Don’t Be A Target

You may be surrounded by people in a public area – but that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down.

Don’t let your guard down for a second, no matter how open or public an area is, says COSMO’s self-defence expert Sanette Smit. ‘If you’re walking alone, project an air of confidence, walk with purpose and appear positive.’
If you’re lost and don’t know your way around the mall, make your way to the information desk.

‘Don’t appear lost. Stay focused on where you’re heading,’ says Smit. ‘Don’t ask just anybody in a security uniform. The one you pick might be a con man and might persuade you to follow a short cut – one where he can attack you.’

Cinemas are an area where your focus is not on your surroundings or those very near to you, leaving you open to attack. ‘Don’t simply sit down – first look at the people sitting next to your seat. If you feel uncomfortable, move. Never put your bags on the floor. Instead, hold your personal belongings close to you – for example, on your lap, under your arm or between your feet on the floor,’ says Smit. ‘And know where your weapons are (your keys, pens, deodorant spray and nail file).’

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