No matter where we live, we can’t get away from this very sad fact – crime is ever-present in this world. Some things may just seem to be common sense, but with increasing reports of violent assaults and criminal activity, it’s good to remind ourselves to live every day with safety sense. Though we don’t need to walk in fear, we should definitely walk with awareness that we live in a world where, unfortunately, danger and evil do exist.
Here are 10 things, among many others, that we CAN do:
1. Pray – pray God’s protection over your family, over your home, over your coming and going. Believe in His power and strength to cover you and your loved ones. There is great power in prayer! Pray back to God His very words of protection and truth. I’ve listed a few at the bottom of this post, in case you need a place to start, but there are many more in the Bible that we can draw strength and confidence from.
2. Be aware of your surroundings. Most criminals look for people who are not paying close attention, who they can take off guard. When you’re out, walk with confidence, with attitude, with awareness of what is going on around you. Remember, there is always safety in numbers. Don’t take shortcuts through back alleys or in dimly lit areas. Have your cell phone ready to use in case of emergency. Take a picture if something doesn’t seem right to you.
3. Trust the discernment that God gives you, listen to your “gut,” trust your “instincts.” If something seems strange, or doesn’t feel right, you’re probably right! Don’t push that thought away, but listen to it and change your situation.
4. Always be ready to fight. If you are ever attacked or taken off guard – scream, fight, do whatever you can to attract attention or escape the scenario. According to Crime Prevention, if you leave the area with an attacker, your chances of survival dramatically decline. Know the basics of self-defense. One safety expert says, “Aim for the eyes first, the groin second. Strike quickly and aggressively, it may be your only chance.” They also report that many times women are afraid to fight back for fear of making the attacker more angry, but the truth is, your odds of survival are greater if you fight. If ever attacked, call out the name of Jesus – loudly – call on Him to rescue you, there is power in His Name! There have been stories of criminals who RAN when their victims called out for their Savior to rescue them. There are other reports of attackers who saw “large men” surrounding specific women they were initially targeting. It prevented them from the assault. Angels are REAL. Stand ready to fight, but be confident in the fact that there are mightier forces who fight on your behalf!
5. Pepper spray and complicated martial arts programs may or may not be your best defense. Many crime prevention groups will encourage their use, but other experts may not. The truth is, under sudden attack, neither may be very realistic. Don’t waste time fumbling for pepper spray. And really, how many of us carry it with us every day anyway? The best advice is be prepared! If you’re in surroundings where you’d like to have pepper spray in hand, have it out. Look for martial arts/safety programs which will offer teaching for simple and basic self-defense techniques that anyone can learn and practice. Know ahead of time, what you would do if you were attacked. Practice. Talk to your kids about safety. As hard as it is to think about – have the difficult conversations, help them to be prepared! Let them role play what they would do if ever approached by a stranger or threatened by an individual.
6. Practice home safety. Keep your doors and windows locked, both when you’re at home and away. If you have an alarm system use it. Allow your dog to bark if an unknown person comes to the door. Personally, I want to know my dog will alert me of a stranger at the door! I’m so grateful for her alert ears. Never open the door to someone you don’t know. Tell them to leave through the locked door and be prepared to call for help if they don’t. Often, intruders will break in if they think you’re not home. Again, trust your instincts here. Teach your children the same safety rules about home and answering the door. Rely on neighbors and watch out for others. If something looks suspicious, call for help! Install video cameras or extra outdoor lights.
7. Use car sense. Park in well-lit areas. Avoid parking next to vehicles with someone waiting inside. Have your keys ready and in your hand, before walking out of a store, so you’re never looking for them in your purse and unaware of your surroundings. Keep doors locked when driving your car. Many times carjackings will take place at stop signs or lights, when the criminal can jump into your passenger or back seat. If you ever fear you’re being followed, DON’T drive home. Drive straight to a police dept., fire dept., convenience store, gas station, or anywhere there would be a lot of people around to help you.
8. Run or walk with a friend. Use caution if you’re out early, or later at night. Stay on well-lit paths and busier sidewalk areas or streets. Go where the people are! Remember again, there is safety in numbers.
9. Keep your personal information confidential. This should especially be guarded in our internet, technical world. Use caution in giving out your address or phone number. Be careful not to “friend” people in social media connections who you don’t really know. Practice discernment.
10. Carry only what you need in your purse or wallet. Do you even know what’s in your wallet if it was ever stolen? Be prepared, have a list of the cards, or ID’s that you carry with you consistently, and if in the event it is stolen, you can quickly report it. Carry your purse close to you when you’re out. NEVER leave it in a grocery cart or hanging on the back of a chair in a restaurant. If you are robbed or threatened, throw it away from where you are or give it to the criminal, and GET AWAY.
Above all – remember this truth: our God is mightier than any evil force in this world. So incredibly thankful for His care and protection over us…daily…constantly. Many times, we may never even know the ways He protected and shielded us from danger. He is your greatest Defender. Take courage, He is always with you!
10 Verses of Protection:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart…He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:1-2, 4, 11
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:8
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10
“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
“My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior — from violent men you save me. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” 2 Samuel 22:3-4
“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8