I haven’t felt this strongly about something since I was a self-righteous teen, and if I sound like that now, I don’t mean to. Except that I can’t stand by without at least trying to do something.
A recent incident happened at my aunt’s, where a repairman attempted to force himself on her maid. It was only a lucky interruption from his colleague that saved her.
This is an echo of many stories we read in our local news—of girls, maids, women being subjected to such violence. While most cases are reported, and the criminals are tried in court (not as severely as the crime deserves, unfortunately), keep in mind that there are probably tons of these cases that aren’t reported.
When you read about the violence so many times, acts that happen right here, that could happen to anyone, you wonder why a proper safety and self-defense awareness campaign was never organized.
I mean, people thought to promote a campaign on dressing appropriately in public (and this type of news almost rivals the rape stories) but not even a thought was given on how to educate our girls on protecting themselves against an unknown (or known) predator?
For shame, is all I have to say.
Because I have a little sister and cousins, and I’ve done a little research for me and others to keep in mind to protect themselves.
1) Don’t be distracted
If you know you’ll be going into shady areas, do not look at your phone, or listen to your iPod. Always look around you, listen and watch. Make eye contact with those around you even, in case something happens and you can identify the person.
This is the cardinal rule for me—it’s always better to walk around as a group.
It fits a little with rule number one, but always make sure doors are locked (car and home), and don’t open doors for strangers.
This may sound tricky, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Lisbeth Salander in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is that everything is a weapon. Keys, pens—you can even take with you a water bottle with lemon juice and pepper (I exaggerate, but it could work!).
5) Scream bloody murder
In the event that something happens to you, be prepared to scream. Scream for help. Scream for someone to call the police. Just scream.
6) Self-defense classes
One thing a predator would not be prepared for is a prey that is capable of fighting back. These guys go after the vulnerable—eliminate that with a self-defense classes.
7) Trust your instincts
It’s better to be slightly paranoid—and this helps you prepare mentally.
8) Finally, be observant
I’m not repeating this point. Be observant of your surroundings—while nothing may happen to you, something could be happening right across the street that you could stop. We’re a nation that looks out for one another—so look out for your fellow citizens and report if something seems suspicious.