Wednesday Wisdom | Personal Safety | Seersucker Sass

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom | Personal Safety

I've never felt safer than I do in the town I live in now. The rural community I grew up in was too secluded, and I had way too many bad things happen to feel safe on my college's campus.  Where I live now, I walk most everywhere.  I live downtown, and there are 216 steps between my apartment and my office.  I never thought anything of walking home alone from the office at night, until I found out that someone I knew had been assaulted in a crowded area during rush hour.  This situation was definitely a wake up call to me.  My dad works in safety, so I've compiled a list of tips that he's given me over the years.

1. Be alert.  It seems so common sense, but we've all been guilty at one time or another.  Keep an eye on where you are and who's around you.  Walk with confidence.  Check your backseat as you get into your car.  Sometimes when there's a large SUV or van with super tinted windows parked next to my driver's seat, I enter my car through the passenger side.  It may be a little bit of an inconvenience, but it's better to be slightly inconvenienced and alive.

2. Be prepared.  I lose everything.  Because of this, I always dig things that I'll need out of my purse before going out to my car.  I like to have my car keys in one hand and cell phone in the other.  For Christmas, my mom bought me a portable car battery jumper.  I can't tell you how much safer I feel knowing that I have that in my car.

3. Trust your gut.  I read an article once about a lady who was, like many of us, determined to get all of the groceries into her second story apartment in one trip.  A can of cat food fell out of the bag, and a man picked it up for her and insisted on carrying it into her apartment for her since her hands were full.  She said that she knew she shouldn't have let him in, but she didn't want to be impolite.  He ended up raping her, then told her that he was going to get a drink of water on the way out and leave.  Something about the fact that he shut the window made her feel like he actually wasn't leaving, so she waited until he was getting water and sprinted out of her apartment in the nude to a neighbor's apartment that usually kept the doors unlocked.  Long story short, we have those instincts for a reason.  If you feel like something is wrong, it probably is.  If you feel uncomfortable around someone, there's probably a good reason for it.  It's better to be safe and deemed impolite then to find yourself in a scary situation.

4. Make some noise.  I'm pretty sure this one is my dad's favorite.  One of the best ways to deter someone is by drawing attention to the situation.  Whenever I'm walking to my car, I keep my finger on the car alarm button.  I also keep my keys by my nightstand so that if someone breaks in, I can start my car alarm.  I think that my next step will be to get a whistle for my key chain.  I know that "rape whistles" sound kind of silly, but what would you do if someone blew a whistle in your face?!  

5. Use the buddy system.  Whenever possible, travel in groups.  If you got a great parking spot but your friend had to park in the garage a block away, why not take her to her car?  I always hated walking through a specific breezeway downtown in college, but I felt a little safer walking through there at night when I was with a group.

6. Make a phone call.   My mom taught me this trick once when we were in Vegas and a cab driver took us off route and made us very uncomfortable.  She called my stepdad, who was back home in East Tennessee, and started talking to him like he was at the hotel waiting for us.  She told him that she was sorry we were taking longer than usual, but that the cab driver was taking a weird route and that we should be home in the next five minutes.  My stepdad was immediately keyed off that something was wrong, he knew who we were with, and he knew how long it should be until he heard from us again.  The cab driver also knew that someone was waiting on us.  I can't tell you how many times I've utilized this little trick when I've felt like I was being followed.

7. Be social media savvy.  Not everyone has good intentions.  Because of this, I try to avoid posting anything about my whereabouts on social media until I've already left the location.

8. Makeshift may save your life.  I freaked out flying after 9/11, and my dad gave me some cool tips about makeshift "weapons."  If you can get a heavy object like a book, a full water bottle, or a full soda can to the back of an attacker's head or neck (or genitals) you may be able to buy yourself a little time to run.  Like I mentioned earlier, I use my car alarm as a makeshift alarm system.

I hope that none of you will ever be in a situation where you need to use these tips, but I hope knowing them makes you feel a little bit safer.  I also highly recommend the book "The Gift of Fear."

If you have any safety tips for me, I would love to hear them!

XX,

SS

61 comments:

  1. Loved and even shared this post!
    I think we should all read those tips quite often.
    I've watched movie "The Call" and now always thinking that better go everywhere in groups, specially on the parking lots!

    Tanya
    www.stripesnvibes.com
    BlogLovin

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    1. You're awesome! I'm glad that you enjoyed it, and I really appreciate your sharing :) I've never seen "The Call," but I know I've watched one (million) too many crime shows. Haha.

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  2. Great post! We always have to be on our guard as females!

    Abby
    www.champagneplans.com

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  3. I live in a safe neighbourhood but your tips are most welcome!
    Baci,
    Coco et La vie en rose - Valeria Arizzi

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    1. Thank you! Never hurts to refresh :) Xo

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  4. These are some wonderful tips. I absolutely loved reading this.

    Kay of Pure & Complex
    www.purecomplex.com

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  5. Trusting your gut is so important and so often I see girls with headphones in their ears late at night and that's the worst thing you could do - you need to be alert! xo, Biana

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    1. Oh my goodness, that would stress me out! I agree - you need your senses! Hope you're having a great Thursday, dear! Xo

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  6. These are great tips! I never post where I am when I'm there, but mostly just because I'm an incredibly private person.

    xx
    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

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    1. Thanks, Lauren! Privacy is a good thing :)

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  7. Number 7 is huge for me such a great post.
    Xo Miss Erin
    See what I have to say at:
    www.misserinsays.com

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    1. It's scary how much information we share on social media. Thank you!

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  8. This is so great esecially being young females! Trusting your gut is always a big one for me!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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    1. Me too! A couple moved in to my apartment complex at the end of summer, and they always gave me a weird vibe. After sitting outside and talking to them one night, they were so nice to me, and I felt like such a snooty brat for having those feelings. One month later, the police swarmed our (very calm) apartment complex looking for them... From now on, I refuse to feel bad about my gut feelings!

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  9. Love all of these tips!
    I'm always aware of my surroundings because I have seen too many movies where young females get captured for not paying attention.

    xoxo, Jenny
    www.breakfastatlillys.blogspot.com

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  10. Great tips and all so important to keep in mind. Whenever I read stories like the woman who was raped after letting the guy in her apartment I am reminded how easy it is for really bad things to happen. I know I often let my guard down and trust people too much, great reminder to stay alert and prepared!

    Brooke
    pumps and push-ups

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    1. AMEN! I feel like in situations like that, women can get so judgmental or try to convince themselves that nothing bad like that could ever happen to them because they're to smart for it. In reality, all it takes is us letting our guard down once to the wrong person. You have such a great mindset! Xo

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  11. Replies
    1. Hey, Maggie! Glad that you enjoyed them :) Thanks for stopping by :)

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  12. So many great tips! Especially the one about trusting your gut. Mine never fails me!

    Heidi
    www.wishesandreality.com

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    1. Thanks, Heidi! I wish mine was like that... I think I can be a little TOO paranoid at times. Xo

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  13. Trusting your gut is so important, it's your bodies was of tell you when something is wrong. Great post, very helpful.
    -Alex
    www.monstermisa.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Alex! Glad you found it to be helpful :)

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  14. Thanks for sharing this and I'm so sorry about your friend. I always say to trust your gut, because it never fail. I trust mines when I went to Greece, and I always will even in a so call safe cities.

    Kreyola Jounerys | Instagram

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    1. Aww, thank you! You're smart - regardless of how "safe" a city is, we should know that we're not exempt :) Hope you're having a great week! Xo

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  15. This is great advice! It's a big scary world.
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

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  16. Great tips! Love make some noise!
    http://fabuloustorture.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Hopefully you'll never need to use it... but just in case!

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  17. awe great post and great tips
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  18. That's scary that someone got assaulted in a crowded area! These are all really helpful tips and I think the social media tip is especially important since a lot of us bloggers are on Instagram a lot!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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    1. Isn't it?! It really makes me wonder what could have happened if it was later, dark, and secluded. I hope that they catch the man soon!

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  19. My dad has told me almost identical things! He's a cop, so he's always telling me to be alert! :)

    StyledByBlondie.com

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    1. We're lucky! We have wonderful dads :) Xo

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  20. These are great tips and some that I have definitely used before as well. It's better to be sage than sorry! I even had pepper spray when I used to live in the US, now that I'll be moving to the UK and they are illegal .. I'm thinking of taking some self defence classes!

    Ree / Coffee with Ree

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    1. I used to keep pepper spray on me when I graduated high school, but it was such a hassle, and I came close to spraying myself so many times. Self defense classes are a GREAT idea! I hope that you have a safe move. Xo

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  21. This post is awesome, it's great to share some good advice on safety...I am very aware of problems especially when it comes to social networks, people seem to post where they are in that moment all the time, you're right, better to do it later !

    Fashion and Cookies
    Enter my $120 gift card Jord Watches Giveaway, open worldwide until March, 14th !

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  22. This is so useful nowadays. everyone must be aware on their safety.

    Leigh Cee | Ich Liebe Dich Sky

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  23. great tips. very nice post!!

    http://fashionwalkinbrussels.blogspot.com/

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  24. Wow, nice issue. Thanks god I live in Munich and it's so safe, I probably won't need any of your tips ;) But this is very helpful!
    Dullylicious

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    1. It never hurts to refresh! I live in a usually very safe small town, which is why this was so shocking.

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  25. These are great tips, and an all-to-necessary reality check. It's great to take charge of your own safety and make a few simple changes. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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    1. Aww, thank you! I was really nervous about this post, but nice, thoughtful comments like yours make me so glad that I hit "publish." Xo

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  26. Committing every single one of these tips to memory. So important and always good to have the occasional wake up call!

    xx 365Hangers

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    1. I hope and pray that you'll never need them, but it sure doesn't hurt to be prepared! Xo

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  27. So scary - my car was recently broken into 20 feet from where I lay sleeping. We live in a upper-middle class neighborhood community which has low-to-no crime. Crazy!Great tips - you can never be too cautious!

    xoxo

    Kaley

    My Closet Life Blog

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    1. Isn't it terrifying?! Glad to know that you are okay.

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  28. These are all great reminders Trusting your gut is a big one! Thank you for sharing these!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  29. These are solid tips! I'm very aware and make sure to avoid unsafe situations/walking alone at night as much as possible because you never know. Thanks for sharing

    xo, Maddy
    http://cassidylou.com

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    new lawn collection

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