Between 15% and 76% of women are targeted for physical/sexual violence during their lifetime. Women who travel for business are at a higher risk for the simple fact that they are out of their element and are more likely to signal vulnerability to potential attackers.
Don’t become a victim when traveling. Be aware and act smart to avoid becoming part of the statistic. Learn how to minimize your appearance as a tourist/visitor and adopt proven techniques to increase personal safety.
Violence can happen to anyone at anytime, as is demonstrated in everyday news stories throughout the United States and the world. When traveling to a new or unfamiliar place, the potential to become a victim of a crime is raised exponentially. This is why it is imperative to be aware of your surroundings as much as possible.
Being aware of your surroundings or immediate environment is the first step toward safety. In general it is smart to always glance back, look around and double check. Always put yourself in a position for optimal 360-degree observation. If you can see it, you can deal with it.
How you “act” matters. Body language constitutes 93% of all human communication. The body language a businesswoman uses can reveal whether or not she is a good target for a watching criminal. This is where using the appropriate presence techniques is essential.
Discourage a criminal by sending the right message to demonstrate confidence and strength by:
- Adopting a vigorous, energetic walk
- Using long, confident strides
- Standing tall
- Looking around and showing that you are watching back
Confident body language signals to a criminal the potential for resistance. As a result, criminals avoid these types of people and will seek out easier targets. Actions are stronger than words; make sure to send the right message with confident body language.
Once environmental awareness is part of your routine and presence techniques are used to send the “right message” to a potential criminal, there are safety tips a business woman can adapt to further personal safety.
- Develop cultural awareness; learn key words/phrases in a foreign country’s language, and adopt regional dress codes
- Be prepared by reserving hotel, car or ground transportation ahead of time
- Never use a home address on luggage; always use a business address
- Travel light and use lightweight luggage (a suitcase with “spinners” is the best choice)
- Keep the mobile phone charged and pack an extra charger in case the first one gets misplaced
- Make copies of credit cards, driver’s license and/or passport and keep them hidden in your carryon
- Choose a larger hotel chain and ask for two keys
- Pack a doorstop alarm for the hotel
- Don’t open the hotel door for anyone; call the front desk if someone shows up unannounced and/or request a five minute advance call when the hotel sends someone to your room
- If driving yourself, look in the backseat before entering, then enter and lock the vehicle immediately. If available, opt for valet parking.
- Wear comfortable shoes (i.e. ask yourself “could I run in these if I had to?”)
- Do not look at a map on the street, duck into a store or restaurant
- Do not befriend strangers; be confident to cut off a conversation if necessary
In most cases, when a woman travels for business demonstrating awareness, confidence, and preventative action, safety results. Your personal safety is up to you, so be careful! Stay safe by taking the necessary steps so you do not become a victim of violent crime.
Timothy Dimoff Knows the Best Safety Tips for Personal Safety
If your organization requires business travel, make sure your female employees are equipped to stay safe. Contact Tim to schedule the Tim’s Talk Street Smarts Travel Safety for Women, to educate your female business travelers with the techniques to ensure they do not become victims of violent crimes.