Being aware and prepared are key when it comes to your safety. At SABRE, we call this being a “hard target” instead of a “soft target.”
Soft targets make easy targets. These vulnerable-looking individuals are likely distracted or lost and not aware of what’s taking place around them. Criminals seek out these individuals because they are less likely to react or defend themselves before the criminal can get away.
On the other hand, a hard target appears confident and is engaged and aware of their surroundings so they can prepare to defend themselves if needed.
By making yourself a hard target, you decrease your vulnerability to potential threats and increase your safety. Put these tips into practice to become a hard target so you can be aware and prepared in any situation.
Tips to Become a Hard Target
Practice having 360-degree awareness while you’re walking and take note of anything that looks suspicious or out of the ordinary. Additionally, know where nearby exits are or have an alternate route in mind in case something happens.
Walk with confidence
Head up, shoulders back, and dare we say, make eye contact with strangers. When you make eye contact with a potential threat, you’ve acknowledged their presence which is the last thing they want. It also shows them that you're not distracted and are aware of your surroundings. Be aware, but don’t stare.
Keep your personal safety tools accessible
Your pepper spray, pepper gel, personal alarm, or stun gun won’t be much help buried at the bottom of your bag or in your car’s center console. Make sure you always keep your self-defense product close to your person and accessible so that if you need them, you have access to them.
Most pepper spray, pepper gels, and personal alarms come with an attachment clip that provides instant access to your product at a moment’s notice. Similarly, most stun guns come with a wrist strap or belt holster to keep them close to your person.
Use the buddy system
As the saying goes, there is safety in numbers. Potential attackers are less likely to choose a group of individuals than someone walking alone.
Hard Target Dos and Don’ts
Don’t: Post on social media using a location tag in real-time
Do: Wait to post with location tags after you’ve left the location
Don’t: Walk alone late at night or in a poorly lit area
Do: Call a rideshare service to safely get you to your destination
Do: Wear only one earbud so you can still hear what is happening around you
Don’t: Walk with your hands full
Do: Always have at least one free hand
For more safety tips, visit the SABRE Personal Safety Academy.