Disclaimer: This is not to be practised for ego or amusement. Outcomes can be fatal, and the advice given is for when circumstances call for it. Should you wish to practice the techniques below, please look here.
*Or at least ways to deflect strange men from attacking you.
I’ve seen a tweet recently, which I imagine many of you have also seen. It’s about a girl being followed by a man she doesn’t know when she’s walking home alone one day. She bumps into another girl that she doesn’t know and they convince the man that they are friends so that he realises she is not alone, not a target, and he leaves her alone walking in the other direction. It inspired me to re-iterate the importance of awareness as a woman, and the extra lengths that we have to go to ensure that we do get home safely.
A few years ago, I actually filmed a youtube video about tips and tricks for staying safe when you’re out by yourself. There was some controversy drawn to the video, one viewer actually told me “I’m sorry, but you’re an idiot. You’re a woman; you have no chance in a street fight. Buy a gun and learn to use it.” Someone else commented “Really? Bitch!”
There have been over 3.5k views on this clip, I know that’s not a lot in the grand scheme of views these days, but when the content is timelessly applicable and important to know, it’s a good start. I thought after reading the tweet and replies this week, it would be a helpful idea to bring that video, and the tips and tricks talked about it in, to a blog post; hopefully to help someone who may find themselves in a position when walking down a road by themselves, needing something to aid them out of a bad situation.
Last night some girl came running up to me whispering “please pretend to be my friend this man has been following me for 6 blocks” as soon as this guy saw me hugging her he said “fuck” and went the other way. Please ladies stay safe and never walk alone!
— Gabriella . (@gabriellarichh) July 12, 2018
Firstly, if you can avoid walking somewhere by yourself, DO.
But if not, and sometimes it can’t be avoided, but there are things to bare in mind and maybe just consider if circumstances demand.
Small things to carry with you, big effects on those ruthless enough to try anything against you.
- Loose Change
Throw it in their face as a distraction, RUN.
- Your phone
Be on it, pretend to be on it, it doesn’t matter but just mention where you are when you feel afraid “Yeah, I’m just at so and so, I’ll be with you in a moment”. Throw them off track by letting them know or think that someone is aware of where you are and that you’re meeting someone very soon.
- Mini Hairspray/Perfume/Body Spray
Apply like pepper spray.
If you’re really concerned, hold them in your fist, with the sharp piece of the key sticking out between your knuckles – channel your inner Wolverine.
- Old Credit Card
Slash with it. RUN.
- A Ballpoint Pen
Stab with it. RUN.
What you want to be doing is buying yourself time. Time is everything. It takes a quarter of a second to perceive an attack, analyse the attack, formulate a plan of response, and execute that plan. So every distraction you can cause your attacker, buys you time, ultimately allowing you that chance to run, and get home safely. Of course, throwing your change in his face may not be enough, so I would of course still advise further self defence lessons (Would you be interested in a series of self defence blogs??) but these are some very simple ways to buy yourself that extra time.
I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this unless you’re going to tell me that as a woman I can’t defend myself and that I need to just buy a gun. Is there any interest in more posts like this? Because I have so much that along this line that I can talk to you about if you’d like! Let me know.
Just be aware of your surroundings, try not to walk down empty roads alone, and if you do, just keep this in mind. Be safe everyone. x