Photo courtesy of Flickr and Dr. Graphx
Use the drive up Automated Teller Machine (ATM) during daylight hours. If you must use an ATM after hours, take someone with you.
Choose an ATM that looks and “feels” safer, even if it’s a few miles away. Avoid ATM machines with poor lighting or visibility. Avoid ATMs near obvious hiding places like shrubbery or overgrown trees. Robbers like to have the element of surprise and no witnesses.
Make sure no one is hiding or loitering in the area of the ATM. If someone looks suspicious or you have a gut feeling something isn’t right, drive away and find another ATM.
Keep your engine running, your doors locked and all other windows rolled up. It might also be a good idea to leave enough space between your car and the one in line ahead of you in case you have to maneuver your vehicle out of there.
Make your transaction as quick as possible by having your card ready and your PIN number memorized. Avoid counting your money in public. Immediately put away your cash.
Be aware of your surroundings by watching your side and rear view mirrors during the transaction. Robbers will most likely attack from the rear on the driver’s side.
If you see anyone approaching or feel threatened in any way, drive off immediately.
If an armed robber demands your cash, card or both, or tries to enter your vehicle, drive away. Call the police and report the incident.
We all have an internal alarm system that alerts us when a situation feels wrong. It can take the form of warning bells that go off in your head because of the guy at a club or party that’s being a bit too attentive for comfort. Or, maybe it’s nervous knots that form in your belly at the empty, shadow-filled parking lot that you have to cross to get to your car. Regardless of what form they come in, always pay attention to those signals.
When someone’s invading your personal space making you uncomfortable, listen to your instincts and regain that space. At a bar or party, arrange a signal with your friends for use when a guy makes you uncomfortable. Stay in the crowd. Don’t go off to the restroom or anywhere else alone.
If you feel uneasy about walking alone across a dark parking lot or a campus at night, try to walk out with other people. Ask the security guard to walk you to your car. Don’t feel like your being a pain. It’s his job to keep you safe. If you have no choice other than to walk alone, be hyper-vigilant. If it’s legal in your state, carry security spray, have it in your hand and know how to use it. Security spray is good because not only does it work like pepper spray, but it also carries a marker in it that is visible under black light and can help identify your assailant should the need arise.
Maybe you feel someone is watching you or following you. Try to mix in with a crowd and find help. If you’re in your car and being followed, drive to a police station or use your cell phone to call the police, but don’t drive to your house and by all means don’t stop the car.
According to safety expert Steve Kardian, “Studies have shown that most people that have been victimized had a feeling something wasn’t right just before they were attacked.”
Trusting your instincts doesn’t just apply to preventing an attack. It applies to anything that could put you in a potentially life threatening situation. I’m sure we’re all aware that you should never drink and drive, but be sure to pay attention to that internal warning system when it tells you not to get into a car if the driver has been drinking or using drugs. It’s also not the safest of plans to be a passenger in a car driven by someone who just got devastating news and is emotionally overwrought. Their mind will be on their troubles and not the road.
Call it instincts, woman’s intuition, sixth sense, or even paranoia. I don’t care what you call it as long as you listen to it!! Never feel stupid or silly about that and don’t second guess yourself. The old saying is very true. It’s better to be safe then sorry.
Following up to last week’s tip, BE A HARD TARGET, this week’s safety tip involves setting personal boundaries. Do you feel uncomfortable when someone invades your personal space? Is it intimidating when someone stands too close?
YES, it is. Predators sometimes invade a woman’s personal space to test how hard of a target she is. So, PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL SPACE. Don’t let him get so close. Step away. Tell him to back off.
Watch this short clip of women’s safety expert, Steve Kardian, as he demonstrates last week’s HARD TARGET tip and this week’s PERSONAL BOUNDARY tip, along with some other great thoughts on women’s safety.