Personal safety is the responsibility of every individual. It is a statistical fact that more times than not the “Bad Guy” is seeking a specific type. He, or sometimes she, is looking for that person who screams like the donkey from Shrek…”I AM A VICTIM! PICK ME! PICK ME!” Many feel that the police or security officer should keep them safe. However, there is a lot of truth in the saying, “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.” Most of the time the police officers and/or security officers are simply responding to the request for help. It is rare that the officer just happens to be at the right place at the right time. Don’t get me wrong. It does happen, but it’s rare.

Your personal safety is your responsibility. You do not have to want to fight, but you have to be prepared to fight. In fact, you may need to be prepared to fight for your life. Now, I do not want you to become paranoid and think everyone is out to get you. Good gravy that would become stressful! There are many good people in this world, but there are also some very bad people as well. That being said, here are a few some simple things you can all do to stay safe:

  1. BE AWARE! One of the most important components of personal safety is awareness. Learn to recognize locations to avoid and people to steer clear of. Think about where you park, the lighting in the area, how populated is it, etc. Listen to the intuition God gave you. You know, that feeling that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. If there is something that makes you nervous, AVOID IT! It is always best to avoid a situation if you can. Example: Leaving the mall at night is a major concern for many. Especially parents who have children working there until closing. When preparing to exit the mall, look around outside before you exit. Identify people who concern you and avoid them. If something feels wrong, have security or law enforcement escort you out.
  2. BE PREPARED! Think about situations you may face and develop a strategy for dealing with them. Perhaps you have decided to arm yourself with some type of personal protection device, such as pepper spray, or a TASER® weapon. Having them in your pocket or purse may make you feel better, but are you truly prepared to use them? I remember asking a woman to show me her car keys. She spent a great amount of time digging through her purse to find them. If you have to do this for the personal protection device, the encounter will be over before you can implement your safety strategy. If you carry a large purse and are exiting the store at night, have your hand in your purse with the personal protection device in your hand and ready for use. Once you arrive at your vehicle and you are certain there is no immediate threat to your safety, release the item and immediately retrieve your keys to enter the vehicle. (God I pray you wont have to dig for them again.) Once in the car, lock the doors.
  3. GET TRAINING! One of the key elements to being aware and prepared is training. In fact, it is one of the most critical elements of your personal safety strategy. You have to receive training to enhance your awareness. Through your training you will become prepared to recognize and avoid dangerous situations. You also become prepared to deal with events you cannot avoid. If you carry the personal protection device, then you should have received training on how and when to use it. Perhaps you decided that your personal protection device will be a firearm. A firearm will not do you any good in the glove compartment of your car when you are exiting the mall. Therefore, it needs to be on your person and that requires specific licensing in most if not all states. You will need to attend a training course on carrying a concealed weapon so that you develop the knowledge about the law regarding firearm’s carry and use. More importantly the course you take should provide you with the opportunity to develop shooting skills that will be required to safely implement that weapon in your personal safety strategy. Physical self-defense skills are also another consideration. Physical contact is a less desirable solution, but one that may be required. If it is required, it will take training to prepare you for what you may be forced to do.

There are many different solutions to any given problem. You have to consider what you are willing to do as well as what you are capable of doing. Remember, Be Aware, Be Prepared, & Get Training! You can REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM!