Tips for Women on Staying Safe


On this page we've collected some general tips on how to avoid dangerous situations outside your home. Generally, the best idea is to use common sense. Unfortunately, that's not always enough. First, we will list some common sense tips on how to avoid violence. Remember, many violent situations (mainly domestic violence) can start after a verbal altercation. Always try to "cool down" the situation or try to get out of your home before it escalates.


Think about your clothing - where will it be worn? Will you be going out after work? Get into the habit of leaving restrictive clothing and shoes for those occasions when you are certain that you have no reason to anticipate danger, such as large crowds, being picked up after work or going out and so forth.

Choose a wardrobe which maximizes freedom of movement. The best self defense techniques will not help you if you can't run away because of restrictive clothing. In these situations, it will be necessary to disable your attacker to ensure you are not followed unless you have some means of a quick exit such as a car. This places additional, unnecessary pressure on you to be successful. Further, if you focus too much attention on disabling your opponent, you may not be sufficiently aware of an additional threat to yourself.



  • If you see or sense problems on your way, change your route and prepare to run or defend yourself.
  • Do not wear conspicuous jewelry when you are walking on the streets alone.
  • Do not hitchhike, use buses or taxis instead.
  • Do not act or look like an easy target - remain aware and look confident!

Public Transportation

  • Remember, there is usually safety in numbers. Wait in a coffee shop or in a well lit area for public transportation to arrive.
  • Don't choose the window seat as you may be "blocked in" by a potential assailant; always choose an aisle seat for quick exit.
  • After peak hours, always choose the area carrying the most passengers or the compartment directly behind the driver.
  • On buses, sit behind the driver or next to the door for quick exit.

Motor Vehicles

  • Danger areas are stepping out of your car either at home or in isolated areas and also walking to your car.
  • Always approach your vehicle with the keys ready.
  • Windows should be up and doors locked even when driving to avoid unwanted passengers at intersections.
  • Always check your car before entering.
  • Never leave your car unlocked, even for the few minutes it may take you to return a video, buy milk, and so forth. Attackers have been known to lie in wait for such an opportunity.
  • Never get into a car even if someone is pointing a knife or a handgun at you from inside. Just start to run away from the car screaming at the same time. It's much more likely that he will drive away to find an easier target.
  • Never pull your car over from a quiet road even if someone drives alongside your car pointing at the tires, etc. Always continue driving to a well-lit and crowded area before exiting your car. The problem might be a bluff and the driver wants you to stop at the side of the road to "help" you without a reason.
  • Always be alert in parking lots, especially when it's dark. If you are afraid, don't be shy to ask someone to escort you to your car. Between cars and inside cars, it's easy for someone to hide and wait until a distracted person comes along.

Walkers / Joggers

  • If you have car trouble and are walking to look for help, always walk against the flow of traffic so that you can see what is coming.
  • If shadowed by a car, run back in the direction from which you came. If you continue in the same direction, you will make it easier for the shadowing to continue.
  • Be wary of alert passengers in parked cars.
  • Don't use headphones when walking in isolated areas at any time.
  • Regularly change your routines.
  • Mark out houses at intervals on each route you take that may be used as "safe houses" in the event of attack such as shops or houses that you know to be occupied by a friend or acquaintance. Try to incorporate these houses every time you vary your route.
  • Be alert at all times.
  • Don't presume that because your area has been "safe" thus far, that it will continue to be so.

Take the Initiative

The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving. The driver won't see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

Go with a friend — never alone

Don't do this!

Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.).  DON'T DO THIS! A predator may be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to take advantage of you. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS, AND LEAVE.

A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

  • Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door.
  • Look at the car parked on the drivers side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you backout.
  • ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are secluded and provide opportunity for would be criminals.  Don't ride the elevator with someone if they make you uncomfortable.


If a predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN!  Being a moving target increases your chances at survival.