It's a crime that no woman likes to think about, yet it happens across the United States every day. This time it was in Gresham, Oregon.
In the recent news report released by Oregonlive.com, a mother in her mid 30s parked her minivan alongside a busy Borders Book store in Gresham, Oregon, then went about her day of shopping at the mall. According to the property manager, the shopping center was as busy as ever and the parking lot was packed. Later that afternoon, when the woman returned to her vehicle, two men grabbed her and dragged her behind the bookstore. It was there that she was raped in broad daylight among an empty loading dock and walled off enclosure.
It's a tragic story, but it's a reality no woman should ignore. Although it's easy to think such a crime will never happen to you, the choices you make each day could make you the target of one or more sordid individuals.
Today's crime statistics indicate women are more commonly the victims of crime compared to men. This is because the majority of today's criminals are males, many of whom view women as being a lot easier to dominate and overpower. Of course, women are quite capable of fighting off their assailants. But do you really want to find out if that's something you can do? Surely not.
Although there's no fool-proof way to stop crime, by incorporating the following safety and security tips into your daily life, you can significantly decrease your chance of becoming a victim.
Safety and Security Tips for Women
Tip #1: ALWAYS be alert and aware of your surroundings. No matter if you're walking outside to check the mail or returning to your car after picking up a few things from the grocery store, be vigilant of your surroundings at all times. Look all around, including your “Six”—a military term for "watch your back"—to ensure no one is following you or loitering nearby.
Tip #2: Avoid talking and texting on your cell phone when out in public. To be aware of your surroundings, you need to be free of distractions. So if you're going to be walking around the mall, put away your cell phone and pay attention.
Tip #3: Park in areas that are well lit and where people can see you. Avoid parking in areas that are dimly lit or secluded. The more light and the more people there are, the less risk you have of being targeted by a thug. If at any time you don't feel comfortable walking from a store to your car, listen to your gut and ask for an escort. If the store doesn't have a security guard on hand, a store employee or two will do.
Tip #4: Have your car keys in hand before walking to your car. Don't wait until you get to your car to find your keys. Retrieving them from your purse before you leave your house, your office, or the store will eliminate the distraction of trying to find them as you walk to your car. If you have a newer model vehicle, don't forget about the "panic button" on your keychain (key fob). Pushing the button will sound the horn of your car like an alarm, signaling passerby’s that you may be in trouble.
Tip #5: In addition to checking your surroundings, check the interior of your vehicle before entering it. Some criminals will hide near or inside a targeted victim's vehicle. No matter if your car is parked at home, at work, or at a local shopping center, always look inside and around your vehicle as you approach it.
Tip #6: Vary your daily routine. Some perpetrators look for patterns in their victims' routines and behavior. Knowing when their victims come and go makes it much easier for criminals to carry out their crimes without getting caught. Varying the time you arrive home from work or school and the route you take home can decrease your risk of being targeted. If you walk the dog or jog around your neighborhood at a certain time of day, be sure to change the timeframe and the route as frequently as possible.
Tip #7: When agreeing to meet with someone you don't know very well, meet in a public place. Many women meet men online these days, but that doesn't mean every man you meet has good intentions. If you're going to meet someone that you don't know all that well in person, be sure to arrange the meeting in a public place. Do not allow a man you've just met to take you to a secluded area, no matter how nice and innocent he may appear. Also, be sure you tell someone you know about where you will be, along with any personal information you have on the individual you're meeting, including their name, phone number, etc. In addition, never share where you live or any other private information with someone you've just met.
Don't take safety for granted. Your well-being is your sole responsibility. Keep your eyes open and look out for yourself. While you're at it, open the eyes of other women you know by sharing these potentially life-saving safety and security tips with them. In doing so, you just might prevent your best friend, your sister, or your mother from becoming the next female crime victim.
Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.
Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:
The American Society for Industrial Security.
The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.
The Society of Professional Locksmiths.