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Personal Safety

So, I was involved in a threatening incident recently where my personal safety was compromised! (I am and was okay) – ‘shaken but not stirred’ as the saying goes.


However, this really got me to challenge myself around my own safety when I am out on my own (also relevant to being indoors alone). Throughout this blog I will refer to ‘we’ as I include myself in this, especially as someone who did what I talk.


So how do we keep ourselves safe without it becoming overwhelming and irrational?

In the work environment there are many websites around lone working, so great you can use these as a guide.


But perhaps it’s about looking at yourself and knowing your environment whether that’s outside or in indoors. I have added a few websites you can click on for further assistance or as with lone working, there are plenty out there on the internet.


This blog is not intended to frighten anyone, it is to highlight how as individuals we are more vulnerable.


So, for a few days I have observed both myself and others (discreetly of course), just taking on board how we present ourselves to others (remember this is only my observation and my interpretation of why, you can come to your own observations and interpretations). What I have become quickly aware of is how distracted we are: on our mobiles keeping heads down being the two most common I saw and I’m wondering why this may be. There could be any number of reasons/answers to this.


On our mobile phones could be: Talking - a feeling of safety that we are in contact with someone we know whilst on our own in society, fitting in calls whilst enroute to a destination. Texting – again a feeling of safety by connecting with another whilst out on our own, fitting in connecting with another person (no time at home to do this). Scrolling – distracting ourselves from being out in society. 


Head down could be: Being in a hurry, thinking about how much we need to fit in, feeling vulnerable (if I cannot see anyone, they cannot see me), feeling low, tired or both, isolating ourselves in society, social anxiety (but we need to get to where we are going).

Headphones in could be: Our love of music, distancing ourselves from the noise around (especially anything unpleasant), feeling a bit more invisible.

Having googled and looked through quite a few websites on personal safety what I found was the opposite to what many of us do!


So, what do the websites say to do and why? I will name few and leave it for you to explore further at your own will.


1.    Become a difficult target:

That being on our phones or having headphones on we do appear more vulnerable; we do become an easier target because we have shut away to what is going on around us. Same as looking down – although we cannot see what is going on, others can see that we cannot see, and so we become more vulnerable.

 

2.    Being sensible:

Don’t go out alone at night. Invest in a personal alarm (have it on you, not in the bottom of your bag or on your keys that are back in the house) – there are many out there on well-known websites that are inexpensive (how do you put a price on personal safety). If you must then let someone know what time you are leaving, what route you are taking (plan a well-lit route as much as possible) and when you should arrive by, message/call them that you have arrived, if you haven’t let them know then they can try to contact you, failing that they can put into action a back-up plan you have agreed before going out.

 

3.    What do they want?

If you are able too! Try to remain calm (I know, so very difficult in the moment), try to establish what they want – is it money, bank cards, phone – these things are exactly that – things, they are replaceable, your life isn’t. It may be your last cash, it be the phone that has your life on it (ensure you have it backed up and that it is secure), bank cards can be stopped immediately by your bank, is your phone insured |(even if it isn’t you hopefully can get a cheap replacement, even an old one from a friend/family member to get by) – so if that’s what they want, then let them have those items, they’re not worth losing a life over -remember we don’t know if they are carrying any sort of weapon that can cause significant harm (it doesn’t need to be a knife/gun to cause harm).


4.    Use what you already have:

If you have a personal alarm, then use it (not much use if it remains silent in your pocket). Shout out that you are in danger/being attacked (whatever you want) to attract attention of others and scare your perpetrator.


I have only included four topics on this blog but there is so much out there that can support you in staying as safe as possible. As I said at the beginning of this blog, it is not meant to scare anyone but to highlight how as individuals we are more vulnerable (this goes for males as well as females). Think about why animals in the wild tend to stay in packs/groups, together they are stronger and safer (each member has their role within the pack/group to ensure safety and wellbeing). Why when one of them becomes ill or injured do they have to leave that one behind? It’s survival, as a pack/group you are only as strong as the weakest one. (They don’t do it to be cruel).


I have included 3 websites which I found particularly helpful, but of course do your own research and find what relates best to yourself.


With the Suzy Lamplugh website, for those of you who may not be aware, she was an estate agent showing someone round a property in 1986 and disappeared, she has never been found! Suzy is just one of many, but her story stuck with me (albeit, I have become complacent over time).



I hope you have found this blog helpful and if you would like to talk/explore an event that has left you vulnerable or anything else, please do not hesitate to get in touch via my website and you can book a free 30 minute (no obligation telephone consultation). I will respond as soon as possible.

 

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