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The first thing you need to learn is to be aware at all times of where you are at, it is not advisable to be distracted when out running or walking so no MP3 players or cell phones. If you need to talk on the phone then keep it short. Put 911 on speed dial on your phone. Don't put your back to any direction that could let an attacker attack you from behind.
Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their chequebook, or making a list, etc.) Don't do this! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. As soon as you get into your car, lock the doors and leave.
When you are getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage: Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor , and in the back seat. If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars. Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. It is always better to be safe than sorry. (And better paranoid than dead.)
ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at night!)
A few things to keep on your person or in your car: pepper spray or perfume (These can be used by spraying in the eyes of your attacker), a ball point pen (can be used to stab your attacker). He will be looking for things you can attack him with, but a pen looks normal and he won't think you will use it.
Rake his face with your keys and then kick him where it counts or just bring your knee up.
The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do! Remember the advice from that wonderful movie "Miss Congeniality", the most senstive areas on an attacker are the solar plexis, eyes, nose, groin.
Sing! This is not the time to be a lady scream, kick, hit, bite, pull hair. Always be prepared to run and if you have to hit him when he is down to keep him down.
If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, do not hand it to him. Toss it away from you. Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. Run like mad in the other direction! This goes for your car keys also.
As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: Stop, It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who always played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
Do not open your door to strangers but, even better, don't open your door to strange sounds either like a baby crying or the sound of puppies. Attackers use these sounds to get you to open the door so that they can get in.
If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, do not go out to investigate! These people turn on all your outside taps full ball so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.
It is a good idea to keep your house or apartment well lit. Outdoor lights will keep un-wanted people from entering your space and a good barking dog will also let you have a heads up when someone approaches. It does not have to be a trained attack, dog even a little poodle can tell you when someone is around.
If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
If someone is in the car with a gun to your head, do not drive off, Repeat: Do not drive off! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat, they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes, bail out and run. Cars can be replaced, you can not. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, always run! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely will not be a vital organ. Run, Preferably in a zig-zag pattern!
Stay alert, keep safe, and look out for your neighbours! It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle.
Be aware of your surroundings when opening your garage door (or any other door). Wait till passersby are past your home before opening your garage or getting out of your car, to go inside your home. Stay in your car for safety purposes. If need be, you can always leave in your car and come back later. Better to be safe than sorry.
By Terri from NV