Self Protection Tips Everyone Should Know

Walk with your keys grasped between your fingers in case you need to use them as a weapon.

Make sure to have the correct key out and ready before you get to your door.

When someone is walking closely behind you on the the street, stop and pretend to make a phone call or otherwise occupy yourself to allow them to pass in fron of you.

If someone has been walking behind you for a while, walk past your destination, especially if it's your home.

Scope out potential safe havens if someone has been following you.

Stay in well lit areas at night even if it means taking a longer route.

Randomly switch up your jogging routes to help prevent potential stalkers from learning your route.

Change direction if on foot and it appears a car has been following you.

When walking or running outdoors, only use one earbud so you can hear what's happening in your surroundings.

Pretend to listen to music when walking by anyone that attempts to engage with you.

Change your locks when house keys are misplaced,

Take alternative routes to avoid areas you know you're likely to face street harassment.

Cross the street when you see others that may be drunk.

Avoid eye contact with men that may be trying to get your attention and be aware of your surroundings.

Avoid entering stairwells or elevators occupied by only one other person who is a stranger.

Text a friend before going out for a run or on a date with a stranger.

Avoid social situations where a man whose prior advances made you uncomfortable.

Do not open Facebook or similar messages from unknown men. They can see that the message has been read and may become harassing or hostile.

Never open your door to someone you are not expecting.

When bringing in bags or packages into the house or apartment, lock and unlock your door with every trip.

Avoid sleeping naked in case there's an intruder or peeping tom.

Make sure you're not the only woman on a subway car or bus.

Avoid getting off at your bus or train stop if someone has been staring at you.

Check your mirrors frequently when driving noting characteristics or the license plate number of cars following closely behind you.

Drive in circles if you think someone is following you.

Park next to a light post when it's dark outside.

Call 911 if you determine that someone is following you.

Check for an official city medallion or photo credentials when entering a taxi or rideshare. Take a photo with your cell phone.

Never leave a drink unattended at a bar or party.

Wear baggy clothes when running or jogging to decrease the chances of unsolicited commentary on your anatomy or worse.

Make sure you have enough cell phone battery life before leaving one location to last until you get to another.

When approached by a stranger, be attentive and look the person in the face.

View the area left to right, just as you read, as a memory aid.

Keep a cell phone with you whenever feasible. Program emergency numbers into your phone's contact list.

Stop, look and listen. When you walk, know your surroundings and avoid poorly lit areas.

Learn self-defense techniques.

Travel tips:

  • Travel with a large group, or at least one other person
  • Ensure that your home appears to be occupied: Keep the grass cut or the snow removed. Ask a friendly neighbor to park a car in your driveway. Use randomly timed lights inside your home.
  • While driving a car, make sure no one is following you. If you feel threatened, use your cell phone to call 911.

Trained actions are more affective than random actions, so practice self protection principles. Only practice will instill muscle memory, critical when your reaction may save your life.


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