination of body language and situational awareness, most people can move throughout their daily activities without attracting unwanted attention from the criminal element. An example of this would be to use body language to display a focused and decisive motion in your walking technique. By keeping your head up and eyes scanning the area, you will appear to be in charge of your actions, not just wandering from one spot to another. By simultaneously using appropriate situational awareness safety tips, you’ll see who is near and what they are doing.
When All Else Fails
Most of the time a criminal will pass on someone who looks like they might be trouble. However, there are some situations that appearances alone won’t deter an unwanted event. Should a situation occur, attempt to avoid it and if that’s not possible, do everything you can to control the outcome.
Realize that certain scenarios are more risky than others. For example, when returning to a parked vehicle, always raise your level of awareness a notch or two. Scan the area around your vehicle and look for people or vehicles that are suspicious. Don’t hesitate to leave the area and ask for security to escort you to the vehicle if you feel something is amiss. At the very least, you may want to return in a few minutes to see if the situation has resolved itself.
If you are attacked, fight back and try to run away. Scream and yell, as you attempt to get loose and attract attention. Don’t be embarrassed to make a scene since a little embarrassment is much more preferable than becoming a casualty of street crime.
When it comes to personal security, use body language and situational awareness to look like the person a criminal wants to avoid. If in spite of your efforts you are attacked, do what you can to get free and move immediately towards safety. You are worth the fight it may take to save yourself.
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