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Thursday, November 29, 2007

A gentle reminder...

A horrible thing happened yesterday. My sister-in-law was attacked while she was running. It was early in the morning before the sun was all the way up. But, she was in what was known until now to be a very safe residential neighborhood.

This dude didn't know who he was messing with. She may be a little snippet of a thing, but my SIL grew up with three brothers, and knows how to kick some serious butt. He ripped at her clothing, but she kept fighting and eventually got free without injury. Thank God.

I feel like I am pretty cautious when it comes to my personal safety, but things like this remind us all that bad people are out there all the time, and the unexpected can happen at any moment.

Maybe it is even more important to keep your safety in mind this time of year. Most likely you are out and about more often than usual, shopping and visiting folks. Additionally, people without money or those who have relationship issues may feel even more desperate than usual, and may be more apt to act on their emotions.

A few things I always do - this is a partial list, and I'm sure you can find many more tips online. Please feel free to share your advice in the comments.

~ I always have my key out walking to the car (versus fumbling around for it in my purse). Additionally, my car keys have a panic button feature, so I can use that, or use the key to jab out an eyeball. I try to get in the car as quickly as possible (even if it means throwing my purse to the front seat) and lock the doors.

~ Don't walk between cars to get to yours

~ If you are putting away your groceries and need to put the cart away, lock your car before doing so.

~ Change up your schedule. If somebody is watching you (I know - scary thought), they know when you do everything. Keep 'em guessing. A half hour change here and there when you leave the house or get home throws off any twisted plan they are thinking up.

~ Value your safety more than politeness. If a situation feels wrong, don't be ashamed to cross the street, ignore somebody, etc. Some guys are just waiting to see a weak smile to make their move. On the flip side, so people just want to be acknowledged, and may harass you if you don't say something. Say a firm No Thank You and keep walking, watching them in your peripheral vision.

~ This is a weird one, but it happened to me. At a stop light, a guy with a stick shift rolled back ever so slowly into my car. When the light turned green, he started motioning for me to pull over. Hell no. Again, if something feels wrong, it probably is. We may be "cursed" with a weaker stature and body parts that drive the stronger sex wild, but we are blessed with women's intuition.

Be safe out there, ladies!

12 comments:

Sarah and Jack said...

Oh my. I hope she is ok emotionally as well. That's a pretty scary thing.

lera said...

That is terrifying. Thank goodness she was able to fight back. (It gives me hope for my only girl with five brothers.)

Heidi said...

My gosh, how frightening. I'm so proud of your sister for fighting back! I hope I have her temerity should I ever be in such a situation (God forbid). Thanks for the good reminder.

leslie said...

holy cow, i have goosebumps! thanks jen for the reminder, i have pepper spray hanging from my bike handlebars (on the bike trail i have had more than a few men approach me while riding, go figure!) i think i will get it out and put it in a purse pocket, just in case. so sorry your sister in law had that happen, hope it isnt in our neighborhood, but it very well could i know!

elizabeth said...

oh girl that is so scary! glad she knows how to kick some arse!

Di said...

I am glad that your sister managed to get away! It is a good reminder that however safe we feel we should always be cautious!

jmarie said...

vthat is so so scary. Something similar happened to me when I was a lot younger. It's so important that women be aware.

I'm still dealing with my issues emotionally.

Junie Moon said...

How terrible for her! I am so glad she escaped relatively unscathed although she might be a tad nervous for awhile. I'm grateful to you for sharing these reminders of how to take personal precautions. I tend to forget there are terrible people out there and I go about a bit too innocently. I shall endeavor to think more carefully. Hugs to your sister-in-law and good for her on fighting back!

woof nanny said...

A friend of mine teaches self defense, and the biggest thing to remember is make a ton of noise, kick scream, anything. She says put your hands up and yell "Back Off". Do not go calmly. Do not buy into the line of "if you act nice I won't hurt you". RUN! Too, she says, never sit in your car and talk on your cell phone. Just get out of the parking lot and talk later. And number one thing: if your gut is giving you that creep factor feeling--listen to it.

Mary Ann said...

This is a great reminder, especially this time of year! Thank you.

telfair said...

That is so frightening and disturbing...I'm so sorry to hear that happened to her -- but she sounds like she kicked some butt so kudos to her for knowing what to do and how to defend herself!!

Jane said...

Glad to know your SIL was able to get away. I think the best advice is to trust your instincts if you feel unsafe, you probably are. I was at a gas station near my school a few years ago and I felt unsafe, but I also felt like those feelings might have been based on the fact that I was the only white person there. It made me uncomfortable that race might contribute to that feeling so I continued to go there. Well the next week there was a shoot out at the gas station while I was in line to get gas. Fortunately, I was in my car and there was a cop around the corner, but the fact remains, white, black, or brown, I knew that the place wasn't safe. I should have just honored the fact that I felt unsafe.