With summer in full swing, you might be thinking about taking a fun girls-only vacation to a big city, beach, or resort area. Or, maybe you’re thinking about traveling solo and enjoying some peace and quiet on your own.
Regardless of your plans, traveling alone or in a women-only group has inherent dangers that traveling with your family or with a male spouse or significant other does not. Travel safe this summer with these helpful tips:
Avoiding sexual assault and rape
- Hair is the most common ways an attacker chooses a victim. Women with long hair, whether worn loose or in a bun, braid, or ponytail is easy to grab. At the risk of sounding extreme, consider a short haircut, as women with short hairstyles are less common targets of sexual assault.
- Stay alert in public at all times. Talking on your cell phone, searching through your purse for your keys, and wearing headphones increases your chances of being caught off guard by an attacker.
- Lock your car doors at all times. Occasionally, attackers will assault women simply by entering the vehicle when stopped at a red light.
- If someone follows you, look him in the eye and ask a simple question or make a statement about the weather or time, for example. This will allow you to look the potential attacker in the face and get a mental image of him, in case you are required to identify him on a later date.
- If possible, don’t walk alone or in dark, unpopulated areas. Safety is almost always found in numbers.
In the event of an attack
- Yell! Making noise is your first line of defense and also gets the attention of others. Scream, “Stop!” or “Go away!” or “I have pepper spray!”
- If the attacker persists and grabs you, pull away as hard as you can. Then, spray the attacker with pepper spray, if you are carrying it. If you don’t have your pepper spray accessible, do something to cause the attacker pain, targeting areas such as the crotch, the triceps, and the ears.
- Once you are able to run, flee the scene as quickly as possible and call the police immediately.