Understand what criminals look for in their potential victims:

1) Lack of awareness.
Be Aware – Know where you are, where you’re going and what is going on around you. This includes people, events and potential exit routes.

2) Bad neighborhood at a bad time.
Get Information – If you don’t know about the safety of a neighborhood, ASK someone you trust before you go there. Reconsider walking or driving alone while in a potentially bad neighborhood especially at night.

3) Non-Aggressive body language.
Act Confident – Stand or walk confidently by keeping your head up standing straight and a purposeful stride. Always scan your immediate surroundings. In addition, take command of your space, by keeping your distance when walking past strangers on the street or in dark areas.

4) Spending time idling in one location.
Be a Moving Target – Don’t give them time to plan an attack. When going somewhere, keep moving. If you are in your car, think twice before sitting there with the car doors unlocked while you do stuff like checking a map, list or magazine or fixing your makeup. Too many women have been attacked in this situation. If you are in a parking lot that is potentially unsafe, get in your car, lock the doors and leave.

5) Easy access to valuables.
Hide Valuables – When walking in a bad neighborhood or at night, don’t wear valuable jewelry. Also, keep your purse inside your coat or tucked close to your body. Do not carry a loose bag or backpack, unless you have eyes in the back of your head to keep watch on it.

6) Loose clothing or hair.
Prevent Handholds – Think about places where an attacker can grab and pull at you. Put your long hair up in a hat or tuck it inside your clothing. Remove loose scarves, belts and backpacks or place them inside your coat.

7) No threat of physical deterrent.
Be Intimidating – If a criminal doesn’t view you as difficult or a physical threat, you could be a potential victim. This can be quickly changed if you decide to carry something large and blunt such as a large golf umbrella, baseball bat or walking stick.

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