Many women live alone these days, in apartments, condos and their own homes. We have as much right to live as we please as any man. We shouldn’t have to live any differently or take any special precautions, but, unfortunately, we should. Self defense for women living alone is a set of habits that can help keep us safe by creating the illusion that we don’t live alone and avoidance tactics that make us difficult targets.

If you are moving into an apartment building do not take an apartment on the lower level or the ground floor. These floors offer the most opportunity for window break-ins. Likewise, if you live in a home, make sure the windows on the lower floors are secure (locked from the inside- curtains closed) and free of any outside visual obstruction, such as bushes and other landscaping material, so it can be easily seen from the street and neighbors.

Speaking of neighbors-get to know yours. You don’t need to make them all your BFFs. You just need to get familiar with them. You could all watch out for each other. They could also provide you with a safe haven if you found yourself in a situation in which you didn’t feel your own home was safe- someone was in your home-or you suspected someone was or had been.

When identifying your mail box, buzzer or door use your last name and first initial only- no Miss, Mrs. or Ms. Have a peephole in your main door and don’t answer it unless you can identify the visitor. Never let on that you are alone to unfamiliar people. You may wish to yell, “I’ll get it!” after checking the peephole and before opening the door. If a service person comes to the door unexpectedly, visualize their ID and call the company to make sure they are for a legitimate service call.

If you have an answering machine on your land line phone don’t include your name, just your number if you feel that is necessary. Don’t state that you are not home, only that “we” can’t come to the phone right now. I have seen the suggestion that you have a male friend or relative record the message- although that may also deter potential dates. If you don’t have it, get caller ID.

Lock your outside doors- this one should be an easy habit to learn. Let’s not make it easy for these perps! If you live in an apartment building always lock the outside door, doors to common areas and of course the door to your residence. Chain locks, while giving a secure feeling, are actually easy to be broken with a shoulder or a kick. Deadbolts are great as long as they are properly installed and locked. For added security a deadbolt can be installed on the backside (inside) of a door. It can only be locked from the inside and can’t be picked. For more information please visit self defense for women/home security.

This brings us to keys. Do not mark your keys with any ID. Have separate keys rings for your cars and home. Do not leave your garage door opener in your car in case your car is stolen. Do not leave a spare set of keys in the usual places that can be a no brainer for perps. Always have your keys ready when approaching your car or home. Have the one you need in you hands ready to use.

As always self defense for women is a lot of common sense techniques practiced faithfully until they are second nature. For more information please visit personal safety.

Author's Bio: 

Su Ericksen is a TaeKwonDo Black Belt and has taught self defense workshops. She lives in the Midwest with her family and works at a large medical center in the cardiology clinic. To read more on this subject please visit her website. You may contact her through the website. Self