Tips for Women to Stay Safe in Parking Lots

Parking lots are crime prone areas, and women have higher risks of getting attacked in these places especially at night, or if they are alone, are preoccupied texting and fiddling with their phones, are carrying a lot of baggage and when they are holding children. Since you really can’t avoid driving in and out of parking lots, keep in mind the following tips to avoid becoming a victim in these places.

First, be careful where you park, choose parking lots that are well-lighted and if possible have attendants. Park in a spot near the entrance of a building or mall you will be entering and avoid parking spots located at the farthest part of a parking lot and spots that are hidden from view by trucks or vans.

When you park, keep your doors locked, make sure you don’t have valuable items strewn inside your car that might attract unwanted attention. Remove your key from the ignition, put it in your pocket or purse but never leave it inside even if you won’t be gone long. Before coming out, do a quick scan of your surroundings, and if possible have a canister of pepper spray at hand. When you leave your car, make sure it is locked.

Remember the location of your car and take note of the cars parked beside yours. Do not linger around your car calling, texting or checking your make-up, do these inside the building or place you are headed. When walking away from your car and to it, be alert and walk with confidence and purpose.

Do not hesitate, looking around as if you are unsure of where you are or where you are headed. These can attract the attention of an assailant and can mark you as a potential victim. Even if you are unsure, do not show it; make it look like you know what you are doing.

When going back to your car and you have a lot of baggage with you, do not be shy or too proud to ask the help of an employee to carry your bags for you. Once you reached your car, do not take it from him, let him deposit the items in your trunk or on the backseat of your car. It will be safer this way since you won’t have to fumble all the way to your car, putting yourself at risk.

Once you locate your car, quickly scan the surrounding area again, and have your car key in your hand and ready before heading towards it. If you feel ill at ease and you see suspicious people loitering near your car or idling in theirs, back off and ask for assistance from a police officer, remaining calm and collected while doing so. Also, do not approach people asking for help, if you think they really need assistance call a police officer or 911 instead. Once you are inside your car, lock the doors immediately and drive away. Do not linger inside, checking lists or making them or doing other things.

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