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 students tell me that 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 ludicrous.
ob·liv·i·ous = unmindful; unconscious; unaware
Synonym – absent-minded (so lost in thought that one does not realize what one is doing, what is happening, etc.; preoccupied to the extent of being unaware of one’s immediate surroundings)
There is nothing wrong with being the brightest light bulb in the room!
What do you think?
Take care and STAY SAFE!
For survivors of sexual assault, new TSA screenings represent a threat. The new pat-downs and body scans can trigger “flash backs” of an assault and traumatize males, females and children recovering from a previous assault/attack. The new TSA policies and procedures do not even give consideration to the millions of victims and survivors who travel. This outrages me beyond words which I am sure you have gathered by now.
There is no evidence that those in charge of these decisions even gave a thought to victimization and the effect that these procedures will have or had. Again, I understand and respect the absolute need for safety but the catch 22 is that there is no guarantee that if an individual agrees to the scan that they will not end up being patted down anyway and groped. Hence, you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t.
For women and men who have already been sexually assaulted, the new screening rules—or just the threat of these rules—present a very real danger. They can be triggering events, setting off a post traumatic-stress reaction. “I started crying. It was so intimate, so horrible. I feel like I was being raped,” an anonymous rape survivor has reported. Another rape survivor had a panic attack as an agent began touching her leg.
“After a sexual assault, it seems that many survivors have difficulty having their bodies touched by other people,” says Shannon Lambert, founder of the Pandora Project, a nonprofit organization that provides support and information to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. This fear of contact even extends to partners and, often, medical professionals. “A lot of survivors do not want to be in positions where they’re vulnerable. They put up defenses so that they can be in control of their body. In cases like this, it seems like some of that control is going away.”
If that sense of control is violated, it can lead to more than hurt feelings. There’s a physical reaction associated with a triggering incident, and the response can vary from person to person. “It could lead to a person shutting down and becoming noncommunicative, it could result in a person becoming emotionally upset, it could trigger flashbacks, not just the thoughts and feelings they experienced, but perhaps other sensory experiences,” says Jennifer Marsh, director of the National Sexual Assault Hotline for the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network(RAINN).
TSA employees are clearly not trained properly as to how to perform a pat-down WITHOUT humiliating a traveler. The experiences that are coming forth are heart-breaking and someone needs to get a grip on the TSA workers – the pat-downs are NO JOKE! We are seeing over and over that TSA employees have no compassion what-so-ever as being demonstrated on a daily basis.
Passengers who decline the scan are subject to a pat-down to achieve that same goal. Again, even if you agree to go through the scan there is no guarantee that you will not be required to have to have a pat-down either. It’s a pat-down that many travelers say may be more thorough, but is also more invasive and humiliating than previous security frisks. “It was a horrifying experience. I was touched in my private parts, in my genital area, without consent and without warning,” says Erin Chase, an Ohio woman who flies several times a month. (TSA says that all airline officials should tell passengers what’s going to happen prior to a pat-down.)
I will leave you with this thought: “It is acceptable and encouraged that a TSA government official can do something to an American citizen that US military personnel cannot do to a member of the Taliban.”
Things that make you raise an eyebrow, eh? Hmmmmmm………
Take care and STAY SAFE!