We have been asked on a number of occasions what is the best way to handle verbal encounters with male drivers and warehouse staff. Here are few suggestions from our Women’s Personal Safety and Defense classes.
Rule #1… If you cannot control yourself … you cannot control situation.
- Lets face it, people say stupid things. Don’t react to casual comments. The purpose of the comment was to get a reaction from you. Let casual comments slide and focus on responding vs. reacting.
- Don’t allow yourself to be baited into a verbal exchange with a potential heckler. Control the encounter. Don’t become the victim. Resist the urge to come back with a smart put down comment. If you feel like you won, you actually lost. If an encounter continues to escalate, establish eye contact and say “ Back off.” Be firm. Say it once and keep moving.
- Every encounter is different. Follow your instinct and don’t be embarrassed to take some direct action. ALWAYS TRUST that small voice inside your head. If you feel something is wrong it probably is.
- The first 30 seconds of any confrontation sets the tone. If you look and act confident and prepared, you will avoid trouble most of the time.
- Never go with someone even if you are threaten with a weapon. Your job is to spoil their plan. If they tell you to be quiet, yell Back Off at that the top of your lungs. Feel free to add other words for additional color. If they tell you to come with them and that you will not be hurt --- run the other way. If you go with an attacker you have a 10% chance of surviving.
- Carry pepper spray. It is legal to possess and use in most states. We recommend the use of a stream spray and aim for the eyes. If you use it in a state that has legal restrictions, you typically may pay a small nuisance fine but potentially saved your life.
- If it gets physical. Never give up fighting. Do as much damage as you can to sensitive targets such as eyes, ears, nose, knees, fingers and groin.
Consider taking a street proven self-defense program like Girls Strike Back that shows women how to use their most powerful weapons to protect against attack.