Awareness of your surroundings is the key to effectively defending yourself against assault. Believe me when I tell you that the predators are looking for unsuspecting people to take advantage of by using the element of surprise. Now I know their are people who would say, " I'm a trusting person, people are generally good, I just don't think about things like that." I understand but keep in mind, if you are alert and aware of your surroundings, there is a much better chance that the attackers will look elsewhere. Sometimes to get and understanding what we are up against you must think like a would be attacker.
Put yourself in their shoes. Let's say you are looking for a victim, (sorry I know this isn't pleasant), you see someone that is looking around at their surroundings, maybe looking right at you. Paying attention. Now you see someone else who is talking on the phone or staring at the ground, oblivious to everything around them. Who do you think is the most likely target? Would you attack someone who looks prepared? Predators pray on the weak and unsuspecting.
You can arm yourself with tools to effectively defend yourself but if you are oblivious to your surroundings you can be taken by surprise and those tools never come into play.If you are alone, at night (or in the daytime),please don't make the mistake of thinking assaults only take place at night: you should make a practice of looking around you and preparing yourself for the "what ifs"? Always be aware of your surroundings. I can't stress that enough. If you are walking to your car in a parking lot late at night or even the middle of the day, look around you.
Take notice of your surroundings and anything that may not seem right. You would be surprised at how much you notice when you are aware. Carry a small stun gun or pepper spray or a loud personal alarm and keep it in your hand until you are in a safe place where you can't be surprised. Again, you can carry these items on you, (maybe a stun gun in your purse or pepper spray on your key ring) but if someone is able to sneak up and grab you before you have a chance to prepare yourself, well, what good does it do to have a weapon if you cant get your hands on it in time. I know life can be distracting.
Talking on a cell phone often gives people a false sense of security because it feels like your with someone. Thinking about your next class or what's for dinner or whatever. Do yourself a favor; be aware, be prepared, it doesn't take a lot to simply take notice of what's going on around you. Arm yourself with the tools and then be prepared to use them. Hopefully you will never have to.
Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Also, be suspicious of people you don't know well. I'm not saying that you should suspect everyone you happen to come in contact with of being a "bad guy" but you should be wary of people you don't know well. Looks can be deceiving.
How many times have you seen a picture of a rapist or murderer and said, "he looks like a normal guy". This is an actual tactic. They will blend in. Look normal. Also remember, most rape victims actually know their attacker. Some of these people are brazen.
Just because you can identify them doesn't neccesarily mean they won't assault you and rely on fear and intimidation to get away with it. Don't ever put yourself in a position of weakness. The key is to prevent these things from happening. Most people don't think about it until they or someone they know is attacked. Please understand the purpose of this article is not to blame a victim for being unprepared but to educate people on prevention.
If you are the victim of violence it is never your fault. Don't wait, prepare yourself now. If more people did, maybe the human waste that preys on human beings would think twice before their next assault. My sincere hope is that my words or the words of others that preach prevention and preparation will help raise awareness and in turn send a message to the criminals that we will not be victims any more. If we can help to stop only one assault from happening, we have done our job and will continue to train people to do the same.
Rob Buck trains and educates individuals and groups about crime prevention and self defense. Non lethal methods of self defense and personal protection products can be found at A1DefenseProducts.com