The Women’s Personal Safety Workshops are one way the VPD is giving back to the community. In January 2013, a group of VPD female police officers came together with the goal to empower women by teaching concepts and skills regarding crime prevention and dealing effectively with violent encounters.
By December 2014, the team increased to 30 police women, who continue to give back to their communities with this program.
The workshops are designed to be easily learned and remembered by women with little or no tactical training.
Check back often for upcoming dates in your neighbourhood.
Personal Safety Tips
Awareness is your first line for personal safety, which begins long before any actual physical contact. Be aware of yourself, your surroundings, and a potential attacker's strategies.
An attacker's primary strategy is to use the advantage of surprise. They are adept at choosing targets that appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. If you are aware of your surroundings, you can spot suspicious circumstances or people. It provides time for you to plan your reaction.
Intuition or "gut instinct" is something everyone has experienced - the feeling that something isn't quite right, but you're not sure why. It's important to pay attention and trust this feeling. Use it to your full advantage and avoid any person or situation which does not "feel" safe. Your instincts are probably right.
Prevention is taking measures to make yourself less of a target. We look both ways before crossing the street because we don't blindly trust that the drivers will see us and stop. We take ownership of our personal safety by using tactics that will keep us safe, much like ensuring the road way is clear of threats before stepping off the curb. When it comes to avoiding or minimizing situations where we may be subjected to violence, we need to learn and employ tactics that will help keep us safe.
Fighting back may be necessary in situations of unavoidable violence. You have the right to fight back as hard as necessary to protect yourself and get away safely.
The important thing about fighting back is that it must be done effectively. Struggling and scratching is fighting back, but it won't be effective in a violent encounter where the assailant's primary focus is to seriously hurt you or worse.
Check out your local community resources for courses in self-protection.
To educate, inspire, and empower women to take ownership of their personal safety.