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thistle

Safety Tips for Women

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I wanted to start this thread as a discussion topic, mostly because so much of what we see in the media, including in kdramas and movies, may advance the plot, but may mean that women have to act in naive or thoughtless ways which put them in danger so that a hero can come saving them. However, in the real world, women are responsible for trying to keep themselves as safe as possible, because even then bad things can happen, but we might as well try to minimize those risks when we can.

 

Over the years, I've noticed members who have had some good advice in terms of what to do and not to do in situations. I wanted to start this thread off with a post I saw recently which I've copied here with the member's permission.

 

3 hours ago, thistle said:

So, some small things to think about:

 

1.  If you think your apartment has been compromised, do Not enter.  Distance is a safety net.  Get away.  Knock on a neighbor's door.  Go to a location where there are more people.  Shout for help.  Call the police.  Do something but do NOT go inside.  Nothing that you own is worth your life or your personal safety.

 

2.  This is relevant if you have a car.  If you feel that your safety is jeopardized and if you are near your vehicle, hit the panic button on your key fob.  Even if you are in your home, you may be near enough to the car for the panic button to work.  When we are fearful, we may not think clearly so plan ahead on this:  envision yourself hitting the panic button so that the action is natural when it becomes necessary.  Oftentimes, loud noises like this can scare away an attacker--they don't want to be caught doing wrong.  Think about that panic button.  Prepare your mind.

 

3.  Also, on the matter of keys:  keep your keys close by you; put them on your bedside table at night.  Keys can be a defensive weapon in necessary.  Yes, I know you don't want to think about stabbing someone with your keys but if you need to be safe, you can do it.  Again, envision it in advance.  Your mind will help prepare your body to react.

 

4.  When you are out, do NOT put your keys in your purse.  Why?  Well, if someone takes your purse, they will not only have information about where you live but you will have also given them access with your keys.  If you lose your purse with your keys in it, do Not go home.  Call the police and a locksmith first.  Even if it is a big expense, change the locks--your safety is primary.

 

5.  Put ICE on your cell phone.  Possibly you have already done this but if you haven't do it today; do it right now before you forget.  ICE=In Case of Emergency.  This is the person you want to have contacted if you are in trouble.  If you are unconscious, the police or emergency workers will check your phone to see who should act as your guardian--they may have to sort through many contacts.  Help them out by putting the word ICE in front of your emergency contact's name.  It can save precious time in a crisis.

 

6.  Above all, think about the bad stuff that can happen before it does.  Imagine "what if" so that you can avoid trouble and also so that you will be prepared for a time when you may need to act immediately.  

 

 

 

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Thanks for bringing my post over.  There are so many small ways that we can protect ourselves.  We don't have to be Women Warriors; we just need to be vigilant about small sensible things that can help to keep us safe.

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I agree that there are things that we can do to try to maximize our own safety, and those things may change depending on your environment, your local laws, and your own comfort level. And some of it may be common sense, but some of it can be counter-intuitive, especially in the moment.

 

My apartment was broken into a while ago, and I found out when I got home from work to find my front door open. In hindsight, the thing to do would have been to go to a friend's or neighbor's to call the cops. Instead, I rushed in, wondering what the heck was going on. My instinct was to find out more and ascertain the damage.

 

Fortunately, whoever tossed my apartment was gone, so the worse I had was some cuts from tripping on some broken glass. But, still, I realized afterwards that I would have been completely vulnerable to an attack, especially in the emotional state I was in right then.

 

Hopefully, more people will join us here to tell us their stories of challenges, or their favorite tips on protecting themselves in whatever situation.

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1 hour ago, stroppyse said:

My apartment was broken into a while ago, and I found out when I got home from work to find my front door open.

 

Oh my goodness!  I am so glad that you are okay and were not badly harmed.  That must have been so scary.  Hugs to you. 

 

Too often it is only when we become victims of crime that we realize that we need to use caution.  I know this for sure because that is when I began to learn about protecting myself, too:  I was the victim of a mugging.  I lost my purse and I got a black eye; thank God that it was no worse than that.  There were ways I could have avoided being a crime victim but I didn't know that until after it happened.

 

What I have come to believe about protection is this:  avoidance and escape are the keys.  It does not matter what you lose (your purse, your car, any belongings) as long as you don't lose your life and as long as you can stay physically safe.  While avoidance is a primary duty, I think that it's perhaps more important to consider the necessity of escape.

 

Fighting back is not the answer for most women, certainly I could not do so.  I believe in what I call the Five Second Rule:  that's the amount of time you need to get away.  It's not much but it can save you from harm.  If you can delay an assailant or an intruder for five seconds, you have a chance to save yourself by hiding, running away, or otherwise finding safety.  While it is important to call emergency services, you need to remember that it will take time for them to arrive; in the meanwhile, you are on your own.  Making a Five Second getaway is vital.  You can do this by making a lot of noise.  You can do this by knocking over trash cans or whatever else might get in someone's way.  You can do this by planning ahead.

 

A couple of years ago, I wrote some editorials for my local newspaper about safety for women.  I'll share one with you.  This is about "passive defense" techniques at home.

 

 

Not long ago, I was helping a woman from my church to move.  She was over 70 years old,  and she would have to live alone for the first time in her life.  She had relied first on her father and then on her husband and her sons; now she was completely on her own and she was very scared.  She told me that she could not afford a security system and did not want a gun.  I told her this, "You don't have to have either of those.  What you really need is Five Seconds."  I said that I'd explain after we decorated her ground-floor apartment.

 

She had the normal brick-a-brack that nearly everyone does, and I collected some of those items together:  small decorative tins, extra wine glasses and tumblers, a collection of odd spoons, jingle bells from Christmas, and some pretty ribbon.


On some of the windows, I arranged an assortment of tins.  On others, I made a display of pretty glass items--we put some cute little things like marbles and old spools of thread in them.  This looked nice and made her happy.   Then I cut lengths of ribbon and tied it onto little bunches of jingle bells.  I did the same with the spoons, making whimsical chimes of them.  And I hung these on the back of every door in the apartment.  She thought this was cheerful and fun.

 

This is when I told her, "Now, you have the Five Seconds that you need."  

 

And I explained to her what this meant:  The simple and common decorations were now an integral part of her defensive system.  If anyone opened a window or a door in her apartment, she would be alerted by noise.  Tins or glass would fall from the windowsills to clatter or shatter; doors would resound with bells or chimes, even if someone only rattled the doorknob.  No one could get inside without making a racket.  Once she heard the noise (even if woken in the middle of the night), she now had a small space in time to get away.  In any case, most intruders will leave when there is a loud noise--they don't want to be caught. 

 

I encouraged her to think ahead about where she could hide outside or barricade herself in easily nearby or where she could run.  It's not something you have to worry about or fear if you are ready and if you have a plan.  I suggested that she keep her keys and a pair of shoes next to the bed with this as a plan:  "Close the bedroom door, and shove the dressing chair under the handle.  Open a window and jump out.  Then run and hide."  She should not think about what she was wearing because embarrassment means nothing when you are in danger.  She should leave everything behind except her keys and her phone but even to leave those if she must.  If she thought this through carefully, she would be prepared if necessity arose.

 

Personal safety is always more important than any possession.  If someone enters your home illegally, you have to get out.  What you need is a Five Seconds warning so that you can react.  Just Five Seconds, and you can do it.  Five Seconds.  It's important.  You don't need a security firm or a gun.  You need Five Seconds.  And you need to think ahead so that you can escape.  You can call the police later; run first.  

 

 

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42 minutes ago, thistle said:

Personal safety is always more important than any possession.  If someone enters your home illegally, you have to get out.  What you need is a Five Seconds warning so that you can react.  Just Five Seconds, and you can do it.  Five Seconds.  It's important.  You don't need a security firm or a gun.  You need Five Seconds.  And you need to think ahead so that you can escape.  You can call the police later; run first.  

 

I had not heard it expressed as a 5 Second Rule, but that is so true. You need a space of time where you can run away or call for help or do something rather than be unpleasantly surprised.

 

I think that the way the lady's apartment was decorated so that it was cheerful while also being practical in case someone is trying to break in is inspired. I tend to be a minimalist myself, so not a lot of stuffs, but I may have to rethink this one. :) 

 

I used to travel around a lot, due to an excess of curiosity, and I don't always take precautions, so I have been in a few bad situations while traveling. I think the primary rule is one that you've pointed out, nothing that you have is worth your life. Though, losing a passport in a foreign country is a total nightmare.

 

I am also comforted by the number of people who were willing to help me when I needed it, though. I feel that I may just have gotten lucky a few times as well,, though whatever it was, I'm grateful.

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3 hours ago, stroppyse said:

My apartment was broken into a while ago, and I found out when I got home from work to find my front door open. In hindsight, the thing to do would have been to go to a friend's or neighbor's to call the cops. Instead, I rushed in, wondering what the heck was going on. My instinct was to find out more and ascertain the damage.

 

sometimes when situation happen no one think .... u kinda react to it.....over the years.....i had to school myself to breath in first when things happen so that i do not panic and fall into a momentum to react on instinct....

 

luckily that thief already out ><" 

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This clip from the movie Miss Confidentiality starring Sandra Bullock has some tips for women in physically protecting themselves. It's not bad advice, especially if an assailant has managed to get a hold of you. Plus, it's actually a fun clip.

 

Movie is fun as well, if a bit dated now, about a tomboy police officer who has to try to go undercover at a beauty pageant. Given the current unrest regarding police brutality, this movie may also be part of the problem which creates overt sympathy for the police, but it's still a fun movie, even if you take the goodwill of the actual police as unrealistic.

 

 

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I've noticed that many are so careless with their social media accounts. All sort of personal details are in their about info. Worse, the info are publicly accessible. Their photos and whereabouts can also be seen by anyone at real time.

 

Just because you signed up with FB, IG, Twitter, etc, it doesn't mean that you must fill out details that are asked about you. Why would you just give away information about you as if you're applying for a passport, or security clearances? 

 

If by chance you're being stalked, you've basically handed over to whoever is watching you the keys on how to find and get you.

 

And please, responsible and sensible behaviour online! Remember, whatever you've posted online aren't yours anymore. It can bite you back in the future if you don't take care.

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Good point @MayanEcho, I know that we all apply for a number of different accounts and they all want information about us. You don't have to answer every question, or at least check the security settings to make sure that not everyone can see everything about you, even if you might be cultivating a fan base.

 

Actually, one of the apps that I struggle with is location tracking. On the one hand, it's a lot of fun and can be useful, but I wonder if it's also basically asking to be stalked? I don't know. I'm just saying that the online isn't that easy.

 

Also, as more hiring managers to do online searches for candidates, it also makes you wonder what you might want your prospective employer(s) and colleagues to see about you. 

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@stroppyse I believe that the barest minimum information should be enough if it's really needed for location tracking.  The user should be prudent on how much info can be shared about her, because there is always a chance that info can be misused when it's in the wrong hands.

 

To be honest, I have had so many facepalm moments when I see shared contents that gives out the exact address. For example, a drone shot video of somebody's new house and yard, and then posted with the name of street and the area. Though I get the person is happy and proud to show how beautiful their new home, I can't help feeling dismayed as well when it's posted publicly; not only friends or family can see now, but even strangers who sees the video would know what's in there, who lives there, and where is it.

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22 minutes ago, MayanEcho said:

Though I get the person is happy and proud to show how beautiful their new home, I can't help feeling dismayed as well when it's posted publicly; not only friends or family can see now, but even strangers who sees the video would know what's in there, who lives there, and where is it.

 

I do think it's unfortunate that someone is happy and proud, and thus celebrating, however, that is exactly the thing that someone may see and then decide to target you. :(

 

I also admit that it can feel overwhelming to have to be careful on so many fronts, both physical and online. Still, a bit of forethought could save a lot of regret later on. So, the trick is not to blame yourself if something happens, but put some precautions in while you have the wherewithal to think things through a bit and not just react emotionally or go overboard.

 

I have to say that I'm a big fan of moderation and trying to think things through, even while accepting that one can't control everything, and that sometimes bad things happen to good people.

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8 hours ago, MayanEcho said:

To be honest, I have had so many facepalm moments when I see shared contents that gives out the exact address. For example, a drone shot video of somebody's new house and yard, and then posted with the name of street and the area. Though I get the person is happy and proud to show how beautiful their new home, I can't help feeling dismayed as well when it's posted publicly; not only friends or family can see now, but even strangers who sees the video would know what's in there, who lives there, and where is it.

 

i remember getting keys for my new home.....i only posted the postbox hahaha...no address or where the location is......

 

however honestly i seldom share personal stuff online....my sister complain that my FB is boring cause it is main all on games :D 

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1 hour ago, angelangie said:

however honestly i seldom share personal stuff online....my sister complain that my FB is boring cause it is main all on games :D 

 

Ahahaha!

 

That would be similar to my FB then, only random pics of places visited, interesting qoutes from books, etc, once or twice a year pic of me, and mostly the mini-mes. That too, I make sure that pics of us I post can't be used as IDs, nor do I use those for profile or profile cover.

 

Though I trust the friends and families in my account, I can not control who can see my feed through their accounts. So what I post are still very sanitised. I don't post where am I or what I'm doing. If I ever do, like holidays, I only say something about it when it's over and I'm back.

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1 hour ago, MayanEcho said:

 

Ahahaha!

 

That would be similar to my FB then, only random pics of places visited, interesting qoutes from books, etc, once or twice a year pic of me, and mostly the mini-mes. That too, I make sure that pics of us I post can't be used as IDs, nor do I use those for profile or profile cover.

 

Though I trust the friends and families in my account, I can not control who can see my feed through their accounts. So what I post are still very sanitised. I don't post where am I or what I'm doing. If I ever do, like holidays, I only say something about it when it's over and I'm back.

 

i'm a lil less sanatized lols, when im travelling i like to post......since im not home and im somewhere else....just a pictures of the location im visiting..... :) 

 

cause my sister want that....she couldnt join the trip however she want to see what we are seeing :) 

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1 hour ago, angelangie said:

 

i'm a lil less sanatized lols, when im travelling i like to post......since im not home and im somewhere else....just a pictures of the location im visiting..... :) 

 

cause my sister want that....she couldnt join the trip however she want to see what we are seeing :) 

 

That is also alright, because we want our closest family members to be updated on our whereabouts. :) IMO though, talking about the places and locations visited while still travelling would be better done in private massaging.

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4 minutes ago, MayanEcho said:

 

That is also alright, because we want our closest family members to be updated on our whereabouts. :) IMO though, talking about the places and locations visited while still travelling would be better done in private massaging.

 

its all on preferences.....though sometimes i do like to share some thing at my FB....not all the times....just a pictures once  a while hahaha....my brother in law dont have IG, FB or twitter.....

 

for my twitter sorry no personal all artist stuff and news only ROFL :D 

 

im not like my cousin whom posted every single thing into her FB....there once i saw her posting her work related stuff into FB unintentionally reveal abit more than she should, i PM-ed her and told her to take it out.....cause she might get into hot soup for doing that....

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thank you for making this thread happen really great idea @stroppyse & @thistle it's very helpful for me that mostly being live alone now,  all the posts are insightful me like it so much:heartxoxo:safety first ladies!:heart4:

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19 minutes ago, angelangie said:

for my twitter sorry no personal all artist stuff and news only ROFL :D 

 

im not like my cousin whom posted every single thing into her FB....there once i saw her posting her work related stuff into FB unintentionally reveal abit more than she should, i PM-ed her and told her to take it out.....cause she might get into hot soup for doing that....

 

My Twitter has no contents at all, lol. I only have that account to communicate with an airline.

 

Same with you, I've had to PM some friends or relatives over some posts which shouldn't be posted. Though to be honest, it's a bit difficult to tell the elders to take down something from their walls. :lol:

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2 minutes ago, MayanEcho said:

Same with you, I've had to PM some friends or relatives over some posts which shouldn't be posted. Though to be honest, it's a bit difficult to tell the elders to take down something from their walls. :lol:

 

oh i have no worries on this....my mom dont own a FB a/c and im not going to create one for her lols, my aunts and uncles told me i should school my mom on that....i say no....i dont have the times to filter her stuff... :x

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It seems to be youngsters and the elders who are least aware of the reach of the internet, and that what they post can be viewed by strangers. The elders especially would be horrified to let strangers into their house to look at all of their personal stuff, but don't realize that is what is happening when they post something online and allow public view.

 

@bairama, I thought you were still living with your family? You're living by yourself now? If so, stay safe, in all ways.

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