Take a self-defense and personal safety training class. These programs teach specific skills for noticing and avoiding a dangerous encounter. Learning confidence and physical strategies is empowering and as such, we are perceived as less of a target or victim.  Often, just by having the skills and knowing we can perform them if needed, our self-esteem improves.  We hold their head up higher, walk with more confidence and give the impression that we are alert, deliberate and strong.

  • Keep your colleagues and supervisors updated about your location and activity. Send a text when you arrive at your location, then again when you leave.
  • When walking to and from an appointment, maintain a steady pace. Keep shoulders back, look confident and make eye contact as you pass people. Appearing confident and deliberate in your stride will suggest to others that you are not an easy target.
  • Remember where you have parked so you can easily locate your vehicle upon your return. Notice landmarks and the exact location of your car in the lot. Have your keys ready to unlock your vehicle, then lock the doors when you are inside.
  • Carry your handbag or briefcase close to and in front of you, not looped over your head and shoulder. Be prepared to give up your purse or briefcase if confronted, so ensure you are carrying only photocopies of your important documents. The originals are best kept at home.
  • Debit cards and credit cards are the only original documents that are needed for any kind of transaction. Make sure you have those numbers in a secure place. Health care cards, SIN cards, even drivers’ licenses can be produced to authorities by photocopy or on your phone.
  • Continuously check your reflection in windows as you pass. Notice people who may be in your vicinity – how do you feel about them, has their pace changed, have they suddenly disappeared from your view?
  • Wear comfortable shoes – save your high heels for after work!
  • Stay alert and ‘tuned in’ to your surroundings, send the message that you are calm, confident, and deliberate in where you are going. Put your cell phone away and notice your environment.
  • If it feels like you are being followed, quickly switch direction or cross the street. Run to an open store, restaurant or business. Yell loudly for help (yelling or shouting will change the intent of a potential offender)
  • If you are riding public transit, notice who gets off or on the train or bus with you. If you feel uneasy, walk directly to a place where there are other people, or get back on the bus or train.
  • Use well lit, uncovered parking lots. Park as close as possible to the entrance, or near a light.
  • Trust your instincts, and follow your intuition; it is never wrong.Do not negate or talk yourself out of your fears or apprehension. These fears are real and showing up in your body for good reason – to keep you safe.