Women urged to be extra security conscious

Although National Women’s Month is over, it is still an opportune time to again focus attention on the safety of women of all ages across South Africa. A local security company explained that South Africans should use this period to refocus their efforts to keep women safe.

“Life is challenging for everyone, women included. We hope that following these tips will help keep women safe while they tackle the daily demands they face,” said Ivan Govender. He believes a very important start would be to always be aware of what is happening around you.

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“Being distracted makes you a soft target. Criminals are always on the lookout for soft targets and will take advantage if you are not paying attention. Being aware of your surroundings and potential threats is the first and most effective line of defence for anyone,” said Govender.

He recommended cutting out distractions as far as possible and reasonable. This includes taking or making phone calls while driving, especially if you have your children in the vehicle.

“While driving, make sure your doors are locked and any valuable items are placed under the seat or in the boot, out of sight. If you are approaching your house, be on the lookout for any suspicious persons and rather drive around the block if you don’t feel safe. Trust your instinct,” he said.

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He added that intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people, and encouraged ladies to trust their instincts; if a situation doesn’t feel safe, it probably isn’t. Govender said that if confronted by a criminal, escape is always the best option.

“If you are able to, run away, yell for help – do whatever you can to attract attention. If the criminal is after your purse or other items hand them over or throw them in one direction and run in the other. When possible tell someone where you are going and the time you expect to return. Save emergency numbers on your phone and try to memorise at least one contact number you can call in the event of an emergency. Remember less is more when it comes to wearing flashy jewellery and carrying cash. If you are taking a handbag, carry it close to your body and not dangling by the straps,” Govender explained.

By exercising these precautions, Govender believes that women can develop good safety habits that will assist them in avoiding dangerous situations.

“I encourage women to not only use these tips, but to share them with family and friends. Most importantly, if someone or something makes you feel uneasy, get away or get help immediately,” he concluded.

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