Habit versus Fear…
At ten o’clock that night, Lindsay had checked that her doors were locked, as usual, before shutting the lights off and going to bed. She assumed she was safe within the protection of her apartment walls. A typical night coupled with a typical attitude. At four o’clock in the morning, Lindsay’s night drastically changed. Her worst fear had crept out of her nightmares and forced its way into her bedroom.
“Don’t make a sound or I’ll kill you…just do exactly what I say” — a ruthless command and a lethal threat on an innocent human being. This was not a practical joke carried out by a friend. It was real and it was happening to Lindsay — a tall, think, ultra-feminine woman who had always thought with confidence, “It (rape) won’t happen to me.” But there he was and there she was.
While Lindsay slept a man had broken into her locked apartment and moved silently into her bedroom. He woke her from a peaceful sleep with the forceful words, “Don’t make a sound, don’t move.” That statement would repeat over and over in her mind for years to come.
As this angry man, a man that she had never seen before in her life — stood over her in her bedroom; made one last reminder for her not to do anything. Lindsay’s mind raced back to her self-defense workshop that she had taken, she was reminded of the emphasis placed on fighting back in order to surprise the attacker.
- Don’t think of anything other than survival.
- Look for your window of opportunity – it may be as little as five seconds – when he is vulnerable and to use it to your advantage.
- Fight back.
And that is what she did. She knew she needed to remain calm, assess the best time for defense, and strike.
Lindsay did just that. As she watched his body fly across the room, Lindsay was amazed to see the shock on his face. He was caught physically and mentally off-guard by her blow that she landed him in the chest with both of her feet, using all the force she could gather. Lindsay had enough time to escape. As she ran out of her apartment to get help, he ran too…not after her, but away from her.
Lindsay experienced a life-threatening situation. It is our responsibility to ensure our own safety. You may be wondering why Lindsay didn’t hear her intruder as there were no noises of a break-in; the man had a key from the previous tenant who lived in the apartment….previous to Lindsay. The landlord never changed the locks when Lindsay moved in!
Personal safety is a habit not a fear. I’ve had student tell me their family members think that they are scared or paranoid because they lock doors even when they are home; when they go out to walk the dog and in their car. I’ve heard many parents say that having your children’s carton images with their age and name on your vehicle window was not dangerous. All of us in the personal safety arena agree, IT IS DANGEROUS! Ask any pedophile who wants an easy target.
The fact is, paranoia will freeze you with fear and fear is the most dangerous mindset of all.
- Trust your gut feelings, your instincts, intuition
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Establish and enforce your personal boundaries
- Exhibit confident body language
- Incorporate safety tips into your daily routine and life
The benefits of personal safety impact your entire life in a positive manner. “An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.”—-Benjamin Franklin
The people who tell you or call you paranoid for being aware and safe are O-B-L-I-V-I-O-U-S!
The impact of being oblivious and not facing the fact that all type of crimes and assaults are happening on a daily basis is an individual with blinders on. Electing not be educated or taught how to be safe is just downright ludacris.