Yesterday I went to "the pond", which is our private pond, passed down from my husbands grandfather. I was the first to arrive and all by myself in the middle of the woods.
Sure, we have neighbors who might be able to hear me if I screamed really loud. They may respond or they may pause and think to themselves, "Was that a scream?", and then wait to see if they hear another scream or identifying sound. By then, who knows what could happen.
I did bring my fearless dog Madeline with me, but she was too busy fishing to pay my safety any mind. So it was all on me.
Before I even got out of the car I grabbed my keys. Remember, one of the 7 Rules of Safety is everything can be used as a weapon. If someone came at me, I had them in my hand and could hit them across the cheek bones or bridge of their nose. Now, my keys are one heck of a set of keys. I have 3 keys on it that I need and the rest are there to add volume, to make a bigger impact! Anyone hit in the face is going to bring their hands to their face. That definitely will give you the edge to get away! By carrying my keys on a lanyard, I not only have a weapon, I also have easy access to "getting away". No jumping in my car looking frantically through my purse while the guy stands there trying to bash in my window. Whenever I see that scenario on a t.v. show I can't help but yell out loud at the t.v., "why did you not have them in your hand?".
As I got out of my car I scanned my area. No one was around and there were no signs that someone could be. Certainly a car or a lunch box and towel could indicate someone was there. I looked around to identify the places that someone could hide. I looked for places that I could hide, or that I could run away to if I had to. I also looked around for other weapons. So in about 10 seconds I knew that someone could be hiding behind the porta-potti, but if I ran in front of the green shed they a.) couldn't get to me fast enough and b.) it would put me closer to the main road and a place where if I screamed for help I could be heard! There was also sand everywhere and if I grabbed a handful of it and threw it in someone's eyes, I'd have an even better chance of getting away! I am not a 3rd degree black belt and although I know I could briefly defend myself, my ultimate goal is to GET AWAY.
Now I don't want to build a world of paranoid people, however if we all just take 10 seconds to scan our environment we are simply being prepared. We also look like we are confident, which in itself can be a deterrent. Criminals are looking for easy target, not someone who looks like they will put up a fight.
So what is the 10 second rule? Take 10 seconds and scan your environment and make a plan!:
Look for places where people can hide
Places where you can hide
Do it right now. You have a timer on your phone or your computer. Set it for 10 seconds and look around. Notice how much you can see and be aware of in 10 seconds! Now make that a habit.
Attackers use the element of surprise to take advantage of their victims. Using the 10 second rule can help us to take that away. If you are AWARE and PAYING ATTENTION, you take away their element of surprise!