Should you ever find yourself in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, we’ve prepared these tips and counselling on how to be prepared.
No one wants to think about the possibility of being in danger, but unfortunately, it’s a reality of life. The Office for National Statistics reported that more than one million adults aged 16 and over experienced some form of sexual assault in the year ending March 2022.
Whether it’s the threat of sexual assault or harassment, or any other type of danger, there are steps you can take to stay vigilant, protect yourself and, most importantly, stay safe.
In this article, we’ll explore what steps you need to take in case of imminent danger, as well as legal objects you can carry on you to help keep yourself safe.
Trust your gut feeling
It’s late at night and someone has been following you for a little too long–if you have a feeling that something’s wrong, chances are you might be right.
The first step in staying safe is to trust your instincts. If something feels off or dangerous, it’s better to err on the side of caution. What you need to do is quickly and efficiently remove yourself from the situation. Vigilance is key here. Take notes of their body language and behaviours–are they breathing hard or twitching?
A few ways to avoid an unwanted confrontation could include leaving a gathering early, avoiding a certain dodgy area, or simply walking away from a potentially dangerous situation. Before any of that, however, you need to take a deep breath. Out of instinct, your body can be triggered by the fight or flight response if it senses you’re in danger. A good amount of oxygen will clear your head and allow you to concentrate on how to get out of the situation in a calm and calculated manner.
Find a safe place
When facing danger or feeling threatened, it’s crucial to prioritise your safety.
One of the best ways to do this is to find a safe place. If you’re out in public, try to find a place with other people around, such as a busy street or a coffee shop. If you’re already in public, look for a security guard or another authority figure who can help you.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to face danger alone, so if you can’t find a safe place, reach out to a friend or family member who can come and pick you up. By finding a safe place, you can give yourself time to think and evaluate the situation, and you can also increase the likelihood of finding someone who can help get you out of the situation.
Call for Help
Another one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself is to call for help. If you have a phone on you, don’t hesitate to call the police or emergency services right away. It’s important to remain calm and provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible, including your exact location and a description of the person or people who are threatening you. The more information you can provide, the better-equipped emergency services will be able to help you.
If you don’t have a phone, try to find someone nearby who can call for you. This could be a random passerby, a store employee, or someone else who can help. Again, make sure to provide them with your exact location and a description of the person or people who are threatening you. It’s important to stay on the phone until help arrives. This can be a difficult and frightening situation, but having someone on the other end of the line can provide you with some comfort and reassurance. If you’re able to, try to stay with someone until help arrives. This could be a friend, family member, or even a stranger who is willing to help.
Please remember: calling for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a smart and proactive step you can take to protect yourself and get the assistance you need to prevent a dangerous situation unfolding. Don’t hesitate to call the police or emergency services if you feel threatened or in danger. By doing so, you can help ensure your safety and well-being.
Make a lot of noise
When in danger, make as much noise as you can to attract the attention of any passerby within your vicinity. Shout, scream, hit an object that makes loud sounds and use your voice to draw attention to your situation. This can help deter potential attackers and also attract the attention of people who can help. If you think this could aggravate your potential attacker, stop what you’re doing and follow the other steps–run until you find a safe place and call for help.
Legal Objects to Carry
What you want to avoid is coming into physical contact with an attacker. When there is no other option, there are several objects you can carry on you to help keep yourself safe. This can include:
- Personal alarm: Personal alarms emit a loud noise when activated, which can attract attention and deter attackers. They are small and can be easily carried on a keychain or in a purse.
- Whistle: A whistle is a simple but effective self-defence tool that can be used to attract attention and deter attackers. This is also small, easy to carry and can be used to make a lot of loud noise.
- Other alternatives: Anything can be turned into a weapon if you stop and think about it–umbrellas, keys, pens and even rolled up magazines have been used to stave off an attacker. Use anything you can to buy yourself extra time to run and call for help.
It is illegal carry any knife in public without good reason, unless it has a manual folding blade less than 3 inches long
Staying safe is all about being prepared and taking action when necessary. Trust your instincts, find a safe place, call for help, make noise and consider all options to avoid a dangerous confrontation. By following these tips, you can help reduce the risk of danger and stay safe.
Don’t blame yourself
It’s important to remember that sexual assault or harassment is never the victim’s fault. You have the right to say no, and no one has the right to touch you without your consent. If you are a victim of sexual assault or harassment, it’s important to seek support from loved ones, a counsellor, or a support group. Find more resources here.
Empower yourself with these three self-defence techniques that could help get you out of danger if you ever find yourself in any of these scenarios. Thanks to Shinrai Martial Arts Founder Teasha Mitchell and her team for providing the videos for Outcry Witness.
If you would like to create an anonymous record of an incident that happened to you, start below.