1. Keep your eyes and ears open. Scan for threats and possible dangers and make it a habit.
2. Don’t wear headphones. Your ears are one of the 6 senses and can pick up signs of danger.
3. Carry a Whistle: Don’t carry it on your keys or in your purse. Carry it around your wrist, neck or in your hand.
4. Wear Running Shoes. Carry an extra pair of shoes with you to work to change into before and after work. Running from an attacker in high heels is ineffective.
5. Be suspicious of anyone walking toward you with only one hand in their pocket. People tend to have both hands in their pockets or hanging freely at their sides unless they are trying to conceal something, possibly a weapon.
7. Ignore verbal harassment. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant. Keep your distance and keep moving.
8. Don’t go to bad neighborhoods. Go during the daytime and take someone with you if possible. Carry a legal weapon, such as pepper spray.
9. Constantly scan 360 degrees for threats. Look behind you once in a while.
10. No iPod and phones. DO NOT listen to your iPod, wear headphones or earbuds, or talk on your phone as you walk down the street. You cannot be fully aware of your environment when your attention is elsewhere. To make a call or answer your phone, step into a store or restaurant.
11. Trust your intuition. If something tells you that a situation is not safe, or that someone is not right, then act accordingly. Do not suppress your inner voice.
12. Walk away from recessed spaces. When walking down the sidewalk, don’t hug the side of the building. Threats come from recessed doorways, alcoves, and alleys, especially when passing abandoned buildings, or after hours when shops are closed. Do not walk right next to parked cars. Walk in the center of the sidewalk if possible.
13. Use “the fence”. Never let a stranger get closer than arm’s length. If a panhandler, survey-taker or someone passing out flyers approaches you, shake your head politely and keep on walking. If someone continues to approach you, just put out your hands - arms extended - and say, “I’m not interested.” In martial arts, extending the arms in this way is called “The Fence”. It is not a challenging move or a fighting stance. It is just a barrier to protect your space.
14. Be rude when necessary. Women in particular often do not want to seem rude, and so will let someone get much closer than is safe. We need to change our attitudes. The one who is being rude is the person who is encroaching on our personal space. We are rightfully being assertive and self-protective.
15. Don’t linger on the sidewalk for any reason. Anyway, if you need to stop for something, step into a store or restaurant.
16. No tight corners. When you turn a corner, give it a wide berth, so you can see what’s around the corner and also prevent yourself from running into people around the corner.
17. Walk away from trouble. Do not run into trouble. When there is something going on, like a fight or a shooting, walk away. Do not let your curiosity put you in danger.
18. If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Do not be afraid to yell for help.
19. Don’t present yourself as a victim! Stand straight, walk purposefully, avoid staring at the ground and pay attention to your surroundings.
20. Avoid displays of wealth. Try to conceal expensive jewelry by tucking it into your clothing and don’t pull out a roll of cash (or full wallet) when paying for items.
21. Most self-defense experts encourage you to give in to an attacker who has a weapon. Material possessions can be replaced, but YOU can’t!
22. Make eye contact. This is to let others know that you see them and could identify them if need be. When you pass someone on the street, look them in the eye and give a polite nod of the head to acknowledge you see them very clearly.
23. Walk with purpose. Stand tall and keep your posture so that it represents authority. The less you look like a victim, the less likely someone will target you as such. So, pull your shoulders back, keep your back straight and your stomach in and walk in a way that lets the world know that you will not go down without a fight.
24. If you see something suspicious, report it. Don’t worry about whether you’re overreacting or being overcautious. If you think something is out of place, make a call to the authorities. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
25. Whenever possible, walk with others.