Safety Tips for Women - Cover 1D- HolySmorgasBlog

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People are often hurt or attacked because they don’t want to embarrass or offend the offender, so end up ignoring their inner alarms.
Your safety trumps their ego.

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KNOWLEDGE AND PERSONAL AWARENESS AIDS IN PREVENTION

This is a non-exhaustive list of some things my mother and grandmother taught me and I’ve learned by experience, along with some recent advice sprinkled in from various police departments.

People are getting bolder with women, children, and parents with their children. There are things happening out there that I hope none of you have gone or will go through; but knowledge and personal awareness aids in prevention.

These tips are not to make you fearful (2 Timothy 1:7), but vigilant and wise—many incidents occur due to lack of knowledge or application. I could get into statistics, but those are easy enough for you to look up. Besides, what we most need to know about statistics is we must do all we can to not become one (or not again).

Sadly, even with my having always been aware and cautious, I’ve had many of my own encounters, so I’ve had to defensively apply almost all of these in the past and do as a life-practice. Despite first-hand experiences, I still have to be reminded so I’m also hoping to remind you; and maybe even share something new.

It’s difficult to comprehend people plotting, planning, and carrying out evil (Proverbs 6:12-19). Despite it being abnormal and unfair, we ought to not rebel against adapting to the growing level of aggressiveness. We could easily say, I shouldn’t have to change my life to accommodate people who can’t control themselves, but the reality is, that’s dumb. We’re not accommodating; we’re living smartly in an unjust, often unsafe world filled with very troubled people (1 Peter 5:8).

Again, this is not to instill fear, but to encourage you to be alert, act wisely, and pass the knowledge on to others. Feel free to save, print, or copy in order to educate and remind—especially your daughters.

SAFETY TIPS FOR WOMEN (and all other humans)

  1. Always be aware of your surroundings. Even when you’re familiar with them.
  2. Do not let your children out of your site or reach. There are professional Gropers out there—all they need is 1 second with your child. What they do is walk by and touch them inappropriately—that’s how they get their thrill. It’s so fast and shocking that your child will be affected and you won’t know why because you never saw it coming.
  3. Don’t go hiking, running…in isolated areas by yourself—no matter what time of day. Even if you have a dog.
  4. Stop posting where you are on social media.
  5. Stop posting your children in bathing suits and diapers and in positions that are considered “suggestive” to pedophiles. It’s hard to think from their perverse point of view, I know. It’s all hard to imagine your innocent pictures and videos becoming meals to them, but pedophiles search unsuspecting social media pages in order to download images of your children. Make your pages private when possible.
  6. Don’t walk and text. Refer to #1 often.
  7. As soon as you arrive home, immediately close and lock your door. Don’t put your things down or take your shoes off first, lock’er up first!
  8. Before entering your garage or home, check your surroundings.
  9. Make sure your windows are locked. Even if you live above the first floor (pairs of men are driving pickup trucks to the sides of apartment buildings and going through windows by one of them climbing on top of the vehicle).
  10. Don’t wear ear buds or head phones in both ears. Always be able to clearly hear your surroundings.
  11. When putting bags in your car, do not leave your child or purse unattended and do not leave yourself vulnerable when loading (e.g. bending over in the back seat for more than a couple of seconds. If possible, load from the trunk and do everything else from inside the locked car). NOTE: offenders think a woman with her hands full is an easy target.
  12. Lock your car while pumping gas (people are snatching purses off of seats or climbing in the back seat while you’re in Lala Land watching the gas meter).
  13. When approaching or leaving your vehicle, always be aware of your surroundings. If you see someone with odd behavior, don’t dismiss it; go with your instincts…

Learn to trust your instincts. Time and again, crime victims tell police they sensed danger but ignored the feeling. Please don’t second-guess yourself.

MANY WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE HURT OR ATTACKED BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT TO EMBARRASS OR OFFEND THE OFFENDER WHEN THEIR INNER ALARM GOES OFF

GOOD MANNERS ARE NOT A FACTOR HERE
YOUR SAFETY TRUMPS THEIR EGO

  1. Don’t ever feel like you can’t stop, retreat, make a call, cross the street, scream, honk, run, or do anything drastic to feel and be safe (without being a “Karen”. My apologies for using that term, but you hopefully understand what I mean. Often, personal biases come into play. Self-examination and God will help you sense and see straight. 1 Samuel 16:7b)

A GENERAL RULE: BE CAUTIOUS, NOT SUSPICIOUS
THE ROOT OF CAUTION IS WISDOM
THE ROOT OF SUSPICION IS FEAR

  1. Always carry your cell phone and make sure it is fully charged.
  2. Either program or know how to program the HELP or PANIC function on your phone. It sends your exact coordinates to whomever you put on your SOS list.
  3. If unsure about your safety, start recording or go live on one of your social media platforms.
  4. Check the front and back seats of your car before getting in.
  5. If someone is sitting in a vehicle with their seat next to your entry door, enter through the other side or not at all.
  6. Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows. Again, if you must get in your vehicle, get in the passenger side if safe (and Tip 21b: open the door manually instead of unlocking all the doors of your car when possible).

DON’T BE CONCERNED WITH LOOKING OR FEELING SILLY
BETTER TO LOOK CRAZY THAN DEAD

  1. Keep a secure hold on your belongings. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
  2. Locate your keys prior to going to your car.
  3. When possible, keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car—including at stop lights.
  4. Lock your doors as soon as you get into your vehicle (I have two stories of men “walking by” and attempting to open my passenger door as soon as I got in).
  5. Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked so you never look lost.

PEOPLE WHO EVEN MOMENTARILY LOOK DISTRACTED OR VULNERABLE ARE OFTEN THOSE TARGETED
IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND

  1. Try to avoid shopping at night but if you must, park in a well-lit area.
  2. Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people hovering (use those eyeballs and sweep the area/head on a swivel).
  3. If necessary, ask security for an escort before leaving your shopping/work location (I’ve even waited long enough for entire families to leave stores and walked out with them. Ironically, they’ve looked at me suspiciously!)
  4. Try to avoid isolating yourself in stairwells and parking structures (and park as close as possible to the elevators and ground floor).
  5. Keep in mind that men are usually the perpetrators but we are seeing the rise of female accomplices.
  6. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason—man, woman, or child. Con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings or worse.
  7. In situations like subways, your back to a wall or seat is safest and switch subway cars or get off rather than be alone with another man or group of men (keeping in mind to yes, be practical and use your eyes and common sense, but understand that how they look isn’t always a tell. Most of the people who have done or tried to do things to me have been unassuming, outgoing, clean-cut “professionals”.
  8. If you’ve researched any stats, you know that most assaults are perpetrated by people we know. Please don’t let down your guard with “familiars” and understand that rapes and molestation among children and youth are most committed by friends and family members—usually being masters of manipulation—often grooming children in fear and a promise to secrecy.
  9. If someone honks or drives alongside you, pointing at you, giving the impression that something is wrong with your car, they may be trying to get you to pull over to take advantage. Give them the acknowledging nod or thumbs up and drive to the nearest well-lit, populated area (or police station parking lot) to look the car over yourself. If they’re innocent, there is no reason they’d follow you. Another option, completely ignore them.
  10. Speaking of following, one of the best pieces of advice my mother gave me was to always switch up my schedule and routes. That one simple advisement helped me in a couple of stalker situations.
  11. When coming to a stoplight (especially alone), look around to see if anyone is nearby. If someone appears threatening or approaches your vehicle, drive away, even if it means going through the light—assuming you can do that without risking a collision.
  12. Putting on your flashers while adding your horn can be a strong deterrent. Someone who tried to get in my car with me sitting in it ran like lightening once I laid on the horn.

NOWADAYS, FEWER PEOPLE CARE ABOUT THE COVER OF DARKNESS
WHEN IT COMES TO AWARENESS AND SAFETY,
DON’T TAKE THE DAYLIGHT FOR GRANTED

  1. When stopping behind another vehicle, make sure you have what has been called “grace space.” That means enough room between your vehicle and the next for you to pull out and away if needed. The police advise: “If you’re pinned in [and someone starts approaching your car], blare the horn, getting the attention of good people.”

THE FIRST FEW SECONDS ARE CRUCIAL
MANY PERPETRATORS ARE TAUGHT THAT A WOMAN’S DEFAULT AND INITIAL INSTINCT WILL BE TO BE KIND, GIVING THE OFFENDER AN IMMEDIATE UPPER HAND
YES, BE KIND
A KIND OF SCARY, CRAZY, WARRIOR!

  1. A favorite trick of con-artists is rear-ending other vehicles, getting them to stop in order to rob, assault, or carjack. A person’s first instinct is usually to jump out of the car and look at the damage, but don’t do that! If something like that does ..
  2. Call police and get clear pictures and video of the person and their car before potentially getting out of your vehicle.
  3. Police Imposters are becoming more common—there have been incidents of people in cars similar to unmarked police cars. If you’re being pulled over and something doesn’t look right, put on the emergency flashers to acknowledge them, then pull over as quickly as possible, driving deliberately and at the speed limit to a well-lit area. A legitimate police officer should realize what you’re doing.
  4. If you get pulled over and are still concerned, go live on social media, mount your phone, turn on your dome lights, put your license and registration on the dash board, roll your window down far enough to communicate but not for an imposter to reach inside, lock your doors, put your hands on the wheel, then stay calm and courteous. You are free to communicate your trepidation to the officer, request their photo identification, and examine it carefully.
  5. Please know, you can usually call the police prior to a potential police imposter pulling you over. Check your local laws for pull-over regulations.
  6. Properly maintain your vehicle and keep tank at least half full so you’re never left stranded.
  7. If you stall: as we now know, an excellent way to handle driving emergencies is a cell phone, but if you don’t have a cell or reception and it’s not possible to easily get somewhere public and safe, stay in the car. Make a “Call Police” sign and put it up in the back window. This generally decreases the chance that someone will bother you. If someone does stop, don’t assume they are a good samaritan no matter how nice the person looks or seems and no matter how nice their car. Motorists who see people broken down or with a “Call Police” sign should not stop, but should call for help on your behalf.

TRAIN YOURSELVES TO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN WHILE KEEPING YOUR PEACE
(John 14:27)

  1. Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running. Even in front of your own home.
  2. If you must walk in the dark to your destination (e.g. later in the year during daylight savings times), walk in well-lit, more populated areas. If possible, walk in the middle of the street (people hide behind cars, in cars, and behind bushes and walls ready to pounce).
  3. If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a police station, mall, grocery store, or other well-lit and populated location.
  4. When having your car serviced or valeted, give the attendant only the main car key. The ploy in this case is to make a quick copy of your house key and find something in your car with your home address so…
  5. When your car is serviced or valeted, make sure no personal information is left in or accessible in the vehicle.
  6. Always carry both Roadside Emergency and Car Survival Kits.
  7. Never, ever take your eyes off of your food, glass, or open bottle. Don’t even ask your friend to watch it. They might not.
  8. Pepper spray, pepper spray, pepper spray. Or bear spray or hornet spray. (Stun guns and tasers aren’t as reliable but worth looking into. Check your state about the legalities of carrying a taser, knife, or gun if you’re comfortable with that. Learning how to fight a giant-sized, all muscles, grown man has advantages and is even suggested, but and yet, we want to not let things get that far or that close.)

I had the privilege of training with one of the top and most respected military and special ops trainers on the planet. He was a river of wisdom. One thing he taught that I’d never thought of was…

  1. If you’re ever in a situation where you are being or about to be attacked, scream out your name as loudly and clearly as possible. You may only have a second. I would like to add (because you are now well aware of your surroundings) scream out what is happening to you, his description, a license plate, your location, and whatever you have time to scream out. This strategy is a strong deterrent!
  2. If you are grabbed, do not succumb even for a split second. Don’t test him out, don’t vaguely resist, don’t fight to stun, and don’t fight to defend. This is especially true if it gets as far as them dragging you to a location or car. Records show, it’s better to do everything possible to not let it get that far. If you can’t run and get away, fight like an animal. Fight to end it. Fight to kill if you have to. You have the legal right to defend yourself if attacked.

In many situations of kidnapping, rape, or attempts, women subconsciously hold back. Nuh-uh, none of that ladies. Decide beforehand that your life is at stake—the enemy wants you dead—it’s you or him (John 10:10). Survive!

YOU WILL MOST LIKELY NEVER OVERPOWER HIM
SO YOU MUST OUT-THINK, OUT-STRATEGIZE AND IF NECESSARY, OUT-CRAZY HIM

An attacker must not just be injured or stirred to excitement or anger; he must be stopped.

And on that pleasant note, my last and best bit of advice:
STAY SENSITIVE TO GOD’S LEADING
(Romans 8:14)

The ideal situation here is to not have any/any more of these encounters.
I have avoided some cuh-RAYee situations just by a quick (and seeming illogical) re-direction from the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14, Isaiah 30:21). God has literally saved my life numerous times and once and for all (Revelation 3:20, John 1:12-13, Ephesians 1:13-14).

There are countless more tips. Feel free to email any more you know of or add them in the comments!

PHYSICAL & VISUAL COMMUNI- CATION

P.S.
I’m adding this because many people have asked me about women’s wardrobes and women being blamed for men’s actions based on how we dress or how our bodies naturally look.

THE WAY WE DRESS, ACT, AND CARRY OURSELVES ARE ALL A FORM OF COMMUNICATION

If these things weren’t important, we wouldn’t have to dress certain ways for certain events and occasions; and how we carry ourselves wouldn’t be such an important part of self-defense and assault prevention.

First, neither we nor our clothes can make a man do or not do anything. Blaming women for their own attacks is jacked up. One of the times I was attacked as a young girl, I was asked what I was wearing by an adult. I was furious but couldn’t articulate it at the time. Victim-blaming’s gotta go!

So yes, I absolutely believe in the freedom of wearing what we want BUT! if I wore exactly what I wanted to wear in public most days, I’d get locked up—first in jail, then the looney bin. In the looney bin, I’d then be head of the Dramatic-Wardrobe Department.

I’m pretty eclectic and used to get dressed (as an adult) thinking I looked perfectly normal, and people would ask me if I was in character or in a play or something. I’d laugh but still had to consider what kind of message I’d like to broadcast by what I wore.

Before getting dressed, it’s helpful to ask ourselves if our conscience and motives are pure (1 Peter 3:16, Acts 24:16). What we wear and why can be a combination of many things; two of them being, how we dress is an expression of our personality, character, and lifestyle, and—the one we probably consider less often—how we dress is a form of communication. Clear communication is important to me—I want to consistently become better at it. Even if my wardrobe “language” is meant to be innocent, someone else may misinterpret everything I’m attempting to express. We are not meant to be people-pleasers and if we tried, we couldn’t please everyone anyway.

AS PEOPLE, WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW OTHERS RESPOND
BUT AS CHRISTIANS, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE

For the most part, I don’t give a rip about what people think. On the other hand, I love people and also have to do life and business in this judgmental, reactionary, and often perverse world. I must be considerate (Romans 14:21, 2 Peter 1:5-10).

Most importantly, I must be considerate of my representation: I’d like my motives and effects to please and glorify God (Acts 24:16). If there’s any level of rebellion in me—having too much pride to apply some minor change to my public dress, then I need to get my act together (1 Corinthians 10:32-33). I mean, for who am I really dressing? If I’m dressing for others, then I’m off completely (Mark 8:33). If I’m sincerely trying to please myself alone, then I can wear whatever I want. In the privacy of my own home. But,

IF I’M DRESSING TO LET OTHERS KNOW WHO I AM, THEN I NEED TO LEARN TO COMMUNICATE IN A WAY THEY CAN UNDERSTAND AND IN A WAY I WANT TO BE UNDERSTOOD

We should know more than any people group, the power of cause and affect/effect.
We are thoughtful, giving, loving people who must not be empowered by “the common sense” of the masses. Their bar is too low (Romans 12:2). How we present ourselves will always be right if our common sense is rooted in Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16, John 16:1).

I have a blog on this topic called WHY GET DRESSED?

Much love,
Kimberly Arland
HolySmorgasBlog.com

Applicable Scriptures

I pray that you would be filled with wisdom and spiritual understanding (spiritual and mental intelligence combined) and increase in the correct knowledge of God. / Col 1:9-10

2 Timothy 1:7 AMPC

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

Proverbs 6:12-19 AMP

A worthless person, a wicked man, Is one who walks with a perverse (corrupt, vulgar) mouth. Who winks with his eyes [in mockery], who shuffles his feet [to signal], Who points with his fingers [to give subversive instruction]; Who perversely in his heart plots trouble and evil continually; Who spreads discord and strife. Therefore [the crushing weight of] his disaster will come suddenly upon him; Instantly he will be broken, and there will be no healing or remedy [because he has no heart for God]. These six things the Lord hates; Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him: A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that creates wicked plans, Feet that run swiftly to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths], And one who spreads discord (rumors) among brothers.

1 Peter 5:8 AMPC

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

Romans 8:14 AMP

For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Isaiah 30:21 AMP

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

1 Samuel 16:7b NKJV

…the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

John 1:12-13 AMP

But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].

Ephesians 1:13-14 AMP

In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]. The Spirit is the guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory.

Revelation 3:20 AMP

Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me.

John 14:27 AMP

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]

1 Corinthians 10:32-33 AMP

Do not offend Jews or Greeks or even the church of God [but live to honor Him]; just as I please everyone in all things [as much as possible adapting myself to the interests of others], not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, so that they [will be open to the message of salvation and] may be saved.

Mark 8:33 AMP

But turning around [with His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan; for your mind is not set on God’s will or His values and purposes, but on what pleases man.”

1 Peter 3:16 AMP

And see to it that your conscience is entirely clear, so that every time you are slandered or falsely accused, those who attack or disparage your good behavior in Christ will be shamed [by their own words].

Acts 24:16 AMP

…I also do my best and strive always to have a clear conscience before God and before men.

Romans 12:2 AMP

…do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

1 Corinthians 2:16 AMP

For who has known the mind and purposes of the Lord, so as to instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ [to be guided by His thoughts and purposes].

1 Peter 2:12 AMP

Keep your behavior excellent among the [unsaved] Gentiles [conduct yourself honorably, with graciousness and integrity], so that for whatever reason they may slander you as evildoers, yet by observing your good deeds they may [instead come to] glorify God in the day of visitation [when He looks upon them with mercy].

Philippians 4:6-8 AMP

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

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