We do NOT want to scare you, but we would like you to realize that Ireland could be just as dangerous as any other country around the world. And because we would like you to have a nice experience during your stay in Ireland, we are publishing some useful tips and safety information that will help you stay safe.
As we said – these tips are not intended to scare you, but to make you aware of some simple things you can do to prevent being the victim of attack or any other type of crime.
On the Street
Awareness is your first line of defense! Most people think of kicks to the groin and blocking punches when they hear the term “self-defense.” However, true self-defense begins long before any actual physical contact.
The first, and probably most important, component in self-defense is awareness: awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies. The criminal’s primary strategy is to use the advantage of surprise. Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets that appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. By being aware of your surroundings and by projecting a “force presence,” many altercations which are commonplace on the street can be avoided.
* pay attention to what is going on around you and be aware of people near you.
* don’t hitchhike (means getting a ride with strangers.)
* be very careful using outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings.
* when walking, face the oncoming traffic. It will be harder for someone to pull you into a car and abduct you. You can also see cars coming in your lane.
* tell someone where you’ll be and what time you’re supposed to return, or if you will be with someone you don’t know well.
* don’t overload yourself with packages. If you must have your hands full, visualize how you would respond if approached, how you would get your hands free, etc.
* don’t wear music headphones while walking or jogging.
* don’t read while walking or standing on the street.
* if you wear a purse with a shoulder strap, be prepared to let it go if snatched. Otherwise you may be hurt if the mugger knocks you down and drags you while fleeing with your purse.
General Safety Tips
Use your “Sixth sense”, “Gut instinct” or whatever you call it! Your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe–you’re probably right.
* listen to and act on your intuition. It’s better to be safe and risk a little embarrassment, than stay in an uncomfortable situation that may be unsafe.
* if you are in danger or being attacked and want to get help, call 999 (Garda – Irish POLICE). If you have bad feeling you can always ask someone to walk you to the first store, where you can wait and get sure someone is following you
* have your keys ready when approaching your car or building. It will help you get in faster.
* vary your routine: drive or walk different routes every day. If you suspect that someone is following you, by foot or in a car, don’t go home (or they will know where you live). Go to a trusted neighbor or to a public place to call garda, or go directly to the garda station.
* do not label keys with your name or any identification.
* don’t talk about your social life or vacation plans where strangers can overhear you.
* carry your cell phone with you at all times.
It is important that you are aware that people have been known to put drugs into women’s drinks at bars and at parties – all around the world, not only in Ireland! Please read these tips, to avoid becoming a victim.
* use the buddy system. Do not go out alone and don’t leave your friends.
* get your own drink – don’t take it from complete stranger.
* watch your drink being poured and do not leave it unattended.
* don’t drink from a large open container, like a punch bowl.
* don’t drink anything that has an unusual taste, especially a salty taste.
* don’t share drinks.
* don’t leave a party with someone you just met. If you do, tell your friends where are you going and who are you going with.
* warn others about high-risk situations.
Escape is always your best option. What if the unthinkable happens? You are
suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him in a car, or
into an alley, or a building. It would seem prudent to obey, but you must
never leave the primary crime scene. You are far more likely to be attacked
or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away (even if
he promises not to hurt you). Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a
store or car window – do whatever you can to attract attention. And if the
criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them away while you
It’s your right to fight! Unfortunately, no matter how diligently you practice awareness and avoidance techniques, you may find yourself in a physical confrontation. Whether or not you have self-defense training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you CAN and SHOULD defend yourself physically. You have both the moral and legal right to do so, even if the attacker is only threatening you and hasn’t struck first. Many women worry that they will anger the attacker and get hurt worse if they defend themselves, but statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second! Remember, though, to use the element of surprise to your advantage–strike quickly and strong as you can – you may only get one chance!
Pepper spray like other self-defense aids, can be a useful tool. However, it is important to understand that there can be significant drawbacks to its use. For example, did you know that it doesn’t work on everyone? Surprisingly, 15-20% of people will not be incapacitated even by a full-face spray. Also, if you’re carrying it in your purse, you will only waste time and alert the attackers to your intention while you fumble for it. You also need to be careful not to spray yourself, which is not so hard when you are nervous or in case of a strong wind! Never depend on any self-defense tool or weapon to stop an attacker. Trust your body and your wits, which you can always depend on in the event of an attack.