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Garvin Heerah

RADHICA DE SILVA

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Women arm yourselves!

This is the advice given by the former executive director of the National Operations Centre Garvin Heerah after a woman stabbed a man during an abduction attempt in Arima on Sunday.

Heerah, who is now the director of Homeland Security and Cyber Security Initiatives, said women must begin to put up a line of defence against men because of continued attacks.

“Our country is facing an immense scenario where the daughters of our nation are under threat. It is extremely important for women to take precautions and exercise vigilance,” Heerah said.

He called on women to purchase security devices to protect themselves as well as to utilize location indicators, alert and panic apps on their smartphones.

“Women may need to start travelling with a companion and if possible, even though it might be a little expensive, utilize the private transport services, legitimate ones that can do safe drop-offs and pickups,” he said.

He also called on the business community to provide safe transportation for women who work the graveyard shifts.

“Businesses should also engage in training seminars for all staff with a focus on women,” Heerah said.

He sent a strong message to women saying, “Arm yourself, you will be surprised to know how a nail file that is aimed at the right position or a sharpened instrument can do in a defensive situation.”

Heerah added that many women were innocent ones and it was men who needed to change.

Some tips for women

Invest in wear on devices that can trigger an alert or response.

Utilise the alert and panic apps and activate location indicators on your smart-phone.

Travel with a companion or in groups.

Utilise the legitimate transport services for safe pick up and drop off.

Be extra vigilant. Do not be complacent. Trust your female instincts as your first defence. area. If possible have someone confirm that areas, where you wait, are covered by CCTV .

Be on guard for hints. Look out for suspicious conversations and body language of driver and passenger.

Stagger your timings to avoid a predictive pattern.

Have a trusted point of contact with whom you can communicate your movements and timings. Create an updated pattern ( eg every 10 mins)

Be vigilant, alert, aware, sensitive and mindful of your environment. Whether travelling or driving. Dress appropriately.

Overtly take photographs of the vehicle, its registration and the driver and send immediately.

Try to avoid revealing unnecessary information about yourself and personal details on Social Media.

Businesses and employers need to show support, assistance and duty of care, especially those who may be living in ‘ high risk’ areas. There should be a plan in place for those coming on and off late-night shifts.

Arm yourself. There are wonders a well-aimed nail file or sharpened point instrument can do in a defensive situation.

.Do not ever consume alcohol then seek to travel publicly.

(Compiled by Garvin Heerah)