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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Top 10 Safety Tips for Women (and Everyone)

Uploaded: Jul 14, 2023
Joy Farrow and Laura Frombach have written the book, Smart Safety for Women: Your Guide to Defensive Living, due out in October. I asked them to write their top 10 tips for you, Readers. I didn't see this tip in their excellent top 10, so I would like to add: If you're in your car, on foot or a bicycle, and feel unsafe, head to a police station, firehouse or hospital for assistance.

Note: These are the suggestions of the authors; I don’t necessarily agree with all of them.

At the end, please read about these remarkable women who want to help others be safe.

"Although these safety tips are designed for women, they’ll help anyone who
wants to keep themselves safe.
1. Use your Safety Intuition by being aware of your surroundings. This is the most
important safety tip for everyone, but it's especially important for women. Pay
attention to who is around you, and if you feel uncomfortable, trust your internal
alarm, and immediately leave the situation. 

2. Enhance your Safety Intuition by using your peripheral vision as you’re walking.
It’s easy, you only need to turn your head slightly to one side then the other while
you’re walking to get a good view if someone is following you. 

3. If you’re going to be walking alone on a city street for a bit and talking on the
phone, use earbuds so you can have your hands free to hold pepper spray or
have a self-defense item accessible. Keep the earbuds in “Transparency” mode
so that you can still hear what’s going on around you.
4. Try to walk in well-lit areas and against traffic, this way you can avoid a car
pulling up alongside you, and the passenger grabbing you and dragging
you into their vehicle. 

5. Make sure you carry personal protection, pepper spray, a whistle, a Taser,
a knife, a flashlight, or a firearm. Carry any of them or several of them to
layer for protection but always carry something. 

6. When using ride share services such as Uber or Lyft: Do not accept a ride
from anyone that you don’t know or didn’t call. Many predators pretend to
be rideshared drivers, and seeing someone (especially a woman) alone is
prey for them. There have been many assaults when people make the
mistake of agreeing to accepting the ride they didn’t call, just because it
seems convenient.

7. Don't open your car window to talk to a stranger. You can talk through the
window. It sounds rude, but by being too polite, people (especially women)
become the victims of predators. If someone is trying to persuade you to open
your window, that’s a sign you should drive away. Don’t be afraid to say no. If
someone makes you feel uncomfortable, you can just leave. No explanation
8. Don’t stop and talk to a stranger that yells, “Excuse me, Miss?” That’s a favorite
ploy that a lot of predators use to get women’s attention, assistance, or their
perceived “help.” You should look back at the person with a confident look but
keep walking. Look back again, to be sure they’re not still following you, in case
you need to take evasive action. 
9. Pre-Load Your Brain with Safety Info. This means that when you are out
and about, purposely notice your options in case an emergency arises.
This will be top of mind if your brain needs to retrieve the information, so
you won’t panic.

Here are some things to look for: Exits in a mall that can be used to
escape; examples include, the back of restaurant (employee door), rear of
food stores, concert venues (inside and out), large gyms,
schools/campuses or any other place of business that you frequently visit.
You never know when you may have to leave out of there quickly due to a
fire, power outage, a shooter, or any kind of disturbance where mere
seconds can mean the difference whether you and your family live or die.
10. Be Persuasion Proof. You always have the power to say NO. It’s a complete
sentence that needs no excuses attached. Don’t let anyone try to persuade you.
If you’re being pressured, say no and leave. Predators are aware that many
people (especially women) try to be polite and they try to take advantage of you.
Short of coercion, you have the right to say no to high pressure sales, donations,
up-sales, and anything else you don’t feel comfortable doing."

Laura Frombach was introduced to technology in the U.S. Army working on Pershing nuclear missiles. Having spent much of her career as a technologist and engineer with IBM, HP, FedEx, Coca Cola Enterprises, Lenovo and others. A turning point in Laura’s life was the ‘aha’ moment when she correlated her mother’s mental illness to domestic violence. She advocates for local domestic violence shelters. Laura was one of the featured speakers at the TEDx Eustis conference and speaks on women’s safety. Laura is an avid reader and fitness enthusiast, loves comedy and spiritual topics (not in that order, just in case...). She has been working on personal growth since the sixth grade.

Joy Farrow is a retired Deputy Sheriff with twenty-eight years of experience. She worked road patrol in Pompano Beach, FL, and faced every situation imaginable. After the 9/11 tragedy, Joy transferred to the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Int’l Airport with the Broward Sheriff’s Office to focus on the safety of air travelers. In 2017, Joy assisted with the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Airport. She has received numerous letters of commendations & several lifesaving awards. Joy was one of the featured speakers at the TEDx Eustis conference and speaks on women’s safety. Joy is a walking encyclopedia of murder and crime topics; an avid personal fitness enthusiast, enjoys stand-up comedy and has done a couple of open mic nights!
What is it worth to you?


Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jul 15, 2023 at 8:43 am

MichaelB is a registered user.

"5. Make sure you carry personal protection, pepper spray, a whistle, a Taser,
a knife, a flashlight, or a firearm. Carry any of them or several of them to
layer for protection but always carry something."

Carrying a firearm for your own defense outside of the home is not a viable option in this state.

You need a permit to do so - and virtually no one gets approved in the Bay Area. While the recent Supreme Court decision (Bruen) ruled you can't reject applicants based on "need", the state is already trying to get around this. They are enacting legislation to make it expensive, intrusive, and essentially meaningless by designating as many areas as possible that you may come in contact with a "sensitive place" - and therefore illegal.

Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Jul 15, 2023 at 10:56 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Michael, thanks for the clarification. I hope this post will help people be better prepared to protect themselves. It is NOT my hope to have a big conversation about guns.

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 15, 2023 at 7:33 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Street smarts is something everyone needs. It should be taught to children at a very young age.

I've never been victimized, and what works for me is walking with confidence. Criminals look for easy prey, and confident men, women and children are less likely to be targeted.

Posted by Erin Bancroft, a resident of Atherton,
on Jul 16, 2023 at 8:55 am

Erin Bancroft is a registered user.

Being accompanied by a big, strong man or a large dog capable of mauling also deters would be assailants who often seek out weaker and unaccompanied prey.

The elder are especially vulnerable as are small children.

Being a beautiful woman can also a deterrent because many male assailants are intimidated by a societal icon they can never actually have or hold. Attractive women often repel losers and as a result, prospective assailants tend to seek out less attractive victims.

A basic working knowledge of martial arts can also come in handy and the key tactic is to kick a male assailant where it really hurts. Knowing kung fu or karate is especially helpful.

Just be safe out there and assume that any man is capable of being a potential sexual predator or assailant.

Posted by Bork Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 16, 2023 at 10:18 am

Bork Lawrence is a registered user.

Carry a firearm is not advisable because depending upon proximity, it can easily be grabbed by the assailant. A buffer zone of 4-5 feet is recommended to avoid such an occurrence.

Martial arts should be taught in girl's PE as a deterrent to such crimes. An advanced skill set in karate is a lethal weapon and if self-defense from personal harm is established as a reason for applying it, killing an assailant is legal.

Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 16, 2023 at 11:41 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

@ Lawrence

You don't know what you're talking about. Carrying a firearm is advisable as long as it's concealed. The only time that a gun should be taken out of its holster is if the threat exists to take your life, or the life of another human being. In fact, a concealed firearm is never to be taken out of its holster simply to warn someone to stay away. And as Miss Anderson pointed out, situational awareness is key.

One point I want to add to what Miss Anderson said regarding situational awareness is this: look for cameras. They are everywhere these days. Get to know where security cameras are located if you routinely shop at specific stores or malls. But there is also another reason.

Should a woman find herself in a situation where she has to use a concealed firearm to defend herself, footage from a security camera can save her from going to jail. One of the ways in which to do that is by backing up while motioning with the non gun hand for the assailant to stop. Just the mere fact of the victim backing up and motioning to the bad guy to stop shows extreme self defense.

Excellent posting, Miss Anderson

Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Jul 17, 2023 at 8:28 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Thanks for your input, Malcolm. Please note this is a guest post! Kudos to Joy and Laura. Personally, I am not a gun person.

Posted by Priscilla James, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Jul 20, 2023 at 4:22 pm

Priscilla James is a registered user.

"Carrying a firearm is advisable as long as it's concealed."

^ Not a good idea...just ask any CA law enforcement officer or a convict who got caught with one.

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