AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM: Keep Safe This Holiday Season!
Posted: November 30, 2018
The holiday season is upon us, and it is definitely a very special time of the year.
Unfortunately, this also means that people become busy and are not always as aware as they should be.
Thieves and criminals are aware of this and become especially active during this time of the year.
If you are enrolled in our Adult Martial Arts / Self-Defense Classes at Spartanburg Martial Arts, you are already at an advantage to not become a victim this holiday season. If you are not enrolled in a Self-Defense Program, I wanted to share some information with you in hope to increase your awareness, and help you avoid becoming a victim so you may enjoy a happy holiday season.
During this time of the year, local police departments often emphasize that it’s important to have a safety plan while out doing your holiday shopping.
TEN TIPS YOU MUST KNOW:
1. Always park in a well-lit area.
Think ahead and even park under a light post during the day. Make sure you park somewhere with plenty of foot traffic or where there are other people around.
2. Never take a flyer off your car if it has been placed on your back windshield.
This is one of a variety of techniques a thief may use to make the driver of a vehicle get out while the car is running, becoming vulnerable to a carjacking (or worse) where the thief does away with vehicle, owner’s purse and freshly bought gifts.
3. Always have your keys ready when approaching your car, do not stand there digging in the pocket of your purse.
The key to being safe and not becoming a victim is always to be as alert as possible, as thieves look for distracted potential victims before making their move. If a criminal is confident that a victim has no clue of ill-intent, or is distracted enough, he can go ahead with his plans.
4. If carrying a hand full of packages, always ask for help loading your car.
This may seem obvious, but being alert will not be enough if you are unable to react due to trying to carry too many packages at once. Ask for help loading the car, or ask an employee to watch your packages by the store entrance while you bring your car around to the front.
5. Be sure to always have a charged cell phone before leaving your home, and have a charger in your car at all times.
Should you have any kind of car trouble, or find yourself in a situation needing help, having a dead phone is a sure way to find yourself helpless, and even worse, more vulnerable. Take the necessary steps to make sure that you are able to always have enough battery life.
6. Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan on returning.
In the unfortunate event you find yourself a victim of a crime or accident, the less time that passes between the incident and someone noticing that something may have happened, the higher your chances to get help sooner and the criminal being caught.
7. Always walk with your head up and eyes forward, criminals don’t like confident victims.
Looking and being confident is a major topic and benefit of our Adult Martial Arts & Self-Defense Programs. When assessing a potential victim, a criminal will steer clear if he senses suspicion, or if the victim does not appear distracted and is walking with confidence.
8. Be sure to leave lights on a timer, so you always come home to a well-lit house.
Make sure your outdoor lighting is always functional, and consider motion-activated lights to spook any potential intruders. If you do not have a timer controlling your lights, make sure you leave some lights on at home so you do not enter the house in darkness.
9. Never question your intuition when it comes to strangers.
If you sense that something is “off”, do not rationalize your thoughts as being your imagination - your sixth sense is a self-defense mechanism that you should trust. Keep your body posture strong, make eye contact and keep a safe distance if approached, always being aware of your surroundings.
10. If you use an ATM, only take out the cash you need.
Try to avoid carrying a purse or wallet, if possible, and put your cash in your front pocket.
I hope you found these tips helpful! When it comes to your safety, awareness and being alert is definitely imperative at all times. The amount of CONFIDENCE you are able to have (remember, this is one of the main things attackers want to avoid at all times, a confident victim) is the prime benefit of the self-defense classes we teach at Spartanburg Martial Arts. Our classes will teach you actual moves to protect yourself in a physical confrontation and we also regularly hold self-defense workshops where we introduce and review a lot of the situations described above. These are often open to non-members as well, so you can bring a friend. It’s our goal to empower the members of our community, especially under the holiday season!
And don’t forget … our self-defense classes are MAJOR workouts! We sweat, learn self-protection moves, and we have a ton of fun doing it while growing confidence in our skills, our fitness level and our knowledge.