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Know the Signs – Learning to Predict Violent Behaviour

When I left school, I had no idea that I would pursue a side-career in security and personal protection. I am not particularly strong, but, like most females, I can quickly analyze a situation, diffuse it if need be or escalate it. I’ve learnt many lessons through this career, one of them being how to predict violence in people. Through sharing this information, I hope to save some womxn from getting into relationships with abusive partners and help them see signs that men show before they are going to act in a way that will harm them. This is a serious topic, but also one we should talk a lot more about!

Your intuition is always right

Your sixth sense is there for a reason. If you have a funny feeling about someone walking behind you, a man who won’t stop messaging you or even something as simple as checking if your phone is still in your pocket – DO NOT IGNORE IT. You are not being ‘paranoid’. The reason you feel this way is because your sub-conscious mind has picked up on small things and it is trying to warn you. Maybe you hadn’t consciously noticed that this man has been following you for 4 blocks and keeps looking around him. Maybe he keeps pretending to be on his phone but it’s at the same angle it would be if he was taking photos of you. You are not paranoid. And you are not ‘just afraid’. These survival instincts have been built into you through generations of womxn having to look after themselves.

First rule: ALWAYS listen to your gut feeling.

Beware of unsolicited promises 

If you are weary of the delivery man who asked to come in for a glass of water, he SHOULD NOT MAKE ANY PROMISES YOU DIDN’T ASK FOR. This goes for any man you meet and have conversations with, even if he is passing it off as a joke, passing off your intuition as ‘silly’or trying to make your uncertainty feel as if it is not valid – “Haha I promise I’m not going to kill you, just relax”, “I promise I’m not an axe murderer”, “I promise I’m not going to take anything”, “I promise I’ll be in and out.” You did not ask for any promises. Ask yourself why this person is trying to reassure you. Train your mind to be aware of this and tune your ears to listen out for when people make promises you have not asked for.

No means NO!

Let me say that again, “no” means “HECK no.” It does not matter what you have said “no” to. A man should listen. If he has asked to carry your shopping bags for you, and you decline, he SHOULD NOT PUSH YOU TO SAY “YES.” If he does, make sure that you stand by your “no.” This is a tactic used by people who want to harm you to see how far they can bend your decisions. If he sees that you give in easily, he will take it as a sign of weakness and will progress to the next step to see if you are a possible victim he can attack. Remember that any man should respect your decline, regardless of the circumstance.

That is all it is. Easy yet vital principles that can end up being the reason you make it home safely at the end of the day. Please make sure to share this with your girlfriends, your mom, your sister, your bestie and keep an eye out for more security principle articles. Stay safe out there and keep slaying. 

*Please note: For the purpose of this article, as well as the clear statistics, most of my examples are using males as attackers. However, these rules do apply to female attackers too. If you’d like to read more about these warning signs, check out the book called ‘The Gift of Fear’ by Gavin de Becker at https://gdba.com/resources/

Ocean-lover, adventurer, writer. I enjoy reading and drinking coffee. I am passionate about my studies and empowering womxn. In my free time I work as a medic on the road and I teach self-defence to young girls in underprivileged areas through a NPO called FightBackSA.
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