I was recently asked a question on ALL Experts (http://www.allexperts.com/) that I have decided to answer here:
hi..i’m sure you already know this one, but here in mississippi, starting on july 1, women are going to be able to legally carry a gun in their purse. the police are saying this will cause a large increase in the number of purse snatchers in the area. i am wondering what kinds of things women can do so they are not such an easy victim of purse snatching, weather there is a gun in the purse or not. thank you!!
Purse snatching is not lonely a very old crime but is also a crime of chance. Statistically, criminals target women because they are easy marks. Every female carrying a purse is a potential target. It doesn’t matter the age or build. However senior citizens are especially susceptible to these criminals since they may not be readily able to defend themselves and pursue their assailants. Where you are and how you carry are factors. Remember criminals are looking for an easy score.
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO
Remember this phrase: When you hide the “prize” you protect yourself!
Be wise at all times.
When carrying a purse, you should have only 3 or 4 one dollar bills placed inside. Never carry large sums of cash, if loss it can’t be recovered. Consider carrying a debit card. Credit cards, spending currency, driver’s license, keys and jewelry should be carried in a coat or sweater pocket, or concealed on your person to reduce the opportunity of large losses. If you carry a purse, don’t wrap the strap around your shoulder, neck or wrist. If your purse is grabbed, a strong strap will not yield easily and you may be injured. Some purse snatch victims have been thrown down and have received concussions and broken bones. Never carry anything more valuable than you can afford to lose. Always leave all unnecessary credit cards at home. When you shop and carry a purse, place it in your shopping bag. Never leave your purse on a store counter, a grocery shopping cart, on a bar stool, or even on your care – even for a moment.
The best way to carry your purse
Hold your purse tightly and close to your body, whether on a bus, train, or walking. If possible, wear it underneath a coat or jacket. Also, secure the latch or zipper. Shorten the strap on your purse so you can carry it tightly between your elbow and body. You might be tempted to wear your purse diagonally on your body (over the neck as well as the shoulder) or loop the strap around your wrist to prevent the purse from being easily snatched, but keep in mind that if someone does try to steal your purse, a hard yank on tightly wound purse strap may cause you injury.
If Possible Leave your Purse at Home.
Oh I know, it’s a fashion accessories, and women love to show off their purses, but if it gets stolen you would have wished you left it home. Consider only carrying only necessary items (ID and money) in a wallet, tucked safely in your pocket. If you don’t have pockets and/or there are additional items you prefer to carry, such as makeup, keys, and a phone, consider putting them in a bag that wraps around your stomach (yea I know you hate fanny packs) and can be hidden from view, or a backpack strapped round both shoulders so that it can’t easily be snatched. Decide even before leaving the house whether the contents of your purse are worth getting hurt for.
Got those considering a gun read this article. http://www.corneredcat.com/article/practical-issues/should-i-carry-in-my-purse/
Always Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
Always, be aware of the area and the people, especially if you find yourself having to walk in an isolated or lightly populated area. Look at the person who might approach or pass you. Do not look away. Look directly at their hands or at what they might be carrying. They prefer to strike and run, and not be recognized. If you do not appear to be vulnerable and will be able to give their description, they just might keep walking past you.
Don’t Carry any Weapons that can be used against you.
I am a big proponent of self-defense. I lean towards non-lethal means. I am aware that ANYONE and EVERY ONE. Our primary concern in YOUR SAFETY and security. If you carry your self-defense weapon in your purse, just how quick do you think you can get it out and use it when you need to. Pepper Spray and some stun gun models fit right in your hand. Now there are moments where you may be able to, but how would you feel if you had a loaded gun in your purse, and that gun was later used to murder someone. If there is a struggle and your gun fell out, can you get to it first. Again, we are not against anyone carrying the self-defense weapon of their choice, just be wise in your selection, and know how to maintain control of it and get it when you need. it
There was a reason Jesus never sent his Disciples out alone.
You are safer when in the company of someone else. If you must be out alone, especially at night, stay in well-lighted areas. Walk close to street lights, staying well away from dark corners, alleys and building entrances. You may think that you’re exposing yourself to more purse snatchers, but they are more likely to strike in dark, isolated areas because they don’t want to get caught. Walk briskly and confidently.
Call the Police if you are a Victim
Most victims are attacked from behind and they don’t get a good look at their attacker. Typically when a juvenile gets away with purse snatching once, he’ll try it again. If attacked, call the police immediately. Try to remember all details – help your police help you! Report anything or anyone suspicious. If you suspect that someone seems to be lurking someplace that they do not belong, contact security if you are in a mall, or contact the manager if you are in a supermarket. Better to report your suspicions and be wrong, than to ignore it and be robbed or hurt.
Know what matters
Remember that you come before your purse. Don’t get killed over $20, two credit cards, a brush and lipstick. If someone pulls it away from your hands or your shoulder, let it go! It is more important to avoid injury or death than save a purse and contents that can be replaced. Never fight to keep it.
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