However, you still have a high chance of being the victim of an attack in a big city. While many things have changed in our society, some haven’t, and women are still in danger of being raped, murdered or assaulted. While you should no doubt continue being a fierce and formidable woman, don’t let be like an ostrich with its head in the sand. Protect yourself. Being cautious does not mean being weak or living in fear- it means being smart.
CITY SAFETY TIP #1: Don’t get too comfortable. Most assaults happen near the home, in neighborhoods and places where the woman has come to feel safe and has let her guard down. Even if you have walked from your car to your apartment door a thousand times at night, always keep an extra eye out to be sure you make 1001.
CITY SAFETY TIP #2: Get pepper spray or a taser. Although tasers can be expensive and you may have to go to pet stores to get the bear spray, having a defense weapon is a good strategy for empty parking lots, long walks to the car or any other time you start to feel like something is “off.”
CITY SAFETY TIP #3: Trust your gut. Is the sketchy guy in the corner of the store looking at you weird? Is the van parked next to your car giving you the creeps for no reason? Don’t dismiss these gut feelings just because they have no logical source that you can immediately discern. If you feel scared, get the hell out of there- no logical reasons need apply. Your subconscious is picking up on something that your conscious mind cannot.
CITY SAFETY TIP #4: Call AAA. Even if you are not a member, if you are in an automotive pickle, you can sign up on the spot (you do have a cell phone and an emergency credit card, right?). Never accept help from a stranger, which sounds a bit harsh but you must remember that not everyone in this world has your best interests at heart. If your car is broken down in a city or anywhere else, you are in a very dangerous situation. Lock yourself inside, call a friend or AAA, and if anyone comes to help, politely say no without ever opening your door or window.
CITY SAFETY TIP #5: Make friends. When you go out at night, make it a point to befriend the bouncer, the bartender and the door person, especially at places you frequent. Bouncers in particular are usually big, strong guys – exactly the type of people you want watching out for you in a sticky situation. Get to know them, and they will get your back when you need it.
CITY SAFETY TIP #6: Watch the booze. A large portion of assaults involve alcohol. While having a drink isn’t something to be scared of, getting blackout drunk in a strange environment surely is. Never drink alone; always go out with at least one girlfriend who can take your keys, call a cab, or ward off a pushy suitor if you get a tad too toasty.
CITY SAFETY TIP #7: Walk the walk. In a scary or unfamiliar area? Assailants are looking for easy targets: women who are lost, unsure of their surroundings and already a little intimidated. Even if you are lost, unsure of your surroundings and a little intimidated, walk with a fast, purposeful stride, head in the air like you know exactly where you are going and the biggest bitch look you can muster on your face. You want to communicate the idea that if anyone messes with you, they are going to have a fight and at the very least, lose an eyeball or two. The would-be assailant will pick someone else.
CITY SAFETY TIP #8: Sign up for a self-defense class. These are usually offered pretty cheaply at community centers, and besides learning moves that might potentially save your life, you will gain a confidence in yourself and your abilities to handle anything that comes your way.