Until you acknowledge, “it could happen to you,” pre-incident cues may not register as important or relevant enough to notice. –The nuts and bolts of awareness
Although it is essential to know fundamental skills for defending yourself against unknown assailants, there is one rule far more important than knowing how to beat someone up.
Be aware of your surroundings. Realize that you could be a victim of violence. Don’t wait until you’re alone in a seemingly deserted parking garage to put your defenses up. By rights, you have already put yourself into a dangerous position.
During my first semester on college, I remember feeling like I was being followed one afternoon when I left the library. I’d noticed someone staring at me in the library and watched him slip out of the library when I began to gather my things. By the time I was halfway down A-lot’s sidewalk, I knew it was no illusion. Lucky for him, he was smart enough to call out to me before catching up. At that point, I was already planning my counter-attack. If he had reached me before saying “excuse me,” he probably would’ve walked away with a bloody nose or at least with the wind knocked out of him. It later turned out that he just wanted to introduce himself, but the whole think creeped me out enough to keep my guard up for several months later.
The point I’m trying to make with this anecdote is that you can never be too trusting of your surroundings.
Women’s Self-Defense Awareness has a great list of self-defense awareness tips. A few I think are more important than others include:
Always park in well lit areas.
Always lock your car even if you’ll be gone for a short time.
Have your keys ready before you leave a secure building. Fumbling in your purse only makes you look more vulnerable.
The most important thing to remember is to be smart. You can avoid dangerous situations as long as you use common sense.