Let me introduce you to Maura Barclay. She is a certified self-defense instructor, martial artist and the founder of Unbreakable Woman, a compassionate self-defense and empowerment program, which helps women and girls become more confident and stand up for themselves. I recently reached out to her and asked her if she had heard about the rash of violence against women in India. Maura said she was deeply saddened and wanted to do something about it. That’s when Sayfty and Unbreakable Woman partnered in an effort to bring you crucial information and resources so you can reduce your fear, increase your confidence and avoid violence. Together we worked on creating a video highlighting some simple steps that can help any women stay alert and safe. Here are the 5 tips we share in the video.
Have a plan and be ready to use it at any time. Think about every self-defense scenario you might encounter. What would you do? If you make a plan before something happens, you’re much more likely to stay calm and execute your plan rather than panic which can prevent you from helping yourself. Have a discussion with a trusted friend about this idea so you know how many options are available to you. One thing survivors consistently say is they thought it would never happen to them. If you’ve thought about what you would do and you accept that it could happen, although it still be scary, you will have a plan, and know what to do.
If you are ever confronted by a dangerous person, do NOT get in a car or allow yourself to get taken to a secluded area. The moment you are threatened, yell to draw attention to yourself and run toward crowded, public areas. The more noise you make, the more likely the man will run the other direction. If a criminal is threatening violence and wants your purse or jewelry, give it to him. It can all be repurchased. If the criminal wants you to follow him to an isolated area, do everything in your power to avoid going with him.
On public transportation, if it’s not too crowded, sit close to the driver. If someone is harassing you or touches you inappropriately, point them out to everyone around you and shame them for their behavior. Tell them “Stop touching me!” or “Stop staring at me!” and be sure to report them to the driver. You have the right to stand up to these indignities. No one is allowed to touch you without your permission.
Strangers only know what you tell them with your body language. When you’re walking down the street, walk with confidence. Keep your gaze up, shoulders broad and imagine that the streets you’re walking on belong to you. Even if you feel scared, don’t let strangers see that. If you look like you can handle yourself, that’s the message criminals will receive and they aren’t interested in any women who looks like she is willing to put up a fight.
If you need to walk somewhere at night, arrange to walk with a friend or in a group. If you don’t have the option of walking with someone, pre-plan your route during the day and make sure you stick to well lit, populated areas, even if you have to walk out of your way. Take the extra time to get home safely. Have emergency numbers handy and let your family know when to expect you. Also, stay alert, don’t talk on your phone or listen to music with ear phones. Many criminals are actually looking for women who are too distracted to notice them. If you need more information about Unbreakable Women please visit here. If you’d like to know more about Sayfty’s work, you can browse through our website and our social media pages. The links are: Facebook Twitter We sincerely hope you found these tips useful and easy. On behalf of Sayfty & Unbreakable Women we thank you for your attention. Do write to us and share your feedback.