Statistics show that about 1 in 3 women has been a victim of some type of violent attack. This is why it’s important for women to take their safety seriously. With over 15 years of experience in various self-defence oriented martial arts, I’ve made this short list of tips for how women can stay safe and protect themselves.

1. Don’t make yourself into a target

Simply put, try not to give the impression that you have something worth stealing.

So, if you like wearing expensive jewellery, cover it up when walking through a sketchy neighborhood (especially at night). Try not to carry too many packages. Place any packages in your trunk, out of sight. Carrying too many packages can give thieves the impression that you’re a good target.

2. Be aware of your surroundings

This is the most important thing when it comes to preventing attacks. As much as you may like listening to music or checking social media while walking down the street, this is a huge distraction that dulls your senses and makes you more vulnerable.

You need to always be aware of your surroundings. Is there anyone around you who looks sketchy? Keep an eye on them, and if you notice them following you, walk to the other side of the street. If they continue following you even then, prepare your can of pepper spray.

When you’re approaching your car, have your keys already in your hand. Once you get into your vehicle, make sure your doors and windows are shut.

3. Avoid poorly lit areas

Attackers rely on the element of surprise. If they don’t have surprise on their side, they’re much less likely to attack you.

So, try your best to walk in well-lighted areas. If you have to walk past a dark alley or entrance, always walk while facing it. That way, if there’s anyone hiding there, you’ll be able to see them coming from far away.

4. If you’re attacked, do your best to disrupt the attacker’s plan

Your number one priority should be to get away safely and call the police. Start screaming to attract attention. This lets people know that something is going on, and some may even come to help.

Of course, you shouldn’t put all your hopes on other people coming to your aid. Your main focus should be on running away. And if you can’t, then you should disrupt your opponent’s plan.

This is because attackers always have some sort of game plan. Even if it’s not exact, they expect certain things to happen. For example, most attackers expect women to put up a meek fight before giving in and doing whatever their attacker wants.

However, if you can surprise them by being proactive, their plan suddenly shifts. In their mind, now you’re no longer an easy target. Now, they may decide that the risk is not worth it, and they could run away.

As for how you can disrupt their plans, it’s a good idea to carry a can of pepper spray with you. Pepper spray is an extremely powerful self-defense tool. Applied to the eyes, it can leave a grown man stunned for 30 minutes.

5. Consider taking up a self-defence class

Self-defence classes are a great way of improving your awareness and learning how to protect yourself. They can help you feel more confident and give you the skills you need if you ever find yourself in a physical confrontation.

Velin Dragoev is a freelance writer and SEO expert, who’s been practising martial arts for over 15 years, and recently started sharing his experience by launching his own website – Keen Fighter,