In the sad wake of the Claudia Lawrence anniversary I thought now would be a good time to highlight some personal safety tips for ladies that do a lot of networking or act as lone workers, basically professional women who are out and about in all sorts of places.
I think many people whether male or female often take the view that it won’t happen to them but sadly it can and does happen. Many public sector workers have to actually go into people’s homes and attacks can occur here too.
So here are my seven simple tips on personal safety:
- Always tell someone (who you trust and you know is reliable) where you are going. If you can’t do that write it in a diary somewhere. If an attacker knows you and knows people know you are with them they are much less likely to attack.
- Always carry a personal alarm – I think this is a very good idea. Most people think that an alarm is to raise awareness and get people to come to your rescue. An alarm is actually there to stop someone in the tracks because the attacker will have an attack ritual (plan). The alarm is to try and distract and break that ritual and put them off. The good thing is it may well alarm someone nearby indirectly too. Also if you use it close to the ear of the attacker that can have a very large impact. When buying an alarm what people need to realise is decibels are measured exponentially meaning that 138 decibels can be several times louder 100 decibels. Personally I would recommend a key ring gas personal alarm with a minimum of at least 138 decibels like this one. I would also recommend using a UV attack defence spray. The spray emits thick slimy goo and stains the face and leaving a UV Tracer which can act as the ultimate device for defending yourself. It works on two fronts firstly it temporarily blinds someone and secondly it leaves the trace of UV behind. It’s half the size of a deodorant, so can easily fit into a handbag. If you spray someone in the face and it stays – it takes around 48hrs to get rid of the colour but the UV is still present. To see how effective it is check out the video I have embedded in this post.
- Always try to meet other people in places where CCTV is present. For instance I networked at Harrogate International Centre yesterday and I was seen by about 30 cameras all day. People are far less likely to commit a crime if they are on camera.
- Make sure your privacy settings on social networks like Facebook are set to their highest settings and be wary of people you have never heard of you approaching you on them.
- Have a mag-light touch for your car, is a good idea to check who is in the vehicle before you get into it. There have been cases where people lay in wait in the back seat of a person’s vehicle. If you have a mag-light torch it could also double up nicely as a weapon if needs be.
- Make sure you are a member of the AA or RAC, personally I think this is quite important. Because if you breakdown – you can call them quickly rather than standing by the roadside trying to call people over.
- Always try to know your way into a building and always have an escape route planned, even if it involves jumping out a first floor window. I have taught my boys how to get out of our family home if there is a fire – instead of facing a fire. Be prepared, it is always.
I am not saying these small steps will save your life or that you have to be worried you are going to be attacked. What I am saying is you can be aware and have an alarm to help you if a situation like this occurs. I mean an alarm costs £19.99 and could save your life to me that makes (pardon the pun) good sense.