Summer and fun go hand in hand. Whether you are splashing at the pool, sunning on the beach, attending a family or class reunion, clubbing or attending a block party, use these suggestions to reduce risks and increase fun.
t Alcohol dulls your senses and reduces your reaction time. Limit your consumption and stay aware of your surroundings. Only drink what you have opened yourself and maintain possession of your drink. Do not allow someone the opportunity to drug your drink. If you aren’t certain, don’t drink it.
t Two is safer company so be sure your plans include a friend, spouse or significant other. Watch each other’s back and don’t leave without one another.
t Playing hostess for the block party? Limit access in your home. Know who is going and coming and where they are. Are there blind spots, dark corners or easily accessed, unused rooms? Can you eliminate access to these higher risk places? Be in the know.
t After the party, double check to ensure your home is empty. Check under beds, in closets, behind curtains, etc. Did you check the garage? Is the entry door from the garage locked? Verify all windows and doors are locked, even if you did not unlock them.
t Are you uncomfortable around a particular individual? Trust your instincts, “that gut feeling”. Prevent being alone with the person that I refer to as “the dirty uncle.” Tell a trusted friend or family member of your discomfort and ask them to stay engaged with you.
t A secluded beach is so peaceful and refreshing. Keep in mind, the climate can change in an instant, and I’m not referring to the weather. Mentally prepare for the “what ifs” and keep improvised weapons at hand. A few considerations: a pen or similar object to use on the eyes, throat or temple, spray sunscreen aimed at the eyes, keys, even a ball or other object which you can throw at the attacker as a distraction while you run the other way. (You should know that any strike, with or without an object, to the throat or temple can be fatal.)
t The most important defense you have is a made up-mind. Yes? Know and believe that you are worth protecting. You are the survivor.