Staying Safe at Work or Play: Personal Safety Tips for Women in 2023
Whether at work or relaxing during some well-deserved down time, safety is always a priority.
Now this doesn’t mean that you need to live in the Red-Zone, constantly looking over your shoulder for potential threats. That would be exhausting and who needs more stress?
In this article, we’ll provide you with some easy-to-implement personal safety tips for women. Combine them with the same level of awareness that you have when driving your car, and you’ll be just as assured about your ability to detect and handle your everyday safety as you are about your driving safety.
Staying Safe At Work
Act On Your Safety Intuition
Your Safety Intuition is simply your five senses that constantly scan your environment for potential danger and report it back it to you. But as women, we tend to belittle ourselves when we sense that things might be amiss. Have you ever told yourself, “Oh, it’s probably nothing,” or “I’m sure it’s fine.” Congratulations, you’ve overridden your Safety Intuition. The following safety tips not only incorporate your Safety Intuition, but will prepare you for potential threats and enable you to increase your confidence in your ability to handle almost anything. And confidence in and of itself can deter a would-be predator. Even in the jungle, predators look for prey that can be easily overcome and avoid those that could injure them.
No matter what kind of job you have, it’s important to use your Safety Intuition. During your day-to-day activities, your five senses report information about your environment to your subconscious and it builds a daily baseline. So when you feel that something is “off”, it probably is. Can you figure out what it is? A different sound, something that isn’t where it used to be? Is someone acting differently? It could be something, could be nothing. But don’t dismiss it or minimize it. Be curious, honor your Safety Intuition and act on it.
As women, we’re taught to be accommodating, deferential, and especially, nice. Even if we’re in positions of command, we’re still expected to be female first and executive second. A layer of burden not placed on men. That layer of accommodation can manifest in an expectation that our go-to position will be accommodating and persuadable. This can impact everything from being subtly disrespected to being sexually harassed or assaulted. So be Persuasion-Proof, at every level. And keep in mind that the more Persuasion-Proof you are, the more pressure you’ll feel to accommodate. Society is still struggling with women standing their ground. Don’t fall for it. And if you’re being sexually harassed or are unsafe in any way, use every tool within the organization to fight it. It won’t go away, it will only get worse.
Do you work late, travel for business, or have to meet clients in a location that you can’t control? If so, you’re at risk. And most companies, corporations or facilities have no idea. So, this means that it’s up to you to take additional security measures. We hate to say it, but first and foremost, don’t drink alcohol heavily. We know it’s tough in a business environment where booze lubes deals, but alcohol is the biggest acquaintance rape drug there is. And while we’re at it, don’t leave any drink unattended. If you have to go to the restroom and don’t have a trusted colleague with you, order a new one.
Travel with a tactical pen. It’s a real pen with a sharp point that is great as a weapon and the added bonus is that you can put it in your carryon luggage and it will go through TSA checkpoints. Also, get a couple of Addalock (or similar) door locking devices. These inexpensive little utensils add another layer of physical security to door locks, making it physically difficult for an intruder to come in through a door. Keep one in your luggage so it’s always available for travel, and use them at home as well. Finally, a great hotel room weapon is wasp spray. It’s cheap, easily obtainable in any grocery store and shoots a stream up to thirty feet that you can spray in an intruder’s eyes, temporarily blinding them.
Staying Safe At Play
Carry a Personal Weapon
No matter where you are, a personal weapon should always be within reach. Whether you prefer a gun or something else, there are plenty of options for you. If you do carry a gun, make sure that you’re trained and practice with it on a regular basis. Don’t just have one to “keep around.” A practiced predator will take one look at you and detect that you have no idea what you’re doing and your problems will multiply at that instant. But there are also plenty of non-lethal weapons available that you can carry in addition to, or instead of a gun. Bear spray (our personal favorite!) is great. As are pepper gels and sprays, stun guns, personal alarms and, of course, a tactical pen.
Many travel companies now offer deals and accommodations for a “new” class of vacationer: the “solo traveler,” often trade-speak for women travelling alone. Keep in mind that these are not “singles” activities, they are as advertised: People who want to travel by themselves and do exactly what they want to do. And since women are becoming wealthier and more self-confident, they are choosing to travel alone and travel companies are here for it! This means that there is no financial penalty for a solo cabin, meals, etc. Cruise lines are adding more and more ships to their fleets with solo travelers’ sections. In some cases, it also means additional security measures such a separate section of the ship that can only be entered by means of a secure door with card key access.
Keep in mind that predators could also be staying in this section of the ship as well, but the ship’s security system can monitor which passengers are accessing the door and when. Whatever your vacation plans, a little planning and research can go a long way in ensuring your safety. Pack your non-lethal weapons in your checked bags, grab your Addalock, ensure that your tactical pen is in your purse or bag and have fun!
The most powerful weapon of most predators: Charm. It’s tough not to fall for a charmer, and they know it. But if you’re aware of what’s really going on behind the scenes, you can save yourself a lot of heartache and possible worse. Charm is the weapon of choice for love-bombing – the process by which the predator gets you to fall in love with them. Their goal is to get you hooked on them right away. But love-bombing is the first step in the domestic abuse cycle. So, keep in mind that dating is and should be fun, but it’s also serious business.
No matter where you are and what you’re doing, your safety comes first. So have fun, and be safe!!
This guest post was authored by Laura Frombach and Joy Farrow
Laura was introduced to technology in the U.S. Army working on Pershing nuclear missiles. Having spent much of her career as a technologist and engineer with IBM, HP, FedEx, Coca Cola Enterprises, Lenovo and others. A turning point in Laura’s life was the ‘aha’ moment when she correlated her mother’s mental illness to domestic violence. She is now the co-author of Street Smart Safety for Women: Your Guide to Defensive Living (Health Communications Inc, an imprint of Simon & Schuster / October 3, 2023 / $17.95) and advocates for local domestic violence shelters. Laura was one of the featured speakers at the TEDx Eustis conference and speaks on women’s safety. Laura is an avid reader and fitness enthusiast, loves comedy and spiritual topics (not in that order, just in case…). She has been working on personal growth since the sixth grade.
Joy is a retired Deputy Sheriff with twenty-eight years of experience and the co-author of Street Smart Safety for Women: Your Guide to Defensive Living (Health Communications Inc, an imprint of Simon & Schuster / October 3, 2023 / $17.95). She worked road patrol in Pompano Beach, FL, and faced every situation imaginable. After the 9/11 tragedy, Joy transferred to the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Int’l Airport with the Broward Sheriff’s Office to focus on the safety of air travelers. In 2017, Joy assisted with the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Airport. She has received numerous letters of commendations & several lifesaving awards. Joy was one of the featured speakers at the TEDx Eustis conference and speaks on women’s safety. Joy is a walking encyclopedia of murder and crime topics; an avid personal fitness enthusiast, enjoys stand-up comedy and has done a couple of open mic nights!
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