Being aware could mean the difference between life and death

The body of an Arkansas real estate broker was found this week

(Associated Press)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Prevention is the best way to defend yourself from an attacker. Being aware of yourself and your surroundings could mean the difference between life and death.

Arkansas real estate broker, Beverly Carter was kidnapped and murdered. Experts say women should learn preventive self defense strategies, like parking in well lit, busy places.

According to Thomas Devine of Inner Circle Self Defense, “If you have your keys on you, you can put your keys between your fingers, and that can be a good self defense weapon. Also, make sure that there are absolutely no wooded areas around you; make sure you stay on well lit paths.”

Always look around, and staying aware of your surroundings. If grabbed from behind, turn sideways, positioning yourself to elbow an attacker, giving you time to run.

When self defense strategies work and you have your attacker on the ground, experts say on average, you still only have 3-5 seconds to escape, which is where a new law in Massachusetts could come in handy. You now only have to be 18-years-old to purchase pepper spray, no firearm identification card required.

If you feel uncomfortable, or realize someone might be following you, always trust your instincts. Emily Ortiz of Springfield told 22News, “About two months ago I was walking around and this random guy came up to me asking me for money and it was kind of scary because I didn’t know if he was going to attack me or not.”

If you’re in a safe environment, like a car, keep your cell phone on and fully charged. “It doesn’t hurt to dial 911 because they will always be there no matter what,” said Albert Jones of Springfield.

If followed to your car, set off your alarm; getting the attention of others could save your life.

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