While nothing can guarantee absolute safety for women, there are certain precautions women can take to reduce the risk of crimes against them.
Trust your instinct
Many women ignore their intuition because it is so quick and doesn’t take place at a conscious level. But it can save your life. When that little voice in the back of your head is telling you there might be danger, listen to it. Choose another route, take the next cab, hold your phone in your hand, do whatever you need to do to address that feeling of uneasiness.
Be aware of your surroundings and in control of yourself. Try and stay in a group as much as possible. Women have a tendency to be polite, trust easily and worry about being perceived as unnecessarily rude. It is always better to be over cautious than inattentive. Yes that well-dressed, polite stranger did a very nice thing by offering you a lift; but you have no obligation to accept. Similarly, just because someone looks harmless, doesn’t mean you have to allow them into your car or house.
Escape should be your first priority. Try your best to avoid being taken away from the primary crime scene. If you can’t, use whatever you have as a weapon; whether it’s your heels, nails, keys or even your fist. Your odds of survival are far greater if you fight back.
If possible, take a self-defence class, one that addresses real life situations and give you tips on how to get out of a dangerous confrontation. Carry things that will help you attack your attacker. Pepper spray and stun guns (both legal in India) are compact and easy to carry in small purses. They cause intense pain and can temporarily incapacitate your attacker.