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Self Defence Tips for Women Travelling Alone

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 26 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Women Martial Arts Self Defence Karate

Many women find travelling alone a frightening experience because they fear for their personal safety and do not know how to ward off or stay safe during an attack. By learning more about self defence, women who plan to travel alone can break through this fear and travel with confidence knowing that they can help to protect themselves should the need arise.

Warding Off an Attack

Women often do not realise that there is much they can do to make themselves unappealing victims for a would-be attacker. To begin, women can simply walk with confidence. This will help keep away attackers who tend to prey on women who seem weak or otherwise unlikely to put up resistance or create a scene. Women can also listen to their instincts. If they feel uncomfortable for any reason, women should change their route or leave an area. Women can ask for an escort if they feel uncomfortable being alone as well.

If they are taking public transportation, women can wait in well lit areas for a bus, ask a taxi driver for proper identification and stand well back from the tracks and under a light while waiting for a train. Women can also sit up front near the drivers of buses and trains and only sit in aisle seats so that they are never blocked in by a stranger. If women do feel that they are being followed or targeted then they can turn around and make eye contact with the person. This again conveys confidence as well as allows women to get a good look at a person which increases their chances of identifying and/or reporting this person later.

Safety During an Attack

If the worst does occur and a woman is attacked while travelling there is still much that she can do. Creating a scene is of the utmost importance. Women can scream “fire” to attract the attention of others, and “fire” is usually more likely to get others involved than “help”. Women should also put up a fight and hit, kick, punch and/or bite an assailant in one of the four most sensitive areas of the body – the eyes, the knees, the throat and the groin. If possible, women should also try to scratch an assailant or pull hair as these actions might recover DNA evidence that could be used against the attacker in the future. Whatever happens, women should not willingly move location with an assailant and instead fight as hard as possible to remain in the area of the initial confrontation.

Reporting an Attack Abroad

Women who are attacked abroad must report the crime to the local authorities. Women can always feel free to ask to speak with a female officer or for the help of a translator and these requests are usually fulfilled as long as such officers are available. Women might also consider contact their nearest consulate or embassy to find out more about laws and justice systems in the country of the attack and if they need to do anything else to help track down or prosecute the attacker.

Knowing the basics of self defence is critical for all women. Before travelling many women might find it useful to attend crime prevention workshops or to engage in martial arts such as karate which will make them more confident in their physical abilities. While travelling, women should always remain vigilant and listen to their instincts regarding personal safety as well as fighting back during an attack and reporting an attack after it occurs.

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