Staying Safe at Theatres and Other Public Places (Part II)

Be mindful of where you park your car.

Park your car in a well-lit space close to the theater door. Regardless if it’s light outside or not, the less time you’re in a parking lot getting to your vehicle, the better. Don’t park in isolated areas where you have to pass trees, alleys, and bushes that are hiding places for someone desiring to do you harm. 

Avoid parking garages, particularly ones with bad lighting. Another bit of advice: keep your car keys in your hand, with the keys between your fingers and pointing out. If you have to punch someone, they’ll get a fist full of sharp keys in their face.

Use common sense. Regardless if you’re in a public space or the theater, there’s no need to provide a thief with any extra incentive. Don’t wear pricey jewelry. Wear a cross-body strap purse. Don’t go to ATM machines at night. And lose the headphones while out and about.

Create an escape route. If someone comes towards you in the parking lot, either driving or walking, put some distance between yourself and them.

Increase your distance from the shooter. If you find yourself in a dire situation with an armed crook, get as far away from her or him as you can. If you can’t, hide under a seat. If there is a locked door, put it between you and the shooter, all the better.

Divert their attention. If you can’t hide, run away, and you’re in fear for your life, throw something (a shoe, cup, bottle, etc.) at them or even try to hit them. While you might be not sure if you can bring yourself to attack a person threatening your life with a knife, gun, or any other weapon, you have to jump on the idea of distracting them enough to getaway.