Empowering Personal Safety Tips for Teenage Girls.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
Female safety has been in the News a great deal recently – from the tragic murder of Sarah Everard to the latest distressing reports of school abuse and a ‘Rape culture’ as more than 8,000 allegations have now been made by school pupils on a website gathering testimonies of sexual violence and abuse.
Here is a guest blog by Andrew Privett from BeStreetWise around personal safety.
Streetwise is the only online resource enabling parents to upskill their children in personal safety.
Protecting your Teenagers
As parents, we want our children to be competent and confident in the area of personal safety. But what relevant skills should we arm our children with? If you go to a karate teacher, they will give you some punches and kicks to put in your toolkit. A Judo instructor will give you some throws and grappling techniques. But are these physical skills the most important skills for our children?
Holistic personal safety needs to take into account more than just the physical. Our children need the ability to detect danger in their environments and to de-escalate volatile and potentially violent situations. Sadly, in one form or another, these are situations that they will meet as they strive for their independence.
Here are a few personal safety tips that will help make your teenagers safer:
- Confident children do not usually get targeted by the bad guy. In simple terms, people who carrying themselves confidently do not fit the profile of a victim. Teach your child to have their eyes up, shoulders back and walk with a steady gait.
- Being on a mobile device takes away 8o% of awareness. Danger will be upon them without warning. The term ‘no awareness… no chance’ springs to mind.
- Just because someone is in a high-vis jacket or has an official badge, doesn’t make them legitimate. Give your child permission to challenge someone’s identity.
- The code/password strategy. Agree a code/password with your child. If they text you this code or password it means they are in trouble and need picking up. This will allow your teenager to ‘save face’ with whoever they are with. The important thing with this strategy is that no judgement can be made with regards to their situation. If you make judgement your teenager will lose trust in you, and will not ask for your help in the future.
Although we will always want to be there to protect our children, reality dictates that this isn’t possible. Children are programmed to strive for independence, away from your protective arm.