Through blogging, LaTasha has become a very good friend and a blessing to know. She has a blog of her own called HitBelowTheBeltHard. She also a owns an on-line business offering a variety of self protection products called Safety First Self Defense.  LaTasha is not afraid to address the hard questions and topics as you will read on her site. She has a deep passion for educating her readers with knowledge for safeguarding themselves, and their families as she covers a wide variety of situations, while offering practical solutions.

I am thrilled that LaTasha is collaborating with me on ways we can be proactive by being aware and prepared with knowledge to safe-guard yourself and your family.  We hope these two posts will benefit you, give you cause for changing some bad habits that might set you up as a target, while ultimately empowering you with the tools to be safe. 

 

It is not fear that motivates, but awareness and information to drive us forward: that is our goal, to keep us ALL safe and secure.




  AT HOMESelf Defense 2

 

Tips for being safe in your home:

  • Keep your cell phone charged and next to you, even if you have a land line.
  • Keep a light on at night to give the impression someone is awake and to help you see if an intruder comes in.
  • Keep curtains shut so others cannot easily see if you, or your children are alone.
  • Keep bushes and shrubs cut low.  This avoids strangers from hiding in them, and makes it easy for neighbors to watch your home when you are there, and when you are away.
  • Keep the outside of your house lit up well so there are not shadows for intruders to easily hid themselves in.
  • Keep your doors and windows shut and locked at night.
  • For sliding doors and windows keep a a dowel in the open slot so it cannot slid open.
  • Protect Yourself From Violent Crime from the National Crime Prevention Council
  • A credible alarm and protection company may be a good fit for you and your family
 What if your home is being broken into.  Tips from Readers Digest

Don’t turn on the lights, says Mark Safarik, a retired FBI profiler. That will diminish your night vision. Plus, if you’re near a window, a potential intruder will be able to see you and know instantly where you are. Instead, dial 911 immediately. Then, if you can, find your car’s remote entry device and press the panic button. It’s capable of triggering the alarm from a distance of some 30 to 60 feet, and the loud noise may well frighten the intruder away.

 




Are you prepared if an intruder breaks in? From Citizen Defense Training.  This is an abbreviated portion of their article.  
1– Plan now to prevent a tragedy.  How will you get out of the house; will you need a rope ladder stored in your room, or can you climb out the window?
2- Once the intruder is inside do you have a safe room?  Is there a lock on the inside, a light and supplies for food and necessities?
3- If you do not have a safe room and cannot get out, do you have a way to barricade the door?
4- Can you call 911 or emergency help?  Do you keep your cell phone charged, particularly at night?
5- If you must encounter the invader do you know how to handle the situation?
6- Do you know how to prevent if possible the home invasion?




GENERALSelf Defense 3

A list of tips for adults on staying safe

  • Don’t walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when the streets are deserted.
  • When out at night, try to have a friend walk with you.
  • Carry only the money you’ll need on a particular day.
  • Don’t display your cash or any other inviting targets such as pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry and clothing.
  • If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Don’t be afraid to yell for help.
  • Try to park in well-lighted areas with good visibility and close to walkways, stores, and people.
  • Make sure you have your key out as you approach your door.
  • Always lock your car, even if it’s in your own driveway; never leave your motor running.
  • Do everything you can to keep a stranger from getting into your car or to keep a stranger from forcing you into his or her car.
  • If a dating partner has abused you, do not meet him or her alone. Do not let him or her in your home or car when you are alone.
  • If you are a battered spouse, call the police or sheriff immediately. Assault is a crime, whether committed by a stranger or your spouse or any other family member. If you believe that you and your children are in danger, call a crisis hotline or a health center (the police can also make a referral) and leave immediately.
  • If someone tries to rob you, give up your property—don’t give up your life.
  • If you are robbed or assaulted, report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.




CAR

Self Defense 4Parking Lot Safety

  • Park in well-lit, well traveled areas.
  • Put all of your bags in the trunk.
  • Save most expensive purchases for last.
  • Have your keys ready when you walk out to your vehicle.
  • Always check to make sure no one is hiding in the back seat.
  • Try not to walk out into an empty parking lot. Wait a minute if you have to for someone else to come out of the store.

Parking lot safety tips to reduce your chances of becoming a victim by Consumer Reports

Be choosy where you park

  • Sure, that isn’t always easy. But it could be worth driving around a little to find a spot in a populated area instead of settling on one in a dark, remote location, especially if you are alone. “Park in a well-lit area because criminals hate light; they don’t want to be identified,” said Officer Heidi Miller of the Police Department in Bloomington, Minn., home of the Mall of America.

Lock and stow

  • Many parking-lot thefts occur because drivers neglect to perform the simplest task: locking the car and closing the windows. Don’t allow your car to be an easy target for thieves. Hide valuables such as GPS devices, cell phones, laptops, and ­iPods. If your GPS is mounted to your windshield, pull it off and try to clean off the suction marks so that thieves don’t break into the car looking for it. “Don’t even leave the GPS cable,” Miller said, because criminals think you’re simply putting the device away in your glove box or center console. In addition, if you have an aftermarket stereo with a removable faceplate, Miller suggests removing the face and taking it with you.

Stay focused

  • “People walking through the parking lot don’t pay as much attention as they used to,” Capt. Robert Guidetti of the Paramus, N.J., Police Department said. Instead they are checking e-mail or making calls. Look to your front, side, and rear when walking to and from a store. Being aware of your surroundings lessens your chances of becoming a victim or getting struck by a car, Guidetti says.

Assume you’re watched

  • Criminals watch for shoppers who put purchases in their car or trunk, then walk back into the store. Once you’re gone, it can take only moments to break in and grab items. If you need to stow packages while shopping, repark your car in a different location, away from anyone who could have been observing, says Detective Bob Welsome of the New York City Police Department. Other options are to find out whether the mall has storage lockers available or ask security to hold your packages until you’re ready to leave.

Don’t dally

  • “Walk like you have a purpose,” said Officer Harry Nuskey of the Upper Merion Township, Pa., Police Department, near the popular Mall of Prussia. “Don’t wander, even if you don’t know where your car is.” Have your car key in hand before you leave the store. It can also act as a weapon if necessary, Guidetti says. Once in your car, lock the doors immediately and drive off. Don’t sit and do other things. That will lessen the chance of you becoming a target.

Beware of stranger danger

  • If you are approached or chased, yell or scream to get attention or go back to the store and alert security. If you are followed while driving, go to an open gas station or a populated area with plenty of light, Miller says. “Your best defense is a well-charged cell phone,” Miller said. “Get on the phone and call 911.”

 Parking Lot Safety by Road and Travel




  • Don’t approach your vehicle if a van or other large vehicle with tinted windows is parked next to it. Find a security guard to walk you to your car; they are paid to do so. If a security guard isn’t available, look for a nearby couple walking to their car and say something like, “That vehicle wasn’t there when I parked. Would you mind making sure I get into my car safely?” Most people would be happy to lend a moment and ensure your safety.
  • Walk with purpose. Multiple studies have shown that a quick, purposeful walk sends subconscious signals to predators that you are not an easy mark. They typically decide to wait for another victim.
  • Keep one hand free at all times. This at least gives you the opportunity to attempt to fend-off a would-be attacker.
  • Have your key ready to open the car door. Never stand next to your car searching through your purse. Robbers, car-jackers and sexual predators all watch for this type of distraction.
  • Once in your car, lock the doors immediately. This is the time that a bystander could quickly and simply open a car door and let himself in, a frequent tactic since it doesn’t attract a lot of attention from passersby.
  • Get moving. Don’t sit inside of your vehicle adjusting the stereo, rummaging through shopping bags or your purse, or talking on your phone, especially if the lot is not well populated. Instead, drive to a well-lit area and stop the car (but leave it running) and then search for the item, make a phone call, etc.
  • If you have an unlocking button or keyless entry system, make sure you unlock only the driver door. Most keyless systems let you unlock either the driver door or use two punches to unlock all doors. Unlocking all doors allows a predator to simply slide into your car from the passenger side and do whatever he wants.
  • Make sure that your dome light is always functioning properly. As you unlock your vehicle at night, glance into the back seat and make sure that an attacker has not gained access to your car.
  • Lastly, never approach your vehicle if a single male is loitering anywhere near it. Period.




 CYBERSTALKING
Self Defense 5

12 Tips To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalking from AboutNews.  This is an abbreviated list, click HERE for more detailed information.

1- Never reveal your home address

2- Password protect all accounts

3- Conduct an internet search using your name and phone number

4- Be suspicious of any incoming emails, telephone calls or texts that ask you for your identifying information.

5- Never give out your Social Security Number

6- Utilize stat counters or other free registry counters that will record all incoming traffic to your blogs and web sites

7- Check your credit report status regularly

8- If you are leaving a partner, spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend – especially if they are abusive, troubled, angry or difficult – reset every single password on all of your accounts to something they cannot guess

 9- If you encounter something suspicious – a weird phone call or an emptied account that can’t be explained by your bank – it could be a cyberstalker so act accordingly. 

10- If you think you’re a target, have your PC checked by a professional

11- If you think you have a cyberstalker, move fast.

12- Get lots of emotional support to handle the cyberstalking period and to deal with the aftermath.

 

If you have been a victim of violent crime please contact Circle The Wagons for help with resources

For help with identifying, coping with, needing resources in any way for child abuse or domestic abuse, click HERE

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

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