UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A sudden spike in crime has many New Yorker's wary of public transportation or walking alone.
The recent death of a woman who was followed into her home on the Lower East Side and stabbed 40 times has heightened everyone's sense of vulnerability.
There are some important steps you can take and behavior to avoid to protect yourself.
Krav Maga Expert Tashi Shemesh said something as simple as how you carry yourself can make all the difference.
"I walk proud I look forward I keep my eyes open, shoulders back shows confidence," said Shemesh.
Shemesh is one of several instructors at Krav Maga Expert which offers self-defense classes for all ages and genders.
He also says avoid being hunched over your phone and make sure your earbuds don't block out sound so that you can be totally aware of your surroundings.
"Being proactive is a lot better than being reactive," said Shemesh.
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If you feel like you're being followed try to walk into a public place and regroup. Ask for help or call the police once you're somewhere with other people around you.
"Break your pattern, "said Shemesh. "Go into a store, do something that breaks the pattern of you going wear you need to go."
If there's an imminent threat, scream make a scene and run to safer location if possible.
When walking home, be sure to have your keys ready a few steps before you get to your door and look around.
"I don't want to stop there and look for the keys because then I'm a stationary target," said Shemesh.
And while these tips are good advice for being alert, some times confrontation can't be avoided.
Shemesh says if you're grabbed, shift your hips and chop at the assailants groin to get them to release their grip. If its possible flea the area or scream for help while avoiding being grabbed again.
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