For National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month, Ken Alexandrow with Agape Tactical, LLC joined us for our second annual Self-Defense Empower Hour. He shared some great information on how to maintain a state of awareness, how to defend ourselves and what to do in a life or death situation. With nearly two million women assaulted each year in the United States, we must learn to protect ourselves. As Ken pointed out, there is no need to live in a state of paranoia, but instead, live in a state of yellow. Always be cautious and prepared.
Here are the top 10 tips we learned:
1. Don’t turn your back. Always make an effort to not have your back to people. When going to a restaurant, sit in a place where you have a wide view of the room, entrance and exits (cops do this!). Always be aware of your surroundings and observe the people around you.
2. Stop looking at your phone! Put your phone away during short walks to your car. People are often looking at their cell phones while walking around in public. This increases your chances of being a victim because it’s easier for a predator to sneak up on you without you ever knowing they’re coming. Looking left and right when exiting a building makes you less of a target as the predators assume you saw them and would rather wait for a potential victim who’s completely oblivious to her surroundings. (Additional tip: If you like to listen to music while running, make sure you put a headphone in just one ear so you can hear if someone is coming up behind you.)
3. Take the elevator. Get your steps in somewhere else and take the elevator instead of the stairs when you’re alone. There are no cameras in stairwells and it’s the perfect spot for a criminal to hide. While you’re on the elevator, make eye contact and small talk with anyone that gets on with you. If they happen to be a predator, they know that you would able to identify them.
4. Fill a glass up with pocket change. If you stay in a hotel room while traveling, keep a glass cup filled with change on your door handle. This way, if someone tries to break in, the cup will fall and make enough noise to wake you up and possibly scare the intruder away. Locks on hotel doors are easy to break, so don’t expect that you protect you.
5. Use your key as a weapon. While walking to your car from the grocery store, the mall, etc., carry your car key in between your thumb and your index finger. Use it as a weapon if you are ever attacked. Go for the face, especially the eyes!
6. Invest in some type of self-defense tool. Whatever you choose (flashlight, whistle, taser, handgun, chemical spray, etc.) make sure you learn how to use it and actually carry it. Something is better than nothing. A can of Raid in your bedside table is an effective and cheap self-defense tool to protect yourself from home invasions.
7. Get the Circle of 6 app. This app asks you to choose six people you trust to be added to your circle. If you are ever in an uncomfortable situation, you can open the app and have it ready. If you need it, you simply tap the screen one time and it will alert all members in your circle that you are in danger and it will send them your exact coordinates. Download the app at https://www.circleof6app.com.
8. Make your windows shatter-proof. If you have a large glass door at the back of your home or a front door with windows in it, consider purchasing a protective film to go over your glass. These films make it very hard to shatter the glass, hence, making it harder to gain access to your home. One brand is Eversafe Window-Security Film.
9. Make your presence known. Contrary to popular belief, most home burglaries happen between 10am and 2pm. A criminal is going to come by when they have the least chance of someone being home. Some criminals will actually come to your front door and knock to see if you’re home. If this happens to you when you are home, make lots of noise and try to sound as loud and aggressive as possible. Say things like, “Hold on a second. Let me put my dogs up.” Or “Who is it? What do you want?” Don’t be friendly.
10. Crash your car. If someone jumps into your car, puts a gun to your head, and forces you to drive, statistics show you will end up dead or be left for dead once you reach a secondary location. Whatever you do, DON’T go to a secondary location. As soon as you are in your car, buckle up immediately. Get your car’s speed up to 35 mph and slam the vehicle head on into a concrete wall or other type of barrier. Since you’ll have your seatbelt on and they probably won’t, they’ll fly through your windshield. You will get hurt, but you will survive.
We hope this information is as useful for you as it was for us! Remember, there’s a difference between being paranoid and being prepared. “Failure to plan is a plan to fail.”