Spies and Spy tips

How Not to be a Victim: Survival Tips for Women

The theme of this blog is Top Secret Washington because of all the special things I get to do behind the scenes in D.C., but it’s also called this because of my spy series. I love empowered women who can take care of themselves — something I’ve always wanted to be, but don’t always achieve. Part of that takes skills — survival being the dominant skill set we all need, primarily as young women.

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Here are some tips:

  • Don’t walk and talk or text on your cell phone. Pay attention to your surroundings. Same goes for music on earbuds. Don’t get lost in the melody and forget where you are. Paying attention can save your life!
  • Notice if anyone is watching you. Scan the area. Be vigilant.
  • Walk with purpose, carry keys splayed between your fingers as a weapon. Don’t be so overloaded with packages you cannot defend yourself if necessary. If you look like a harder person to deal with, they’ll look elsewhere for an easier target.
  • If someone is near your car, turn around, wait inside the building you just exited until they leave, or ask someone to escort you. This is easier than you think. Most male employees at offices or stores are more than happy to help out.

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  • The best way to survive an attacker or not get kidnapped is to not be in a vulnerable situation in the first place. Watch out for fringe zones — areas where you can easily be grabbed like parking lots or deserted streets where you can be pushed into a car. These areas can be even more dangerous than deserted park trails because the assailant’s car is at the ready. Don’t fool yourself that anywhere is one hundred percent safe.
  • Notice odd behavior. Once I was walking in Manhattan on a fairly deserted street. Two men who were talking in front of me split up. One stayed in front of me and the other moved behind me. I crossed to the middle of the street and kept walking until I could get to an intersection with more people around. They joined up again and stared after me. I knew I’d made the right decision.
  • Don’t be afraid to attract attention if you’re in trouble. Walk in the street (carefully!) where you can be easily seen, turn around and go in the opposite direction. Go into a store and stay put until it is safe. Call a taxi. Call a police officer. Do what you need to do to be safe.
  • Finally, listen to your gut. If someone seems out of place, or suspicious, don’t blow it off. Better to be safe than polite.

Here is a great video about how not to be a victim of abduction. It shows how easy it is to overpower someone who isn’t paying attention (male or female). I hope it will help someone stay out of trouble.

9 replies »

  1. Good advice. But I’d add that someone who’s being kidnapped or taken against her will should also shout loudly and do everything in her power before she ends up in a car. Apparently a lot of women don’t like to attract attention. Or at least I was advised of this in my younger years when I had my very own stalker. Also shouting FIRE can sometimes be more effective than shouting HELP, or so I’ve been told. I say do both.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good advice. But I’d add that someone who’s being kidnapped or taken against her will should also shout loudly and do everything in her power before she ends up in a car. Apparently a lot of women don’t like to attract attention. Or at least I was advised of this in my younger years when I had my very own stalker. Also shouting FIRE can sometimes be more effective than shouting HELP, or so I’ve been told. I say do both.

    Liked by 1 person

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