Living in a new city or town can be fun and exciting but unfortunately, it can also be dangerous, especially for young women.  It’s important that us women to know the basics of self-defense in order to protect ourselves.

In recent months in New York City, there have been multiple attacks on women in more than one borough. In Brooklyn alone, there has been over 20 incidents. Unfortunately, these acts occur around the world so we’re here to give you some tips on how to avoid these situations.

First and foremost, your biggest line of defense is your awareness to your surroundings and the people around you.  If you maintain eye contact with a potential attacker, they are less likely to continue with their plans. Not only would you be able to identify them but it also shows you are willing to fight back. Also, avoid stairwells whenever possible. They are dangerous places to be alone as it is easy to be cornered.

Some find self-defense classes extremely useful.  Be sure to find a class that allows you to reenact what you have learned with an instructor.  These tactics must be practiced properly in order to know how to use them in case of real danger.

Many women do not realize that they have a right to fight. However, if you can avoid physical confrontation by running, do so! Do not obey what a predator says, and if they are going for your purse, throw it in one direction and run in the other. Do whatever you can to distract and get away from the predator as quickly as possible.  Even if the predator has a gun, you have better chances of surviving while running than you do obeying.

Some people like to carry pepper spray, and some believe it can be a waste of time if you

Consumer Recall Safety - Fist

Be willing to throw a punch if you need to, but use these tips to avoid that situation in the first place.

fumble for it at the bottom of your purse, while others find it to have some sense of security. We asked Sara Wilmot, a young woman new to Seattle, why she carries pepper spray and what it does for her.

“I carry pepper spray because I walk my dog alone and at night most evenings. I didn’t own pepper spray when I first moved to Seattle, but after being in my neighborhood for a  few weeks, hearing police sirens frequently, and reading the local news of crimes in the area, I decided it was a good idea.”

“I don’t generally feel threatened or scared in my neighborhood,  I have never had to use the pepper spray, nor have I come close to using it. But it does offer some comfort to know that it is there.”

Consumer Recall Safety - Pepper Spray

Pepper spray can be an effective way to defend yourself.

“It is like my mom said to me as she was convincing me to buy it – I will probably never need it, but it could save my life. Now if I cross paths with someone that makes me feel threatened, I don’t really worry. Because if they try anything, I know I can protect myself.”

If confrontation is inevitable, remember your elbow is the strongest point of your body. Vulnerable areas of the attacker’s body include the eyes, neck, groin, and knees.

If possible, gouge, grip, punch, or kick your way out of the situation as resisting might be the only chance to escape. In the event that someone is chasing or following you and you don’t happen to carry pepper spray, yell “Fire!” not “Help!” Many people do not like to get involved in situations requiring “help” but a 911 call or a helping neighbor is more likely to come out is there is a “fire.”

When getting into your car late at night, be sure to lock your doors and leave immediately. Many have the tendency to fix makeup or call a friend however, this is the prime time for a predator to attack, as they could be watching you.

If for any reason you are thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole. The driver will not be able to see you but others behind him will.

The bottom line is our world is not as safe as we would like; so even these little things can make a difference.

We love safety, and we love you, too: Please try to utilize these tips, be aware and stay safe.