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Question
I have short hair.  
I don't wear skirts.  
I hold pepper spray with my finger on the trigger all the way to the car.  
I am going to get an umbrella to carry in the other hand, rain or shine.  
I scan my environment, even craning my head to look behind me.  
I go to the grocery store at midday.
I don't talk on the cell and walk.
I don't sit in my car while it's stopped.

What other suggestions do you have for decreasing the chances I'll be targeted in a parking lot or somewhere else like on a walk outside?  Am I forgetting something obvious?

Answer
Okay, I got some good news and I got some bad news...

First the bad news, a number of those points you are currently doing can be traced back to a "hoax" e-mail about WSD that made the rounds about five years ago. Particularly the length of hair and the skirts...

Guess what?

Wear your hair how you want, wear the clothing that you want. While nobody is denying the convience of either short hair styles or pants, they really don't have much to do with whether or not you are selected as a victim. A lot of the stuff in it sounded good, but it wasn't related to reality. (Both my wife and I got multiple copies from people who were saying "Look what I know about WSD!" *sigh*

What HAS a much stronger influence are the factors found by a study done by Morris and Stein who found that the way people moved and acted had a much, much higher influence on who criminals selected as victims. (A 90% consensuse rate on who they'd attack) One of the more misunderstood concepts is that of body wholeness. This implies people who move in a certain way that indicates that they are in control of how their body is moving. That has been bastardized into the much simplified version of "walk like you are going somewhere."

The pepper spray okay...
The umbrella...well metza metza.

Here's something I suggest to people. Get Foggers. Place two of the big ol' honking mini-fire extinguisher units in an easily accessible location in both your driver side and your trunk. What you have is a handy weapon when getting into your car or loading groceries Unlike the smaller canisters (which I also encourage), these foggers can blast a literal cloud of OC up to 15 feet. Now do that while back pedalling and someone is going to have to run through a 20 feet fogbankk of OC to get to you -- and by the time he gets through, you're hotfootin' it away.  

Remember this simple rule: Distance is your friend.

It's hard to get raped, robbed, shot, stabbed or mugged if you aren't there. And you don't be afraid to tell someone "That's close enough" when they are pushing the edges of that 20 foot border in a "fringe area." If they decide to push into that, well then you're firing at around ten feet while backpedalling. Sooner or later, he's going to start sucking OC. Wanna guess who can run faster at that stage?

Go to my Website www.nononsenseselfdefense.com and read the robbery section. You're doing some really good things. Things that work.

BUT... and this is important, you need to know WHY they work. Because a lot of the time the same type of moves aren't fesible in different circumstances. So what you need to do is create the equivalent in those different circumstances.

There is nothing obvious that you are forgetting. The real challenge is to figure out how to do things that are just as effective, in circumstances that aren't as cut and dried. Remember, the criminal is a thinking animal. Or as I often describe him, like a flu virus...he's always mutating to try to get around your defenses. So the trick is to fill in any potential holes where he might get through, but do so with the same common sense approach that you are using now. But, at a deeper level of understanding of how these SOBs operate. Once you have that, they tend to take a look at you and say....

"Nah, I'll go after someone who is easier..."

If you can  

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