By Stacy Liberatore
I am constantly asked by friends in other cities if Brooklyn is safe. With the way Hollywood portrays us, you would think no — but in reality, Brooklyn is one of the safest large cities in the world.
Even though statistics say Brooklyn is safe, that doesn’t mean you should be careless. Women can be a target in any town or city, even here in the City that never sleeps. But certain women stand out as potential targets more than others, according to the NYPD. Here are 10 tips police say will keep you safer while walking through the concrete jungle.
Let Your Hair Down
Police say muggers and rapists look for women with ponytails, buns, braids, or anything that is easy to grab and pull. If you’re in an uncomfortable or unknown area, let the hair down.
Throw Your Purse
If a thief asks for your purse, don’t hand it to him. Police say throw it. Toss it away from you and then run in the opposite direction. By handing him your purse, you are giving him an opportunity to grab you.
If two women are walking down the same street next to each other, and one is looking at what’s ahead and the other is on her cellphone while rummaging through her purse, who would you rob? Be aware of what’s going on around you. That text message can wait, especially if you are in a darker area late at night.
Cut your Losses
A purse is an easy thing to grab. Most perps can grab it and keep running. If you are mugged just let it go. I know you love your new Coach bag, but is it worth the consequences that may happen if you put up a fight?
We learned this in elementary school, always have a “buddy” with you. A mugger or rapist will probably not attack a group of women. If you have to go somewhere after dark make sure you have someone with you.
Never let the world know you’re scared or nervous. A confident woman is a scary thing to a perp. Just like the laws of the jungle, a lion isn’t going to pounce on an animal it knows will put up a fight; it would rather go for the weaker one. It’s no different in the concrete jungle.
Take the Elevator with Others
I know the last issue of your fitness magazine said to take the stairs instead of the elevator to get a midday workout, but you never know who is lurking around waiting for you. Hit the gym for an extra 30 minutes and use the elevator; what’s more important: your glutes or your life?
It’s Just For Show
This is a scary situation, but police say if the perp pulls a gun on you just run. The more you move, the less likely he is to hit you, and police say 9 times out of 10, the criminal is just as scared to pull the trigger. Hopefully, none of us will ever be in this situation, but it is something to keep in mind.
Don’t Let Looks Deceive You
Living in this city, we come across the less fortunate all the time. Women are sympathetic, we love to help others but you don’t know who’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Even if you feel cold hearted just keep walking. Police say criminals like to engage before they attack.
Be Your Own Weapon
There are lots of classes that teach women how to protect themselves. Tae Kwon Do teaches that the elbow is the best weapon in any fight. It might not be a bad idea to join a self-defense class, so you can learn some pointers and get a workout — it’s a win-win situation. Also, most of us women know to carry a key between our fingers. That’s smart but police say a larger object like an umbrella is more likely to deter a crime because criminals know the larger weapon can be used as a weapon. They likely won’t see the key until the attack has already started.