The following points are kind of obvious things, but sometimes we miss what’s obvious so, when that happens, I, Captain Obvious! Comes to the rescue!
Here are some common sense tips for women, most of these would apply to young women.
- I’m gonna put this at number one because I think this is the most important, yet the most neglected and it‘s included in the men‘s common sense article as well, which is to always keep your hand over your glass or bottle. Once you’re drugged, you lose all ability to make any coherent decision.
- Avoid eating or drinking something given to you by someone, this is especially true for young women in colleges. Even if it’s packaged and not open, a syringe is enough to drug it without opening it.
- When you go out, try and go in a group of close friends, and stick with the group, do not get separated, due to any unforeseen circumstances, if the group does separate, try to at least stay with one of your friends, it’s better than being completely alone. This can apply to young women in schools and colleges as well as women who have jobs or if you‘re just going to social events, etc.
- Another equally important point is to avoid any conversation or any engagement with an individual you don’t feel comfortable around. You don’t have to talk to anyone you don’t feel comfortable around.
- Keep your phone handy and emergency contacts on speed dial.
- Turn on the GPS in your phone if you’re traveling or if you’re gonna be out late. This can backfire if you already have a stalker, but if not, it can be used by the authorities to track your location (as long as you have the phone) in case of an emergency (one example for that is, abduction).
- Which brings me to my next point, try not to stay out too late. That’s such a dad thing to say, right? Well, it has its merits. Especially in areas where sexual assaults and molestations and verbal harassments are a frequent occurrence.
- If you’re at a club or a party, avoid engaging in any violent confrontation, including a verbal one, it doesn’t take long for it to escalate if a single wrong thing is said to the wrong individual.
- Avoid public transportation after dark, if the public transport runs empty after a certain time of day. If you can afford it, get a car, drive. It’s the safest option as long as you gas up your car and maintain it properly. If your situation doesn’t allow that. Get a cab service like OLA or Uber, I’d personally recommend OLA if you’re in India or call someone you trust, maybe your spouse, if they can, to drive you.
- One other obvious, yet simple thing is to not always wear headphones with loud music or movies playing. No headphones.
- Don’t carry objects like taser or mace unless you know how to use them in a violent situation. Most of these aren’t effective against many threats anyway, at least not the most store brand ones people usually buy, but it will be effective enough against you if you don’t train to use it, the same thing you bought to protect yourself will be used against you. It will backfire in the worst possible way. Carry a gun where it’s legal, or a knife, but knife is almost never legal in many countries. So, basically just avoid carrying weapons, unless you are allowed and you know how to use them. Improvise if the need arises.
- I know most will hate this, but in certain situations, even though it’s painful to do so, if someone passes a derogatory remark about you, avoiding them and walking away is the best way to deal with it, especially if there is no help around or if they’re in a group. Chances of this situation escalating are enormous if not handled properly.
- This point connects to the previous one, even though I said not to engage, there are times and places, where you can and should engage to set boundaries. Setting boundaries, especially verbal boundaries is something that not many women feel comfortable doing, because of the social obligation to be polite. But remember, saying NO is not a bad thing. So, if someone is making you uncomfortable or someone crosses your personal space boundary, you are fully within your rights to tell them to go fuck themselves…politely, by saying NO. NOT INTERESTED. I’M NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THIS. STOP. Any of those will do, just take the context into account. ‘NO’ can be said in many ways, but at the end of it all, it still means ‘NO’ and nothing else. If this happens in work place, report it if it’s severe and continuous harassment, or give them a warning, if it’s not continuous or first time or an isolated incident, but still inform someone about it and warn them that you will report it, if there’s a next time. If this happens in college, warn the individual that you’re not comfortable with their behavior and want them to stop, if it persists or if your warning is brushed off, immediately report it to the concerned person who handles these matters. If this happens in school, warn the individual then alert your parents the same day. Remember, you don’t have to get someone kicked out or fired for a remark, unless the harassment has happened more than once, is continuous and severe and you fear for your safety. If it’s a first time, a simple warning is sufficient, if they brush off your warning and, then you may alert someone about this, and if it continues after that, you are justified in taking action of informing the concerned person. There are stages, which, if you overshoot, will not only ruin someone’s life who had no intention of hurting you, but will also reflect badly on yourself. Not to mention, if it severely damages someone’s life, there’s always a potential for payback/revenge. No one wins. Think logically, not emotionally, even if it is difficult to do so, especially in situations like these. Please try and avoid the worst possible outcome. Remember, saying NO, is not wrong, but wrongfully using excessive force is dangerous to everyone involved, and I‘m just not talking about physical force.
- This is something I wanted to include at number one, but it’s not as understated as many of the other above, which is, Trusting your intuition. It is the most important thing when dealing with potential threats. When you feel something or someone is off, it/they probably is/are, walking away from that environment, is the best decision you can possibly ever make.
- Another important one is, learning to distinguish between intuition and paranoia. Paranoia comes from irrational fear, but intuition comes from experience, training and carefully analyzing the environments and behaviors of individuals in your immediate vicinity. If you pick up odd behavior, it probably is likely there’s something wrong. Learn to recognize patterns in normal behavior so you can spot abnormalities in unusual behaviors.
- Finally, an obvious one I’d like to add is, just generally, Use common sense.
So, that’s about it. These are some basic common sense tips to know to make sure you remain safe in social environments. Thanks for reading!