Know how to protect yourself


It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst of situations. Knowing self defense and other forms of protection against predators is one step that everyone should take in order to be prepared. Self-defense is a very important and useful skill to have, no matter your physical strength, age or abilities. You never know when you may need to put your skills to use in order to protect you or the ones that you love.

Classes are offered at schools, community centers and gyms. Everyone is welcome to attend the classes, but women are especially encouraged to participate. Speaking from experience, I know how helpful it is to know areas of the body that can really injure the predator in order for you to escape. By taking classes, you can become more knowledgeable and have hands-on experience with somewhat realistic scenarios given by the instructor. They are great stress relievers and workouts as well.

Another very important thing you can do for yourself is to listen to your intuition and your gut feelings. Those feelings are there for a reason and for the most part, they are correct. Don’t ignore them. Often people push away and suppress the feelings because they think they are being too careful or paranoid. If you feel like the situation or someone is just “not right,” then immediately excuse yourself from that area. I have had instances while in Seattle where I didn’t feel safe, but I kept my composure and confidence and just walked away. That is the best thing you can do. Walk away, and go somewhere else. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable or you feel like you are unable to protect yourself.

Even though Seattle isn’t the most dangerous place in the world, everyone should always look out for him or herself and be aware of their surroundings. If you are not confident in your self-defense abilities, there are always other ways to protect yourself. For example, it can be as simple as carrying pepper spray in your purse, backpack or pocket. They are very cheap, easy to use and come in all sorts of colors. I have a fashionable purple pepper spray that, luckily, hasn’t been used yet.

Pepper spray is very handy and convenient. They can be purchased in hunting and fishing stores, sports equipment stores, Walmart and online. For those of us that aren’t the most coordinated, it would be a good idea to practice using the spray outside on a tree or other targets away from other people. The variety of pepper sprays is endless to suit your personal needs.

Along with knowing your surroundings and being prepared, it is important that others perceive you as being strong, confident and assertive. Often, predators prey on those that look weak. They want vulnerable, naïve people that can be easily manipulated. If you are walking around by yourself no matter the time of day, walk with confidence. If you are walking in a bad area of the city, walk with a group of friends and always be prepared for the worst.