Nebraska is a fantastic place to live, and I say that after having lived in many other states. We have a wealth of opportunities, amazing people and traditions that we enjoy every year. That being said, there has been a drastic rise in crime across Nebraska, especially in Lincoln and Omaha. Even FBI reports now show this harsh truth. Before going further, I would also like to point out that we also have world-class law enforcement personnel at every level. I’ve had the honor to work with some of these individuals and I know firsthand the level of professionalism and skill that we are lucky to have serving our communities.
The challenge becomes personal protection for our citizens. Law enforcement is not here to provide round the clock bodyguard service to all of us…..it’s just impossible to do. So then it’s up to use to understand and use our rights to protect ourselves when the time comes. If you don’t take charge of your own safety and that of your family, then who will?
As part of the rise in crimes we’ve seen, there has been a spike in the crimes against women in particular. In September I was on Channel 6 News as they did a segment on the women’s self-defense classes I was leading. This class was part discussion and most importantly part physical training for women to be able to escape from an attacker. So, in this month’s column, I thought I would share a few of the tips and strategies we covered.
Tips and Strategies for Women’s Safety:
1. A “not me” attitude is dangerous. When we falsely believe that bad things happen to other people but “not me” then we are setting ourselves up for disaster by not being prepared.
2. Confidence is a great defense. When someone is looking for an easy target, your attitude and level of confidence will help disqualify you as a target. Head up, shoulders back, and making eye contact with others vs. staring down or texting on your phone, projects a whole different person to those who are watching you.
3. Be alert. Our emergency rooms are filled with people who had “accidents” that in large part could have been prevented if people were more alert. A car, a person, a dog doesn’t just “appear out of nowhere”, yet people sometimes feel that way because they weren’t paying attention.
4. Don’t gamble. If something feels wrong, it is. Don’t gamble with your safety. We aren’t Spiderman, but we pick up clues that something is off and are sometimes reluctant to act because we don’t want to be silly. Being safe isn’t silly.
5. Keys out! One of the prime times an attacker can target a potential victim is when they are transitioning between environments. One reason is that this often involves keys….which are in a pocket, or the bottom of a purse. So when you look down to dig for your keys, your vision is restricted and you are likely near other cars and structures that make it easy for someone to approach somewhat unseen. So keep your head up to be alert by having your keys in your hand before you leave the building/store/home etc.
6. Train. There are many tools for self-defense, but they require training and practice to be able to use them effectively. Learning how to defend yourself with 1) just your hands, 2) an expandable baton, 3) a small knife, 4) pepper spray, or 5) a concealed handgun are just a few of the options available. Learn the laws pertaining to each, learn how to safely and effectively use the options you choose…..and then practice. If your safety matters, the small investment of time pays off big time! I personally train people with each of these and the biggest key is the ongoing practice that will allow you to use these tools successfully.
by Jeff Dousharm
For more information on health, safety and fitness, contact Jeff Dousharm at Jeff@paradigmimpactgroup.com