Personal Safety: How Not to Be a Victim

There are numerous suggestions to help reduce your chances of becoming a victim. Over the years I’ve attended several courses and read many books and articles about personal safety. Following are 7 key aspects to increase your safety, no matter where you are.

1. Awareness

Every personal safety list seems to begin here, so mine will too. An aware person knows something exists. Whether it’s a situation, condition or problem; someone who is aware understands what’s going on in the environment around them.  When you are aware you feel, experience or notice sounds, sensations, or emotions. As an aware person, you will be alert to who or what is around you. This will shorten your reaction time should something happen. Don’t be surprised…instead, be aware.

2. Attitude

Looking like you know exactly where you are going, and what you are doing can keep you from being a target. Walk with an authoritative posture, keep your head high. Acknowledge strangers as you walk past them. Look them in the eyes and give a nod of the head or a smile. If a possible attacker knows you can identify him, perhaps he will pass you by. If someone asks for the time or directions, be courteous, but keep your distance and keep moving.

brain

3. Visualization

The body won’t go where the mind hasn’t been. What will you do WHEN you are attacked. It’s not “when, then” thinking but “if, then” thinking. Visualize the attack and play it out in your mind with an ending where you win. Having a plan will help you avoid freezing when something happens. Expect the unexpected and you won’t get caught off guard.

4. Boundaries

Draw a line in the sand. Distance is your friend so have a predetermined distance you will allow someone to come toward you. This may be different depending on your location, if you are alone and the time of day. If someone reaches that distance, and you do not feel comfortable, cross the street or change directions. Use your voice and tell them to “STAY BACK”. Always maintain a safe distance.

5. Instinct

Gut instinct, women’s intuition, or sixth sense, many of us have had that, “feeling” we call instinct.  When the hair on the back of your neck stands up, it is your mind picking up on something unnatural. Unfortunately, with society demanding “politically correctness,” some women won’t act on their instinct to avoid a situation. When you feel something just isn’t right make a change. If an elevator door opens, and your gut tells you not to get in, don’t. If you’re already on an elevator, and someone gets on, press the button for the next floor and get off. Worrying about overreacting may cause you to hesitate or maybe even ignore your intuition. It’s better to be safe then sorry.

exit sign

6. Escape

Be aware of the way out. If you are in a store, doctor’s office, any public building, make note of emergency exits when you enter. When outdoors, if your instinct tells you something is wrong, run straight to a group of people, or into a building where you can see people. Yell along the way to draw other’s attention.

7. Determination

Should you become a target, NEVER give up. Even if you’re injured, keep fighting. When law enforcement does training scenarios, the good guy never dies. This helps build the mindset to continuing fighting, no matter what it takes. You will win and get home to your family.

Mindset books FASTER personal safety
A selection of books we recommend student’s read.

Personal Safety Training for the Mind

I believe having the proper mindset is what will help me win the day. As mentioned above, I have read many books to help me get to where I am today. Here is a list of those books with links available at our website Cerino Training Group.

On Killing ~ Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
On Combat ~ Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Warrior Mindset ~ Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
The Gift of Fear ~ Gavin De Becker
Left of Bang ~ Patrick Van Horne & Jason A. Riley
The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why ~ Amanda Ripley

There is always the possibility you could become a victim. If you expect it to happen you will be better prepared to avoid it and respond without hesitation. Do your research, have the right state of mind, and stay safe.