As women all over the country are preparing to head to shopping centers to find the perfect swim suit for all their upcoming Spring and Summer plans. It is crucial to acknowledge that leaving malls and shopping centers nonchalant with hands full of bags can be dangerous if the shopper is not aware of the surroundings.
Every year around 300,000 women are raped and over half of these crimes go unreported. It is important for women know how to protect themselves from these, and all, types of crimes. As extreme as this sound, Krav Maga Worldwide, a leading self-defense organization is informing shoppers how they can stay safe with some basic self-defense tips.
5 Self-Defense Tips for Staying Safe While You Shop
- Stay aware of your surroundings by scanning your environment. No matter how busy you are, do not allow your mind to wander. It might seem important in the moment to be making a to-do list in your head, but if you are worrying if you will have time to stop at the specialty food store on your way home to pick up appetizers for tomorrow’s party you might not notice someone following you to your vehicle.
- Park in well lit areas - even if it means that you have to walk a bit further. It is best to avoid shopping after the sun has gone down, but if you must try to bring a friend or family member along with you. When you park, avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows. You want to keep your car as visible to as many people as possible and as such you should also avoid parking next to tall shrubs or plants that could block views of your vehicle.
- Don't wear your purse so that the strap crosses your body. Wearing a purse strap across your body makes you more connected to your bag. If someone tries to steal your purse, you will be pulled with the strap. You can become unbalanced and put into a vulnerable position or you could end up in a physical altercation with the assailant. If your purse is draped on one shoulder you can easily let go of it.
- Dress casually and comfortably. The mall during holiday shopping season is not the time to make a fashion statement. It is better to leave the high heels and flashy statement making pieces at home. Jeans and sneakers will help you blend in and if needed enable you to make a quick getaway. Also, avoid wearing large and expensive looking jewelry that can draw additional attention to you.
- Don't hesitate to ask a security guard to walk you to your car. If you are shopping at night and the crowds at the mall have thinned out for the day, taking an extra step to stay safe is always a good idea. Or, plan ahead and pay the few extra dollars to valet park your car so you do not have to walk to it alone with arms full of bags.