How to Protect Yourself From Predators

As more and more news headlines, media stories and Netflix documentaries (The Ted Bundy Tapes!) come out, I’m realizing how dangerous our world truly is. There are rapists, serial killers and kidnappers to always be afraid of, just to name a few.

We are taught as kids not to talk to strangers because “stranger danger.” But there are considerably more useful pieces of advice on how to stay safe from predators.

1. Don’t fall for a suspicious rouse

If a seemingly charming man asks you for help lifting something into his car, please reject him. There is a chance he could be manipulating you because of your kindness. It’s better to give a simple “sorry, no” and prevent harm than any worse alternatives.

2. Avoid walking/traveling alone in isolated areas

It is much easier for a predator to attack someone who is alone and when no one else is around. It's even easier when it’s dark outside. This means you should try to travel with at least one other person, don’t take back alley shortcuts, and be careful when walking at night. It’s also important on longer trips to consider driving mostly in the daytime and taking breaks at official rest stops to avoid any unexpected car breakdowns.

 

3. Be aware of your environment​

Being aware and alert to what’s going on around you is really important. If you’re listening to blaring loud music walking home at night, you might want to change that. It’s never a guarantee that someone is watching you or that they’re not but staying cautious and aware is a smart thing to do.

4. Recognize your fear

Our bodies are able to naturally sense bad situations and give us “gut feelings.” If you think someone is staring at you on the bus or following you on your way to school or work, don’t ignore it. In order to get away from that person you may have to immerse yourself into the crowd of those around you or step into a nearby store for protection. It is also helpful to observe the potential predator’s physical appearance if you ever may need to describe them to authorities.

5. Stop sharing your location online

The temptation to show everyone where you are all the time is real. It becomes problematic especially on platforms where you have a lot of friends or followers, some of which you may not know too well. Obsessive predators can see your current location you just posted and take advantage of it. To keep yourself safe from this issue, limit your location postings to large and general areas or stop posting your location altogether. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.