Being a female can be spectacular. Our bodies can do a majority or truly incredible things—they can give birth and menstruate, lactate, and orgasm among many other fabulous things. Unfortunately, they can also be violated and abused.
According to RAINN—the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, every 2 minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted and 80% of the victims are under 30. 1 out of 6 American women will be a rape, or attempted-rape victim in her lifetime. These statistics are scary, in fact, they’re terrifying. As a 21-year-old woman living in one of the largest cities in the world in which crime is a constant, this concerns me.
Yes, this reality is scary but it’s not enough to keep me frightened. Instead, it opens my eyes and makes me realize that I have a duty, we all do, to protect ourselves and our bodies. As young women, our mere sex makes us more likely to be victims—of rape, abuse and assault. Therefore, it is important to make it our lifelong mission to empower ourselves and try our best to avoid the sometimes impossible to avoid circumstances.
If you’re looking to fight against potential predators, if you’re looking to become more aware or looking to become stronger, then read on and find out ways that you can protect and defend yourself even further:
Get strong. Toughen up and take some classes—self defense, kick-boxing, or simple workouts keep your body in shape. If a situation ever arises in which someone tries to attack you, if you’re body is capable, you may have a higher chance of getting away and kicking ass.
Pepper spray. It may sound a bit crazy, but it’s worth the investment. Attach it to your keys and you’ll have it on hand everywhere you go. If anyone unexpected shows up then you can utilize this dangerous liquid and hurt them before they get the chance to hurt you. Make sure to research what’s allowed in your state before purchasing it.
Always tell someone where you’re going. It’s so simple, so don’t forget to do it! The next time you hop in a cab or are walking home alone from a party, make sure to notify someone, anyone—your mom, boyfriend, best friend or your roommate where you are and where you’re headed. That way someone in the world will know where you are and will know that something is wrong if you don’t get there.
Be aware. By being aware your avoid being an “easy” target. Avoid behavior that can cut out some senses such as listening to music or texting on your phone and take a look at your surroundings. Don’t allow for an opportunity to arise in which you are vulnerable. If you are not paying attention it makes it easier on the attacker so make sure you are being vigilant!
Be prepared. If you’re near your house, have your keys ready to go. Keep your cell phone in an easy to reach place along with some money. If anything were ever to happen and you’re running away with only what you have on, then you’ll be ready to take a taxi or call up someone.
Trust your instincts. Intuition and instincts are incredibly powerful. If you are feeling uncomfortable around certain people or places, then go with your gut. Don’t’ second-guess yourself because you’re feeling that way for a reason. Leave that place and avoid that person. Who knows, it may be the difference between walking away empowered and walking away as a victim.
Our bodies are a source of greatness. No matter how strong or smart of powerful we may believe ourselves to be it might not be enough to stop an attack—that’s why protecting ourselves should be our main priority. Watch out for yourself, where you’re going and who you’re with.
Reduce your risk. It can make all the difference.