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December 01, 2009

Frightened by a Follower? Safety Tips You Must Know!

By Liz Kaadou

Stalking Have you ever been walking alone after a party or night out on the town and all of a sudden you get that eerie feeling that someone is following you? It goes something like this: every step you take, you hear a faint footstep in the background and as you turn around out of curiosity, you see a slithering shadow lurking in the menacing moonlight? Yes, this does sound like a spooky scene right out of a Hollywood horror movie, but the truth is these horrific events occur more in reality than in any well-written script.  According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, women are the primary victims of stalking at 78% and men are the primary perpetrators at 87%.  By following these ten safety precautions, you can take this movie from haunting to heroic in no time!

1)    Don’t panic, clear your mind so that you can plan an escape route.


2)    Do not be naïve, chances are if you feel that this is a bad situation, it probably is and you should automatically stay alert and be prepared for the worst.


3)    Look for nearest place with populated people and run there as fast as you can.


4)    If the person is following directly behind you (not following you from a distance) and tries to grab your hand, etc. Look them directly in the eye and ask them a common question about the time or weather, chances are since you have seen their face up close it will deter them from attacking you because you can now recognize them in a lineup.


5)    Scream as loud as you can, do not be embarrassed, if someone is nearby they will hear you. 


6)    Use your cell phone and always have 911 on speed dial. Don’t call someone that is far away from you, by the time they get there it may be too late.  Call the police right away.


7)    Always keep moving, do not turn around ten times to see if the person is still there, you can do that while running.


8)    Always carry pepper spray or some defense mechanism with you. You could even scream as you are running away that you are carrying pepper spray to scare the attacker away.


9)    It is best that if you know you will be traveling/walking alone at night, to wear layers of clothing when you leave as to not draw attention to yourself.


10) Try to avoid consuming any alcoholic beverages at night if you know you are going to be leaving alone. This only makes you more vulnerable to an attacker.

For more safety tips from RTM, visit our Safety & Security section.

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