Contrary to popular belief, men who target women for harassment, stalking, rape, and other forms of sexual predation do not limit themselves to targeting strangers. In fact, a significant percentage of rapes are “date rapes”, and other situations where the woman actually knows her attacker.
If you are a woman, remain safe from sexual predators following these 10 tricks!
They will help you correctly asses the situations where you know the man in question, and will also give you hints on how to recognize malicious intent in strangers.
Avoid Traveling Alone
Sexual predators are similar to any other criminal in the sense that they will target those they perceive as the weakest. Typically, this means if you are traveling alone, a sexual predator will think you are an easy mark.
Whether you just go to the store, or go out for a short walk, try traveling with someone else. You never know if a stalker has been waiting for just the right moment, or a complete stranger with criminal intent may decide to attack you.
If you travel alone, here are some things you can do to remain as safe as possible.
Always remain in well-lit areas and as close to a group as possible.
When in a store, after you pay for your purchases, ask for an escort to your vehicle.
Have a running conversation with someone on your cell phone. Make sure the person knows where you are. If you suspect someone strange is around, tell the person you are talking with.
If a stranger approaches you, do not leave the safety of the place you are in. You can always take that person’s number, and contact them later on if you want to have coffee, lunch, or go on a date.
When in doubt, always, go back to “old fashioned” respect and do not allow yourself to be rushed or swayed by something that occurs “out of the blue”. Just because you don’t know who approached you, it doesn’t mean that person hasn’t been stalking you, or doesn’t know who you are.
Considering the increasing number of date rapes and other forms of sexual predation, wait until you gather some facts before you go anywhere with that person.
Be Careful With Makeup, Jewelry, and Clothing Choices
As Western and Islamic cultures continue to meet and find places of disagreement, it is often said that the Islamic treatment of women is far worse than anything you would find in the United States of America. Irresponsible flashing of expensive jewelry, or wearing garments inappropriate for a specific settings, can spell trouble for a woman.
There are also specific meanings for makeup choices that cannot be ignored. What a woman wears or her body language could never be an excuse for sexual harassment or rape, but when you are in a public setting or with people of the opposite gender, it has an impact on the situation. You will always be best served by wearing clothes that are respectful of your body and your goals.
Aside from avoiding wearing expensive jewelry or clothes that make you look like you are for sale, it never hurts to wear clothes that you can defend yourself in.
For example, if you are fan of high heels, do not hesitate to wear heels that are sturdy enough and sharp enough to cause some damage to an attacker’s foot.
You should be able to run comfortably, and have confidence that the shoes will not fall apart or you’d twist an ankle when you need to kick or move for self-defense.
Blue jeans or pants are always going to be easier to defend yourself in, especially if they are loose fitting and do not restrict motion in your legs and hips.
Try to avoid garments that will wrap around your arms or legs or in some way prevent you from moving freely and easily.
While a long flowing scarf or shawl can be used to disguise the motion of your hands and arms, it can also be used to strangle you. Therefore it is still best to avoid garments that are too drapey, or can be used to restrict your movements if an attacker grabs them.
If you wear clothes that are not easy to defend yourself in, make sure that you are with someone you trust completely, and that you are safe in the setting you will be in. There is a big difference between traveling to a family member’s home for a holiday dinner and going to a restaurant in an area with a high crime rate.
In the latter case, no matter how much you may trust the person you are with, there is still a risk because of the setting you are going into. Even though wearing sensible clothes based on your location will not necessarily prevent an attack, it may still give you an edge when it comes to defending yourself and preventing a sexual attack.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings and Self Defense Training
Sexual predators are also similar to other criminals in the sense that they will look for people that aren’t really paying attention to what’s going on around them.
Situational awareness is one of the most important things you can do for yourself; both to stave off a sexual predator as well as any other kind of criminal. While there are no concrete answers for why it works, the fact remains when people are aware that you know they are around, and that you see them, it seems to deter criminal activity.
Today, many people think they know what situation awareness, is yet they are sadly ignorant. It’s about a lot more than knowing how to use window glass to see what’s going on around you, as well as other well-known tricks.
There is a specific body language that you must use, as well as how you look at people. Even if you think you are very proficient insofar as knowing what’s going on around you, and conveying that fact, you will be well served by taking a class in self-defense. These classes can and should teach you the difference between awareness and hyper-vigilance.
Typically, if you appear nervous, or transmit signals that you are unsure of yourself, it can put you in danger, even though the predator knows you see them. You should also learn some basic techniques for getting away from an attacker regardless of whether or not you are carrying a weapon.
Keep a Record of Suspicious Activity
As noted earlier, many women are surprised when they know the person that attacks them. Even if the situation isn’t a date rape or one in which the woman knows the man personally, they may recognize the attacker by sight.
It is always very important to listen to your instincts. If you pay attention, when you see a man for the first time, you may feel a specific repulsion, or a sense that something isn’t right.
In this era of cell phones with good quality cameras, it only takes a second to snap a picture and make a note to yourself. Later on you can always ask your friends or other people that you trust if they know the individual or if they have seen him around.
You may be surprised to find out that you aren’t the only one that has a strange sense about the man in question. This act alone, can also raise awareness for other women that may be at risk from this individual.
Just remember to conceal your actions as much as possible when taking the picture, as you don’t want to convey interest or create a situation where the potential predator can open a conversation with you or try to pursue you.
Keep Your Technologies Updated
Not so long ago, you would have been technologically advanced if you had a “panic button” on the keyless entry device for your vehicle that would cause the horn to honk. If you weren’t that close to your vehicle it was completely useless.
Today there are several technologies that women can take advantage of to stay safe and just about any setting. Here are a few important ones to consider.
These devices can be kept on a keychain or in your pocket. As long as they have a SIM card in them, they will transmit your location. You can also choose devices that will let other people hear what is going on around you.
Simply leave this information with a friend or someone else that you trust, so that if you go missing, that person can give the necessary information about how to find you.
This is a special nail polish that will change colors when dipped into a drink that has known date rape drugs in it. Even if you make a mistake and go out with someone that has this kind of intent, finding out about the drugs before you swallow them can save you from disaster.
Video first seen on FOX 10 Phoenix.
Know the Signs You are Being Followed
Depending on the skill of your potential attacker, you may or may not detect if you are being followed. In the end, always assume that you are being followed, especially if you have a strange sense about a man in your area. When in doubt, walk into a public place where other people may act as a deterrent.
Here are some clues that may help you to determine if you are being followed, however this list is not exhaustive.
If you speed up or slow down your walking pace, the person following you may also adjust his pace.
When looking into a window that reveals the man behind you, or into a mirror, you may notice that they are staring at you or focused on you in some way.
While walking along a street, or through a mall, or even in a store, go to an area where you would not expect this man to follow (a restroom area, a lingerie department, or someplace else where it may seem strange). Pay careful attention: if the man is especially sloppy, he may follow you right into an area that isn’t normal for men to enter.
If you have a more experienced stalker on your hands, the man may stop short of the department you’re heading into or the store you are aiming for. Spend some time in that area, and while you are browsing around, look to see if he is nearby or watching. Don’t assume you are safe, just because the man seems to have walked by your area, or is someplace else yet still in visual distance.
Your litmus test, if you are in a store, should be if the man is visible at or near the checkout area. This includes outside or any other area where it would be easy for him to spot you again and follow you.
Before an actual attack occurs, any criminal or predator must get within 1 to 2 feet of you. Some men may try to advance quickly, while others may try to casually approach and start a conversation. Always be ready to defend yourself without appearing hyper vigilant or nervous.
Social Background Check Before You Go on a Date
Your greatest defense against getting involved with sexual predator is the experiences of other women. No matter whether you are new in an area, or away at college among strangers, immerse in the female social network around you. Include in your network women that know the area, and have a good sense of who the men around are.
Even if you have had several conversations with a specific man, and think you will be safe, remember that date rapists have some very polished social skills. As a result, they are very good at biding their time, and they will attack when you least expect it.
If the man in question is a relative stranger to the area, try to find out about other women in the area and where the man lived before. Try to find contacts that know the man in question for at least five to ten years. Female family members, former romantic partners, and others familiar with the man in question can all be a big help to you.
At the very least, try to establish a connection with your potential date on social networking sites, and review friend lists and conversations. If you cannot see the man’s friend list, or feel that information is being hidden from you, do not enter into a dating situation.
While this may seem extreme, remember that abuser doesn’t change just because they move from one area to another. Old social connections that may have kept up on social networking can still offer valuable clues and give you a chance to avoid a very nasty situation.
Make Self and Mutual Respect a Relationship Foundation
Do you remember the days when words like respect and morals had a tangible cultural meaning? Many women considers themselves “liberated” and look down on a man that wants to hold a car door open for them, etc., we have lost cultural signs of respect for ourselves and the opposite gender.
As corny as it may seem, without these ingrained cultural cues, it becomes difficult to read the intentions of people around you and remain within acceptable relationship boundaries. While most men may not enter a relationship with the intent to sexually abuse or harm their partner, the lack of cultural guidelines and self-discipline might lead to that.
No woman should enter into a date or relationship without the clear understanding that both parties must establish respect for themselves and each other. Even though this won’t necessarily guarantee your safety from a sexual predator, it can help you to avoid making some serious mistakes while playing the field.
Demand Reduced Legal Restrictions on Women for Self Defense Scenarios
Did you know a woman can face criminal charges if she brandishes a gun even though she is afraid she may be raped or attacked? These are just some of the many gun control laws that serve to intimidate and harm a woman’s right to protect herself.
Because women are at such a high risk from sexual predators, and also because men know women are less likely to carry a gun, it is absolutely necessary to significantly lower the “shoot don’t shoot” standards for women who carry guns.
The bottom line is, if a woman feels she is threatened with any kind of physical harm, she should be allowed to stand her ground, brandish her gun and to use it as she sees fit without fear of facing criminal charges.
Sadly, more than a few women have avoided being raped or murdered, yet wound up in prison because gun control laws dictated they somehow committed a crime. This problem can only be addressed through getting rid of these laws, and to set unfairly convicted women free; plus pay them for wrongful conviction.
Today, sexual predation on women is reaching epidemic proportions. Knowing how to defend yourself is crucial, as well as knowing how to prevent a situation from happening.
Would you know what to do to stay safe? Would you know how to survive an attacker?
This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.