Do safety apps, security devices, and self-defence lessons make a difference?
Are people really using their self-defence moves outside of class?
Are GPS tracking tags just fancy accessories?
Do these safety measures actually come in handy in real-life situations?
Demi Leigh Tebow was crowned Miss South Africa in 2017. She was beautiful, famous, and had invitations to practically all the fancy events in Western Cape, South Africa. People recognised her everywhere; she was often surrounded by family, friends, or the media. And one would assume that a woman of her stature would be safe; no one would dare harm a woman who is in the limelight. Wrong!
One evening, Demi was on her way to an event. She drove through the familiar Hyde Park traffic effortlessly. She’d been on that road countless times, and it was one of the safest places she knew. When she stopped at red light, there were plenty of cars around her. Nobody would have expected to be in danger in broad daylight, in peak hour traffic…
Five armed men suddenly surrounded Demi’s car. They forced open the door and pointed a gun at her. It was not something she’d expected to ever experience. These are situations that happen only to women in movies, not in real life. She could not believe it was happening to her. She left her purse and phone where they were and got out of the car empty-handed. She raised her hands in surrender as the armed men got into the car. But instead of driving away with her car, phone, and valuables, the men sized her up and decided to take her with them. Carjacking was not their only motive; they had something more sinister on their mind.
“Get in the car; you’re coming with us”, they said. That was the moment Demi truly felt fear. Where would they take her, and what would they do to her? They were five men, all strong and armed. Demi could not possibly fight them. She could not even attempt to defend herself from their advances. She was powerless. And nobody on the road, not even the cars next to her, came to help. They had all turned their faces away, lest they become witnesses to a crime. She was left alone to deal with fate. Demi knew if she did not obey their orders, they’d shoot her. But if she did obey and get in the car, she would be like a fly caught in the mouth of a Venus flytrap—death would come slowly and painfully. She’d rather be shot and die a quick death than be taken elsewhere to die brutally. She stood frozen to the spot, hands in the air, her heart pounding in audible beats.
And just at that moment, she remembered a lesson from her self-defence class: Buy time. Even seconds are invaluable. But how would she buy time? The traffic began to move, and the men were in a hurry to take her. They shoved the gun at her and barked, “Get in the car NOW!”
Her reflexes took over. She threw a punch aimed at the guy’s throat. He was taken aback with surprise and pain. He gripped his throat and squirmed, which gave her two seconds to make an escape. 2 seconds is not much, but in a life-or-death situation, it makes a lot of difference.
She took off in 6 inch stilettoes and a floor-length gown into the moving traffic. She had no time to think if her dress would rip or if she’d slam into a car. She ran for her life and screamed for help. She tapped on car windows and pleaded. Nobody stopped. Nobody even paused to see if she was okay. She ran with tears running down her face, her heart beating violently against rib cage, praying for someone to stop and help her. And her prayers were finally answered when a young woman stopped the car to let her in.
Demi got home safe that night. She lived to win the Miss Universe crown later that year. But, what if Demi had not punched the guy? What if she was forced into the car? What if it was a child in Demi’s place? The problem is, we don’t ask enough ‘what if’ questions. We call it pessimism. We believe we are perpetually safe from harm. We convince ourselves with: “It won’t happen to me, I’m cautious” “It won’t be my kid; I have taught her well”. But optimism does not hinder the predator’s plan; precaution does. We don’t consider ‘precautions’ necessary because we don’t take crime seriously.
Self-defence lessons did not make Demi strong enough to fight the armed men. But they simply sharpened her senses and kept her alert in the midst of danger. It gave her the discernment to react wisely. It made her defiant enough to not obey their orders. Self-defence lessons are not meant to make wonder women out of us; they are meant to train our reflexes. They don’t make us fearless, but they help us act boldly despite the fear. It equips us with basic defence moves and teaches us how to offend the enemy when opportunity strikes.
But of course, not every woman or child is privileged enough to undergo self-defence training. That is why safety apps exist. It’s the first self-defence move anyone can ever make. For instance, someone using the I’m Safe app is already one step ahead of their predator. They have their friends and family on alert, and emergency services are at their fingertips. The predator’s eyes are not the only ones watching them. Their loved ones are tracking their location live. If and when a threat arises, they are already backed by a team to quickly intercept and rescue them. A child with a safety tag secretly attached to her is every criminal’s nightmare. They not only fail the kidnapping mission; they also risk having their location unveiled.
Regardless of how strong a person is, a surprise attack is bound to freeze them up. Their reflexes don’t always act as quickly as they ought, and fear takes hold of the senses. But a free safety app on the phone, like I’m Safe is fail-proof. With its free features and quick support system, I’m Safe is consistently reliable.
The dystopian world we live in does not guarantee safety to a child who rides the elevator in his own apartment or to a woman who walks down her street. Perversion is on the rise. Organ theft is shockingly as common as pickpocketing. Child traffickers are masked as neighbours. Nobody is safe, not even men. That is why safety apps are so vital, especially for women and children. We cannot always guard our children 24/7, but we can keep an eye on them with safety apps and security tags. Get your first selfdefence move now—install I’m Safe on your phones and smart watches today!