Any situation necessitating self-defense is always controlled with a calm mind and spirit. Throughout the I WILL FIGHT BACK course, the importance of a calm, controlled disposition has been stressed repeatedly. The calmness will enable the person to be able to give accurate descriptions (height, facial features, length of hair, type of clothing, etc.).
I want to list some ways to avoid confrontational situations in the home, on the street, and in your car. I will also list some general rules of overall safety that you can refer to, particularly to refresh your mind or even to duplicate and distribute to your friends.
1. Have good lighting on all windows and doors.
2. Have strongly anchored door safety chains.
3. Install dead-bolt locks on all doors leading to the outside or to hallways.
4. Peep-holes should be installed on all doors leading to the outside or to hallways.
5. Make certain that all windows are well protected. There are rubber stoppers that make it impossible to open windows from the outside. These are available from most hardware stores. Broom handles also work very well.
6. If a stranger comes to your door asking to use the phone to get help or to report an accident, DO NOT let this stranger inside your home. Offer to make the call yourself, but never let them inside! Be especially aware and cautious if they claim to know someone that you know. This is a common ploy of rapists. DO NOT LET THEM INSIDE!
7. Always ask servicemen or deliverymen, i.e., phone company, electric company, etc., for proper ID. Legitimate service personnel carry ID cards with their pictures on them in color. Have them slip it under the door. DON’T OPEN THE DOOR UNTIL YOU ARE SURE OF PROPER IDENTIFICATION. I recommend not even open the door with the safety chain on, as most of them are not strong enough to stop a determined effort at forced entry. Another idea is to ask for their superior’s name and make a quick call to confirm, while they wait outside a locked door.
ON THE STREET:
1. Whenever possible, travel with companions. Groups are seldom attacked.
2. If you have long hair, wear it up. Worn down is easily grabbed and pulled.
3. When out at night, wear comfortable shoes, ones that are easy to run in. Avoid wearing high heels or platform shoes, you cannot run or mount an effective counterattack in these types of shoes. REMEMBER: Practice safety first and be fashionable or in-style second.
4. Always stay on well-traveled, well-lit streets.
5. Take note of which businesses are open where you might be able to get help if you need it.
6. When getting off a bus, be aware of who may be getting off with you. Awareness of potential trouble can prevent possible confrontations.
7. If someone seems to be following you, cross the street and change directions. If that person changes directions with you, YELL, SCREAM LOUDLY! Frequently screaming “FIRE” gets a better response than yelling for help in a different way. Don’t be bashful yell LOUDLY!
8. If you are sure you are being followed and your safety is imperiled, consider throwing a heavy object, like a rock or shoe, through a lighted window. Generally, this will get someone to call the police, even if they don’t help you.
9. Stay away from alleys!
10. Always walk on the outside of sidewalks away from bushes and shrubs. On particular streets and at late hours, walk in the center of the street if there is no vehicular traffic.
IN THE CAR:
1. Have your key chain in hand when you’re going to your car or house, as this prevents you from having to fumble for it when you need to get inside quickly.
2. Your key chain is your primary weapon, don’t go ANYWHERE without it.
3. Always park at well-lit areas as near your destination as possible.
4. Always lock your car doors and keep them locked WHILE driving.
5. Always approach your car from the rear and check underneath the car before entering. Also, check the back seat and floor before opening the car door.
6. Always keep your car locked. If you come to your car and find the door unlocked, be very suspicious and cautious.
7. If you are driving a friend home, always wait until she is safely inside the house before you drive away; and of course, ask your friends to do the same for you.
8. If your car has become disabled, raise the hood and sit inside with the doors locked until help arrives. Always keep your cellphone handy.
9. It is a good idea to carry safety flares in your car. A tire inflator that temporarily repairs flats is also a good idea to have in your car.
10. Leave the windows rolled up while you talk to any strangers who may offer assistance. It may be preferable to remain in your car rather than go to strangers for assistance. If strangers have your best interest at heart, they will understand and go telephone for help for you.
11. Remember, on freeways, highways, and interstates in Arizona, there are patrolmen on duty at all hours and you won’t have to wait long until a law officer will find you. So, don’t
be afraid to wait in your locked car until help comes.
12. Never approach a car closer than 12 to 15 feet when someone is asking you for directions or assistance.
13. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER HITCH-HIKE!!
IN OFFICE BUILDING:
1. If you work late, always try to leave an office building with companions. If not, call the security people and ask for an escort to your car.
2. Always stand 6 to 9 feet away from the elevator door entrance while waiting for one to open. NEVER enter an elevator where there is a lone, male stranger.
3. If you are in an elevator alone, and a lone male stranger enters, particularly after hours, get out immediately, whenever riding on elevators, have your key chain ready. If you sense danger make sure you position yourself so that you can effectively use your key chain. Be aware of men observing which floor you enter and then they exit one floor before you to surprise you on your floor.
4. If you are entering a large office building or apartment building after hours and there are strangers loitering nearby, it may be preferable to go to a telephone and call the people you are going to visit and have them accompany you inside.
WEAPONS YOU CAN USE:
1. Your key chain is your primary weapon, don’t go anywhere without it!
2. Your own mind, eyes, and ears. STAY CALM, RELAX AND SAY THIS: IT’S HAPPENING TO ME NOW, AND WHAT I DO WILL DETERMINE THE OUTCOME.
3. Pencils, pens, combs, hatpins; all can be effectively used towards the vital spots that you already know.
4. Brooms, chairs, grocery carts, rolled-up newspapers and magazines, book edges, telephone handles, hangers, paper clips, business cards; all can be effective deadly weapons when used with determination towards the vital spots that you already know.
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Yes, dangerous to any assailant. When that little knowledge is PRACTICAL, TACTICAL, AND DEADLY, a little knowledge is all that you’ll ever need. Simple things work. Keep it simple and practical. “Hit n’ Run” takes care of keeping it tactical and deadly. Remember, calmness and awareness are the keys to survival in an assault or rape situation.