Personal Safety Strategies
Awareness Workshop
Workshop Purpose
To enhance your quality of life, rather than
place limitations on you, by providing a range of
practical personal safety strategies.
Opening Statement
There are no all-purpose strategies to preserve
your personal safety in all situations.
As individuals we should recognise our own
abilities, environmental surroundings, and the
perceived motivation of those who may be
threatening our safety, to determine what action
will best preserve our safety.
Personal Violence
Who are more likely to commit an offence? Male
or female?
What age group?
Does risk of being a VICITM increase or decrease
with age?
Is the offender more likely known or unknown to
the victim?
Where is the most likely venue for the offence?
Impact of Fear of Crime
Positive Effects:
 encourages preventative behaviours
Negative Effects:
 restricts lifestyle
 decreases confidence in surroundings
 encourages victim status
 reduces natural surveillance
Core Concepts of Personal Safety
1. Right to safety
2. Keeping violence in perspective
3. Commitment
4. Confidence
5. Body language
6. Awareness of surroundings
7. Trusting and acting on instinct
8. Assertiveness
9. Networks
10. Developing a personal safety plan
1. Right to Safety
We all have the right to feel safe all of the time.
You are encouraged to be aware of and
maintain your right and be committed to your
personal safety.
It is also important to respect others’ right to
2. Keep Violence in Perspective
By educating ourselves about the source of our
fears we can gain an understanding of the real
risks involved and develop strategies to
minimise those risks.
Examples include: fear of spiders, snakes,
rape/assault, heights.
3. Commitment
Question: How committed are YOU to your own
Many people are more committed to the safety of their
loved ones than they are to their own safety.
Being committed to your safety is fundamental to
maintaining it.
4. Confidence
is appearing confident
important to your safety?
4. Confidence
Reflected in body language, portraying our vulnerability or
Indicated in our ability to handle a threat to personal
Often reflected in our quality of life;
Bluffing confidence is effective;
Source of power - all successful people have faith in their
own abilities;
“If we did all the things we are capable of we would
literally astound ourselves.” Thomas Edison
5. Body Language
Strong, confident = head up, shoulders back,
looking people in the eye, walking purposefully,
being casually aware of surroundings.
Weak, vulnerable = head drooped, shoulders
hunched, not looking people in the eye, walking
unsurely, appearing paranoid.
6. Awareness of Surroundings
Allows you to avoid potential threat/danger by
taking action before it reaches you/you reach
Minimises the possibility of someone
attacking/assaulting you by surprise.
By casually being aware of surroundings you
appear strong, confident and ‘streetwise’,
thus reducing the likelihood of being targeted
by an attacker.
7. Trusting and Acting on Instinct
Our bodies sense threat sooner than our
conscious mind;
 By listening to our instincts we can take
action to remove ourselves from the source of
threat and dramatically reduce the risk of
 By ignoring our instincts we can allow
ourselves to be placed into a dangerous
9. Networks
By talking to people we trust and gaining their
support, advice etc. We are better equipped
to handle and solve our problems
 Networks
can assist to increase confidence
and self esteem
Often people most in need of assistance are
10. Personal Safety Plan
Consisting of safety strategies chosen by you
to suit your lifestyle and abilities;
Chosen strategies should become habits,
used on a daily basis;
Should not be a list of rules;
 Visual
imagery is an effective method of
preparing ourselves to use chosen strategies.
Core Concepts of Personal Safety
1. Right to safety
2. Keeping violence in perspective
3. Commitment
4. Confidence
5. Body language
6. Awareness of surroundings
7. Trusting and acting on instinct
8. Assertiveness
9. Networks
10. Developing a personal safety plan
Dealing with Confrontations
There are no all purpose strategies to preserve our
personal safety in all situations
We need to recognise
– Our own abilities
– Environmental factors; and
– The perceived motivations of those who may be threatening our
In order to determine what action will best preserve our safety.
Do whatever you believe will best preserve your
safety at the time.
Fighting back
 Negotiating
with attacker
Creating a diversion
Whatever the attacker tells you to and
Whatever will best preserve your safety
Three Reasons to Scream
1. Adrenaline rush: converts fear to anger, enables
defender to think quicker, move faster and multiplies
their strength
2. Shock attacker: attacker is not expecting victim to
turn to aggressor, and self defence strikes impact
more severely on a tense, shocked body
3. To draw attention to the situation: although people
may not be around or assist you even if they are, at
least the offender is aware others may have heard
Areas Of Vulnerability
Best Targets:
Nose, knee, ears, head and face.
Options to Physical Self Defence
yell out to a fictitious person
verbal response - negotiate with attacker
fake medical condition e.g. STD/AIDS/Hepatitis
fake asthma attack/heart attack, epileptic fit, faint, mental
ask to go to the bathroom to remove tampon/insert diaphragm
be revolting - throw up, defecate, urinate
wait for the attacker’s attention to be momentarily diverted and
seek escape
anything else you can think of to stop the attack or create an
opportunity to escape
Personal Safety Strategies:
Awareness Workshop
for your participation

Welcome to the Introductory Protective Behaviours Course