Women’s Safety Tips

Late one afternoon, there was a knock at my door.  I could see a shadowy figure through the glass front door – he looked like my dad, sort of.  I checked my phone to see if I missed a call because Dad never just stops by.

Ridley was sleeping.  Whoever it was kept knocking and trying to look through the door. Then they rang the doorbell. Argh!  I hurried to the door and looked through.  The strange man was wearing a badge, so I did the dumbest thing I could have ever done.

I opened the door!

The safety of women is incredibly close to my heart. I think about it often.  I play different scenarios out in my mind. What I would do in this situation or what I would do in that situation.

So, I’ve decided to share a few women’s safety tips with you.  I’m not professionally trained in self-defense or women’s safety, but I’ve learned a few things over the years.  I hope that this information will help you to be more prepared in case of danger.

  • Be aware. Women appear more vulnerable so we are an easy target for men.   So, be aware in parking lots (the #1 place women are attacked), in stores, when you’re putting your kids in the car, when you’re going running or taking a walk.  Be aware anywhere and everywhere.
  • Don’t leave a store digging through your purse. Being distracted looks vulnerable and is vulnerable, so have your car keys ready!
  • Take a self defense class. My mom, sister and I took a self defense class a couple of years ago through community education.  It was about $15 for 2 hours of instruction from a certified instructor.  The class was very informative and I’m considering taking it again to become more comfortable with “the moves.” Bwahaha!

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  • Plan what you will do. Playing “what if” situations in your mind is one of the best things you can do for your own safety.  For example, if someone is coming “aggressively” toward me (or from behind me)  in a parking lot (or anywhere for that matter), I plan to call them out, take charge of the situation and not become the victim.  I won’t scream and play the victim.
  • Carry pepper spray. You can find pepper spray (mace) at your local outdoors store.  Most mace comes with a keychain attachment, so  you can have it close at hand, just in case.
  • Pack a punch in your purse. It might be worth it to check into your state’s concealed weapon permit regulations and laws.  I know a lady who was in a Walmart parking lot and a man was coming at her.  She told him she had a gun and he kept coming.  She pulled out her pistol and he turned around and went the other way.  It’s something to think about for sure!

Back to the story…

The man explained that he was from some government agency looking for Mr. So-and-so.  I had no idea who it was and told him I was sorry I couldn’t help him.

Fortunately for me, he turned around and walked towards his car.

I didn’t think about it any more until I was telling my husband about it at dinner time.  He almost came unglued – to put it mildly.  He made me think of all the awful things that could have happened.

In all honesty, I opened the door to make the man on my porch stop knocking and ringing the door bell, but I also didn’t want to be rude.  What a risk it was – one I don’t plan on taking again.

What do you do to stay safe?  Do you have a plan to defend yourself?

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Comments

    • says

      We have a full plate glass door besides our regular front door. Thankfully our front door has one way glass and the can’t see us even if we’re standing there looking at them. I also make sure our German Shepard is at the door with me. She tends to not like strangers and looks mean, even though she’s a pussy cat! Thanks for your story and hints.
      .-= Lynnet´s last blog ..Feed Me Books Friday =-.

  1. T. Zimmerman says

    Always important to remember! My husband would have reacted the same way, especially as it’s part of his job. In fact, he’s giving a women’s self-defense class for our homeschool mom’s group this week. But you’re right, the most important thing is that we need to be aware at all times. In most instances, this is one of the most preventative things you can do. Just like clubs on cars. While a club won’t deter someone who really wants your car, it will add time and aggravation for a thief, so he moves on to a car without one. Women who are aware of their surroundings (purposefully look around and are aware) are more aggravation than one who is digging through her purse or staring at the ground. Again, not fool-proof, but definitely gives you a head-start.

  2. says

    these are all really good tips. We run a school of ministry, and I think a good class on self defense for our girls is a great idea. Because sometimes we as women are trying to “just be nice” and finding ourselves in terrible, terrible situations.
    .-= grace´s last blog ..Always An Adventure–Livid Angry =-.

  3. says

    Great post! It’s so important to always be alert. People act like I’m crazy, but I’d rather err on the side of caution. I try not to go places (especially empty parking lots) alone at night, don’t be afraid to ask an employee to walk you to your car if you feel unsafe. I keep mace in the end table by my front door for unexpected visitors and I tell all strangers my dogs are aggressive (whether they are or not). I’ve always wanted to take a self defense course, I really, really need to check into that.
    .-= Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy´s last blog ..Somewhat Crunchy You : Cloth Diapers =-.

  4. says

    great tips!! I always have my keys out and ready to use as an eye gauging weapon – seriously! I also have my cell phone ready because I read somewhere if you look like you’re talking to someone it’s less likely you’ll get attacked. I also never answer the front door. EVER. If my husbands not home I don’t open it. If he is – he opens it. It’s not worth what could happen…
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Not a Proverbs 31 Woman … Not Me! (seriously) =-.

    • Myra says

      @Lauren, Thanks girl for your fabulous comment! I have my cell phone ready too! I’ve heard of people being scared away because they thought a cell phone was a gun! LOL

  5. says

    I have always been overly cautious when it comes to expecting that the worse could happen when I’m alone. (or even just me and the kids) I never open the door when I’m home alone unless I know who it is. And even scheduling people to do work around the house we try to do it when my husband is going to be here…just because it makes me feel safer.
    As for the gun thing, I do have one that I keep in the van but have really been wanting to look into getting some more training on how to shoot it and get a purse that has a special place to carry it. With all the crazy stuff going on in the world nowadays you just can’t be too careful!
    These were some great tips…thanks for sharing! I might try looking into a self-defense class as well, altho I’ve always wondered if the fact I wear dresses and skirts would keep me from being able to use some of the moves anyway?

    Tyra

    • Myra says

      @Tyra, I agree with you! I never have anyone come to do work unless my hubs is home. That just makes me uncomfortable.

      Girl, if someone’s coming after you, yank your skirt up and give him what for! LOL For the class, wearing loose fitting pants will definitely make it easier to be modest and learn the moves.

  6. Barbara says

    Powerful post, Myra! Very much-needed reminders and information and well-written too! I’m glad for a book (The Safe Zone), written for children, to help make them aware of their surroundings and to teach about dealing with strangers. And ultimately remember that “safety is of the Lord.

  7. says

    Very good post and reminder for women. This spring we are enrolling Bell, 4.5 years old, in Tae Kwon Do – for many reasons, but self defense being one of them. It’s never too young to start! I just may take classes with her :o)
    .-= Kari Newsom´s last blog ..THE Contest! =-.

  8. says

    Great advice! I took a ladies’ self defense class at my church. Two of the deacons were police officers, and they spent a whole day with us, explaining what to do in various scenarios and answering questions. It was really great. I feel more prepared now.

  9. Crystal says

    Thanks for the reminder. I sometimes feel silly worrying about answering the door, but now I won’t.

    My tiny (about 110lbs a piece) teenage sisters took karate lessons for several years and made it up to black belt level and they were teaching the younger classes. It taught them to be cautious, but they don’t doubt they could defend themselves if needed. I’ve seen them kill a snake with a stick & they know several places where they can just pinch or poke a person and get away. I think self defense lessons might be a worthwhile investment.

  10. says

    Many years ago I took a self-defense course, too. Some of the tips I remember are: Don’t make the situation worse than it is. For example, if someone unarmed is trying to steal your purse, don’t pull out a gun. Second, appearances count: a sign that says “Beware of Dog” at your house could keep predators away even if you don’t have a dog. (Fake security system signs work, too.) Third: Learn some basic defense moves. Lastly, Mace and pepper spray are not the same. Mace is not legal to carry in every state. And there are restrictions on pepper spray in many places. Know the law.

    Thanks for bringing up this topic. It is a very important one. And I did something even dumber many years ago when I was in Italy. I still shudder when I think about it.

  11. says

    Wow great post, sometimes as women we just take the world for granted thinking that everyone is as nice as we are. I lived in a rough neighborhood for a long time and always am aware of things around me and my boyfriend always gives me crap and says I don’t trust people. I don’t answer the door ever unless I know who it is. be aware of where you are and what kind of place it looks like. Don’t be caught in a rough part of town at night. always look around and be ready for anything cuz things happen quickly as I have learned all to often with men, some are crazy and will do anything to just get to you. Even in your car driving be on the lookout of someone following for too long, that has happened a number of times to me. I must be a magnet for the crazies but DON’T DRIVE HOME. drive to a police station or a very public place. Thankfully nothing bad has happened for awhile, last time it was a guy that followed me to my work parking lot and pulled up and started to ask me questions I tried to walk away and he started calling me back, I went back thinking he worked with us and he pulled out is junk and started messing around with it. I just laughed at him and went in not showing him how freaked out I was. I told my boss and the security looked for him but no luck, a couple days later he found me again thankfully a salesman at my work saved me from God knows what. So anyway thats one story unfortunately I have lots more. So be careful out there
    .-= Rainey´s last blog ..My crazy night last night =-.

  12. says

    I agree with your hubby. My son just witness a neighbor lady being killed on her patio for opening the door to an ex that had been stalking her.Her 8 yr old son told her to not open the door and she told him she couldn’t be rude. It’s not just strangers anymore you need to be careful with.

  13. says

    Thanks for this excellent post. In our small town, I really wouldn’t have hesitated to open the door to see what the man wanted but I would never let a strange person in my home, especially a male. I have been put in positions where I have had to take a ride with a stranger, and thank the Lord He protected me from any harm. One horrible day when I was living in MN, a creepy guy, known for making sexually harrassing comments to everyone, came into the laundry room where I was doing laundry and closed the door. He was a good 6 feet 5 inches and 300 pounds of intimidating. I seriously thought that I was going to be raped or beaten or both. No one ever closes the laundry room doors and there are no other windows or doors and it is a noisy place where no one could hear you scream. He stood in front of the door for a few seconds and I hurriedly threw my laundry in, trying to keep my cool, and when he moved to start his laundry, I beelined for the door and ran all the way back to my apartment. I couldn’t believe how close I had come. I cried and shook for an hour or more after that. This guy had always been asking where I lived whenever he saw me and had a habit of staring at young women in our apartment building. I always avoided his questions or tried to mislead him about which floor I lived on (taking different sets of stairs, etc.) I was so thankful when his girlfriend moved out of our building and he no longer came around.
    That episode made me extra cautious, even though I was careful before. After this happened I began doing laundry only when my hubby was home and would promise to check on me if I didn’t return in 5 minutes and carried my phone with me to the laundry room.

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