This week I offer some simple, no nonsense tips to help you protect yourself from most assault, abuse, & other violence:
1. Act Calm & Confident. People will listen to you more and bother you less when you act aware, calm, and confident, not scared, mad, or aggressive. Show confidence in a way that is respectful, not challenging.
2. Stay Aware. Pay attention to everything around you: people, animals, cars, buses, & bikes. Notice people’s voices & gestures. Think about what you notice. Avoid using headphones.
3. Make Safety Plans. Identify the safest way to go places, even if the safest way is longer. Decide where you can get help, like in stores, along your routes. Practice interrupting & saying, “Excuse me, I need help.”
4. Plan to Carry Stuff Safely. In public, keep money & expensive items, like phones, out of sight. Use bags or carts that make it easy to move confidently. When possible, carry less.
5. Use Simple Safety Strategies. Consider sitting closer to the front of the bus or train, not the back, or by the aisle, not the window. Keep an important key or ticket in a pocket, not in a bag that could get stolen.
6. Move Away From Trouble. If someone’s behavior seems unsafe, leave as soon as you can. Move closer to a place you can get help, like a store or office. Speak up to get help. Persist until you get help.
7. Let Go of Stuff. Fighting over possessions is dangerous. Leave valuables at home when you can. If people are threatening to get your stuff, let it go. Leave. Go to people who can help you.
8. Speak Up. If something bothers you, say so. Set clear boundaries. Know how to say ‘Please stop.” Be ready to yell in an emergency. Be specific about your problem, where you are, & what you need.
9. Use Words Safely. Using mean, threatening, or attacking words, even if someone else did it first, can make problems much more dangerous. Using calm, clear, respectful language is safer.
10. Don’t Let Other People’s Words Control Your Feelings or Behavior. Filter verbal attack so you can notice unsafe, disrespectful words without letting them control your own choices and behavior.
11. Control Your Space. Open the door to your home only when you know you want to let the other in. Be willing to leave places, conversations, or relationships to be safe. Get space from people pressuring you to give money, time, or attention you do not want to give.
12. Put Safety First. Get Help. Being polite, kind, and respectful is important, but being safe is more important than being polite, kind, and respectful. Know how to get help from people you know and how to get help from strangers in public. Safety is more important than embarrassment, inconvenience, or offense.
13. Know Basic Physical Self-Defense Skills that Work for You. In a short time, people of all abilities can learn simple physical self-defense skills that fit their ages, physical condition, and life situations.
This free resource provided by Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International, a nonprofit leader in education for the prevention of bulling, abuse, abduction, and violence since 1989. Serving people of all ages, all abilities, and all walks of life. For more, visit www.kidpower.org, call 800-467-6997 ext.1#, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.