Knowing how to defend yourself is great, and it is something that everybody should learn how to do. Avoiding being attacked altogether, however, is even better, and of course, it is safer.
First, avoid places where an attack may occur without notice by others. This includes dark streets and alleys, abandoned parking lots, and other underpopulated areas. If you must venture into such areas, make sure that you do not go alone.
Be aware of your surroundings, and listen to your gut instincts. Safety is not always convenient. If you must go out of your way to avoid putting yourself in danger — do so! No appointment or destination is more important than your safety.
Many of us spend our spare moments on the cell phone, looking at our PDAs, or even relaxing with our MP3 players and headphones. While all of these devices are wonderful, they can distract us from what is happening around us. Your surroundings need your attention more, and if you have headphones on, you won’t hear any “out of the ordinary” noises. Put off using these devices until you are in an area where you really are safe.
If there is a great deal of walking involved to reach your destination, wear shoes that you can run in, and carry those sling back heels in your bag. It’s hard to get away from an attacker in high heels.
Avoid flashing things that may be of great interest to a thief. This includes electronic devices, purses, wallets, and jewelry. This doesn’t mean that you can’t carry these items; it just means that you should be discreet with them. You don’t want these items to attract unwanted attention.
Overall, use common sense. If you feel like you are venturing into dangerous territory, turn around and go back. If you feel like you are being followed, get to a safe place as fast as you can. If you are being watched, call for help or change locations. Don’t feel like you are being paranoid or foolish. You are simply trying to avoid being attacked!