In our last entry, we discussed listening to your gut instinct. But once that internal alarm goes off, what do you do? Where should you go to be safe?
Pinpoint a safe place and go to it! These safe havens can include large stores or supermarkets, public libraries, bank lobbies, hotel lobbies, restaurants, office buildings – any place with people and where you can safely call for assistance if you need to.
If it is late night, a convenience store, on an all-night pharmacy, or even a well-lit service station are good options. In residential area, go to a well –maintained, well-lit house. If you happen to see a public service vehicle in the driveway (Police, fire, EMS..etc) that is also better. Knock on the door, identify yourself, and explain the problem. However, don’t be surprised if people don’t readily open the door. (See :Knock, Knock – Home Invasion Tips).
On your way to a safe place, get your cell phone out. If you feel imminently threatened, call 9-1-1, but keep walking. Even if you don’t feel that danger is certain, pretend to talk to the police. As you do, make the conversation look purposeful, and keep scanning your environment. Show whoever is out there that you are fully alert and that you are not really alone, but are in contact with others.
I reiterate, trust your instincts, but do not let your gut feeling overwhelm you. Keep your eyes and ears open to what is actually around you.
Don’t look straight ahead or look downward. Be alert and aware, and show the world that you are alert and aware. Scan your environment, moving your head from left to right. Keep your eyes moving, Glance rather than stare. Do not become fixated on any one object.
If you see a potential threat, do not look away. Glance and then glare at the person to let him know that you are aware of his presence and that you are prepared for anything he may do. If you happen to have your pepper spray or stun gun handy, bring it to ready. It is best not to make direct eye contact, but glare through the other person by looking just over his/her shoulder. Keep the angle of your vision high. The message you are conveying is that he has lost the element of surprise. You are ready from anything this person may do, and if they happen to see what you have in your hands, they may think twice, especially of you just happen to test fire your stun gun. As all of this is going on, keep moving towards a place of safety.
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