Ask: How did you get in here? Yep!
Let’s think about that—when confronted with danger, most women want to know how the burglar got into their home.
As if it matters.
Have you ever thought about what YOU would do if someone broke into your home? Well, of course, if you hear something, it’s best to move away from the noise—exit any way you can, then call 911. But if you’re in the house with nowhere to run and someone walks in on you, DON’T be Nosy Nellie and ask how he got in!
First: Scream your pretty head off. This sounds easier than it really is—have you ever really screamed? Not yelled down to the basement or cheered at a ballgame, but thrown your head back and screamed bloody murder? Many women are too timid, even in the face of danger, to make enough noise not just to alert neighbors, but also to make the intruder pause. If he broke in with the thought of burglarizing an empty home, he might simply leave if you make enough noise to bring down the roof. (By the way, don’t just scream, but scream something helpful, like “Get out of here! Help me, somebody!”)
Second: Know what household items you can use as weapons. Think of things that will keep you away from the intruder—things that are long, or things you can swing, like a baseball bat or any sports racquet, a guitar, fireplace tools, or a broom or rake. Anything heavy or sharp can be thrown—sports balls, vases, books, dishes, tools, even shoes. And don’t forget about things you can spray or throw on an intruder (aim for the eyes): hairspray, cleaning chemicals, bug spray, shampoo, dish detergent, paint. Pots and pans can do some damage, too, or fend off blows and weapons the intruder might try to use on you.
Third: Know what parts of your body to use. Hitting or punching someone with your hand really hurts! Most women have never struck another person, and don’t realize the force it takes to fight back. Did you know your feet and legs are more valuable than your arms when fending off an attack? If cornered, fall on the ground and kick at the intruder—your legs are stronger than your arms, and you can inflict damage with your shoes or high heels while protecting your face and head.
Take time to walk through your home, apartment or office and think about how you would defend yourself if someone broke in. And consider taking a self-defense class to practice screaming and punching in a safe environment–trust me, it’s very empowering. Odds are you’ll never have to defend yourself in a home invasion—but in the unlikely event you do, it’s comforting to know you’re prepared enough to give yourself a fighting chance.