No matter your age or your fitness level, you need to know how to keep yourself safe when danger arises.
Protect Yourself with Words
When an attacker approaches you, your first instinct is probably to run away or fight. Engaging verbally with an attacker is a smarter way to protect yourself because chances are they’re younger, stronger, and more agile. And even if you think you can take them on physically, they might be carrying some sort of weapon. Since you have a better chance of being targeted by an attacker you know, it gives you enough time before they take action, so understanding how to de-escalate a situation and reduce danger through verbal self-defense could prove to be a valuable skill.
For instance, let them know you have no valuables on you. Talk directly to them in a calm manner. Screaming and yelling may escalate the situation, but particularly if you know them, just treating them with respect may do the trick.
Make Your Valuables Harder to Steal
Whether or not you know your attacker, you can take steps to prevent a potential thief from stealing your valuables. Try wearing your purse inside your coat, so it’s much harder to grab, or have a travel wallet. Carry your keys in your pocket, so a purse thief won’t also gain access to your vehicle.
Learn Martial Arts Basics
You don’t have to become a Taekwondo expert to defend yourself. Try learning martial arts basics at home or enroll in a one-time class designed for self-defense. Be sure to practice what you’ve learned regularly, so you’ll be ready to use it if necessary. Though you may laugh, there are taekwondo exercises using your cane that are doable and can be effective for protection purposes.
Master Your Weapon of Choice
If you’d rather not rely on your physical abilities, you may also be able to defend yourself with your weapon of choice, or even pepper spray. Whatever one you choose, make sure you know how to use it to defend yourself in a dangerous situation.
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