Step 1: Avoid trouble. Steer clear of bad guys (and wild animals) by using common sense. Close and lock your doors. Walk in well-lit, well-populated areas. Keep your eyes and ears open.
Step 2: Trust your gut. If something just doesn’t feel right, remove yourself from the situation. It’s absolutely not rude to walk—or run—away! (If it’s a raccoon or other misguided wildlife we’re talking about here, go to a neighbor’s house, call animal control, and let them handle the rest. If not, proceed to step 3.)
Step 3: Make noise. If you’re in trouble, attract as much attention to yourself as possible. Yell, shout, blow a whistle.
Step 4: If you can’t get away or get help and you’re being attacked, fight back using everything you’ve got. Not to sound too terribly grim, but punch, hit, kick, knee, bite, and scratch that troublemaker. If you’ve got coins in your pocket, throw them. Hair spray or pepper spray? Spray it! A frying pan on the stove top? Oh, you know what to do, darling.
Step 5: Run away as soon as you can and get help.
- Making eye contact can thwart a bad situation because it helps demonstrate to shady characters that you’re aware of your surroundings. It tells them you’re the wrong girl to pick on.
- Switch up your daily patterns, so your whereabouts are unpredictable.
- If you plan to hit somebody (or something) with your cast-iron skillet, resist taking the bacon out of it first. Bacon is good, but not that good.
- If the troublemaker just wants your money (or iPod or jewelry), give it to him. Your safety is much more valuable than your possessions.