COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - After being attacked in the parking lot of a local grocery store, a Midlands woman wants others to know what they can do should someone try to attack them.
There are simple steps that can make the difference between life or death.
Authorities say the best way to prevent it from happening is by learning how you can protect yourself. Being mindful of some simple steps, experts say you'll be much better prepared and you'll possibly win.
Most women say they felt pretty safe in public places, especially in the daytime.
"For the most part, sometimes it's iffy by yourself downtown but I'd say I feel safe during the daylight," high school student Sarah Parker said. "Yeah, because I watch around my surroundings."
When it comes to an attacker, however, experts say it can happen at any time, anywhere.
When asked what they would do if someone tried to attack them, most say they would yell or hit their attacker.
Sergeant Don Wieder with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department says to trust your instincts and use all your senses.
"When you're getting that uneasy feeling, because of where you are and you don't feel comfortable, it's time to leave," Sgt. Wieder explained.
Try to make eye contact and don't look down in your smartphone while walking. You can also use your elbows and try to face the person, if at all possible. Make sure to have your elbows pointed up to allow space in between you and your attacker with your chin down.
"By tucking your chin in, I can't get my hand up in there which helps with your airway, because if you can breathe, you can function," Wieder said as he demonstrated. "We have a great statement if you are habitually prepared to protect yourself you probably will never have to."
Trust your instincts, yell, hit the panic button on your car, and use your elbows. Never assume you are safe because you're in public or because it's daylight.