Personal Safety & Holiday Shopping


  • The holidays are an especially vulnerable time for women in respects to personal safety. We can be distracted by our “To Do List”, time schedules, events, family activities, shopping for that perfect or last minute gift, or just too many things that need to be compressed into a busy day. This is the time to realize that your personal risk for assault or theft has increased exponentially. You’re most vulnerable when distracted.


    Location can play greatly into your risks during the holiday season. Predators are prowling our favorite holiday watering holes such as malls, parking lots, restaurants, shopping centers, and drinking establishments. Your awareness should be heightened when in these locations that add to your vulnerability.


    In addition to distractions there is the added incentive for an assailant that you might be carrying cash, credit cards, or other valuables on your person during this time of year. The incentives for the assailant to commit the crime have now increased!


    How do you reduce your vulnerability to being singled out by a predator as a potential victim? The most proactive behavior to reduce the probability of being victimized is in improving your awareness skills. Be alert! And most importantly, trust your INSTINCTS! Once the predator realizes that you aware of the threat the predator will often move on to a less observant prey.


    Personal Holiday Safety Check List:


           Avoid overloading with packages to carry.

           Park near the building entrance or near security guard locations.

           Avoid traveling or shopping alone.

           Place valuables and packages in the truck of your car.

           Avoid carrying cash.

           Make a list of all your credit cards with contact numbers for cancellation if needed.

           Be alert! Be aware and observant of your surroundings.

           Walk with confidence and purpose.

           Avoid alcohol or drugs that could cloud your judgment.

           Walk in well-lit areas. Be wary of isolated spots - apartment laundry rooms, underground garages, parking lots, and offices after business hours.

           Avoid walking alone; walk with a friend, co-worker, or security guard.

           Lock your doors at home and in your car. Roll up the car windows and lock the doors, even if you're coming right back.

           Be wary when inviting someone to your residence or accepting an invitation to his or hers.

           Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps.

           Avoid ATM use at night!

           Avoid wearing shoes or clothing that restricts your movements.

           Trust your INSTINCTS! If you feel uneasy, take action to avoid the situation.

           Carry a whistle; a piercing whistle will get attention of others when a yell does not.



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