One of the topics we usually bring up in self defence (women's or not) is "awareness" and I have noticed that many of us (myself included) haven't really provided any details on this area yet. Here's a couple things I teach: (1) As you walk, keep your head and look side to side, above you and below you. Don't do it too much but do it enough to see potential obstacles and take not of the people around you. (2) Walk upright, focused and confident. A shy person who avoids eye contact may be mistaken as weak. Look at people who pass you but don't stare or look too long. (3) Try to park under street lamps (esp. in parking lots) where you can be seen and where you can see people around you. Also, try to park as close to the area you are going. (4) When you get to your car, as you approach it, look for anything unusual, like scrapings, broken windows or fluid stains under the car. If yoiu see something, be extra careful. (5) (Especially after dark), walk purposely to your car in a direct manner. Have your keys out in your strong hand and hold them as if you need to drive them into someone's face or scratch someone. Try to keep your purchases and/or bags/purse in your weaker hand. (6) When you get to your car, take a quick look as in #4, unlock the door and open it. As it opens look into the back and side seats quickly, as well as behind the front seats for signs of people. (7) After checking as in #6, get into the car quickly, sit down and LOCK the door. Do NOT stand half in the car with the door open adjusting your bags or looking for stuff. Get in the car, lock the door and then do whatever business you have to. (8) When you arrive somewhere, as you prepare to park, look around and note who and what is around. Try to park in a lighted area and look for potential alternate routes of exit or travel. (9) When strangers motion for you to roll down your window or stop (hitch-hikers or information seekers or vagrants/beggers), do NOT do it. These people should mean nothing to you and are not worth putting your safety in danger. (10) At least once a week, at your home, check out your car. Check tires, fluids, batteries and such to try to prevent breakdowns later on. Make sure all of your ligts work (so you won't be pulled over) and make sure the locks work. At least once, check out how your trunk works and find where the emergency (from inside) catch works in case you ever have to use it. (11) Keep an emergency kit in your car with tools, blanket, first aid kit, extra water/oil/trans. fluid and such in it. (12) When going anywhere, check in with someone and give them an estimate of where you'll be and when you'll be back. If you're going to be much later, call them. (13) If you are walking along (or driving) and see an altercation (verbal or physical), do NOT stop and watch. Most importantly, do NOT try to get involved... especially in cases of spouses/family, they may join against you. If you want to ehlp, call 911 and let them handle it. Don't try to break up fights if you don't know the people very well. (14) If someone starts to try to make a problem with you, especially verbally, don't stick around in hopes he'll lay off. Get out of there. (15) Anywhere you go, look for an alternative exit in case the primary way is blocked. (16) Always try to wear clothes that allow freedom of movement. If you have to wear tight or restrictive clothes (skirts, tuxedos, etc.) for some kind of event, try to get a size that will allow you to move. When you put it on, try a few basic mocvements that you might need. Check the stitches to see if you can rip off parts if needed to run. Wear socks/ sturdy stockings in case you need to kick off shoes for running or use as a weapon. (17) Don't chat mindlessly on a cell phone as you walk mindlessly. If you need to take a call, find a public place to talk, even if you have to call them back. Walking around with a "walkman" on takes away one of your senses as well... and distracts you. I only recommend them in the privacy of my own home (but I'm paranoid anyway!) That's a few things I put under "awareness"... any ohtres you can think of?