1. Maintain your personal space. Stay alert! If a person moves inside your comfort zone, move away. If that person persists, run away and make noise.
2. Be alert when leaving stores or shopping malls. This is a time when criminals know you are carrying cash, checkbooks, credit cards, or valuable merchandise.
3. Don't use outside ATMs at night, or in unfamiliar or unsafe surroundings. This is another time when criminals know you are carrying cash. Plan your day to use ATMs during the day.
4. Avoid filling your arms with packages. You might have to make several trips to your car, but keep one arm and hand free at all times.
5. Avoid stairwells in parking garages. Try walking down the auto ramp instead. As long as you watch for cars, the ramp is much safer. If you have to have your hands full and are accosted, throw packages at your assailant and run (unless they are armed with a handgun).
6. Walk FACING oncoming traffic. A person walking with traffic can be followed, forced into a car, and abducted more easily than a person walking against traffic.
7. If asked for directions by a driver, stay far enough away from the car that you can turn and run easily. An alternative is to simply state, "I don't know" and keep walking.
8. When friends drop you off at home or work, ask them to wait until you are safely inside your home before leaving. Extend this courtesy to your own friends when driving them to a destination.
9. If you are on an elevator and someone threatening gets on, quickly step off the elevator. Otherwise, press several buttons for upcoming floors and get off at your first opportunity. (DO NOT press the STOP button.)
10. Approach with extreme caution any entryway where normal lighting is not functioning. Removing, unscrewing, or breaking bulbs in such places is a common tactic of criminals.
11. Carry several dollar bills folded inside a ten-dollar bill. If accosted in a robbery, you can throw the "chump change" several feet away and the robber may scramble after it, allowing you a few moments to escape.
12. SEEK SELF-DEFENSE TRAINING. New Mexico allows good-citizen concealed carry of firearms. Consider this option. Take a class in any discipline that increases your survival skills!
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