Are paranoid or dead our only options?
After all of the reading I do about serial killers, rapists, murderers, and everything in between, one might think that I would be... well, more paranoid than everyone else.
Being safe is great. Let's all be safe. Don't do stupid things, be careful when you're around people that you don't know, trust your gut and don't accept candy from strangers. But there is a difference between being safe and being paranoid. Unfortunately, this line has become very, very blurred.
For women my age the message of "Keep your eyes open and be careful" has turned into "Fear anyone with a penis." Seriously.
My inspiration for this blog came from a Facebook group aptly entitled "tips for all women.... please join... and pass on." When I Googled it I found the original list. Without the urgent capitalization, the "paranoid or dead" mentality, more precise information and a credible author, this would be a good list. Which means... that it would be a totally different list.
There are some good tips in this piece, but you have to wade through the inaccurate tips to find them.
Here are the 'tips' listed on the Facebook page.
Tip 1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do : The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
What ever happened to a good old fashion kick in the testicles? When I Googled this the only time this tip and Taekwondo are mentioned together is in other versions of this list.
This statement is also not in context. What qualifies as "close enough to use it"? Also, wouldn't running away be a better idea than to assault your attacker? Why would you want to physical fight someone who most likely has a weapon and is physical stronger and more powerful than you?
Tip 2. Learned this from a tourist guide in New Orleans. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM Toss it away from you.... chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
I thought you were supposed to elbow him. If the attacker is more interested in your wallet/purse then what would be the difference in throwing vs. handing? If he gets what he wants, he will leave. If he is interested in you, he will track you down.
Also, why is this in a tourism guide? Nothing says "Welcome to our wonderful city!" like "Here's what you do if you get mugged."
Tip 3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
Yes. You should do this. If you're in a model car where this is physically possible, you're not drugged, you're not tied up, and you're in a position were you can actually reach the taillights. As far as saving lives, whose lives has it saved?
Tip 4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.
First off, I find the way this is phrased to be very annoying. "THE predator WILL be watching you" [emphasis added]? Seriously, you ARE going to die.
Tip 4 - Additional. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it . As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
OKAY, I WON'T DRIVE OFF. I don't see how crashing your car is supposed to help you. There's no guarantee that the attacker will be incapacitated and you will be cushioned on your cuddly air bag. A better thing to do in this instance is to use the threat of a crash against the attacker.
If you're driving he can't touch you because then you'll lose control of the wheel and the car will crash. While you're in the driver's seat you can drive anywhere you want. Like, oh, I don't know, the police station?
Tip 5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage: A..) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat
And the trunk. You know, just in case. By the way, what happened to someone walking you to your car?
B..) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
Most? Who is most? I can't recall a single serial killer who used this strategy. And why are we talking about serial killers? There are only 20-50 active serial killers, 85% of which are in the US. There are 300 million people in the US. Your chances of being the victim of a serial killer are astronomically low.
The list doesn't differential between murderers and serial killers. To be qualified as a serial killer the person has to have three victims with a cool down period between each. But it's more terrifying to use the term "serial killer" than it is to use the term "murderer."
C..) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
Remember ladies, anyone with a penis is dangerous. A man sitting in a car alone must be a serial killer.
Another tip i was resently given concerning cars, if you are ever locked into a car and the keys are in the ignition obviously drive that van away from there... fast! BUT if no keys are in the ignition jam it with something like a boby pin (break it in there) or even a wad of chewing gum... remember, leaving the primary location is the worst situation possible, if he cant start his van... he is going to have a much harder time transporting you.
"Resently"? Maybe I'm just being a picky English major but why are we supposed to listen to tips from someone who doesn't even know how to use spell check? And what is it with vans? If they're so prevalent in crimes then why not arrest everyone who owns a van?
If the keys are in the ignition, drive off. Yeah. Couldn't have figured that one out in my own. If you ruin his mode of transportation and you're still under his control wouldn't he be a little pissed off at you? Wouldn't he be tempted to take out his anger on you?
Also, what if the primary location is out in the middle of nowhere and the secondary location is at his house in the middle of a residential neighborhood? Even if your attacker can't start his van and you can manage to get away from him there's no where to go in a remote location.
Tip 6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)
But the stairs are a good form of exercise. How are you supposed to run away from all of these criminals if you're not physically fit? This is also assuming that the building you're in has an elevator.
Tip 7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably, in a zig -zag pattern! (This was confirmed in the K.C. Star)
Not a vital organ? What if it's your leg? Also, 1 out of 25? Where did this statistic come from? I couldn't find anything to substantiate it. I did Google the zig-zag pattern suggestion, the first thing that popped up was a Halo cheat code. Other than there are other sources that verified it. As for the K.C. Star citation, what article was it in and when was it published?
Tip 8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP ! It may get you raped, or killed.
Be nice to no one. It will cost you your life.
How do people who believe this make new friends? How do they date? How do they venture outside of their house to go get milk from the grocery store?
Additional - Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
We're using Ted Bundy as a norm? This just ventures into ludicrous. He didn't ALWAYS play on people's sympathies. What about the Chi Omega killings? He wasn't walking with a limp then. Also, my memory is not what it used to be, but I don't recall reading anything about Bundy limping or using a cane. Neither does Google.
Tip 9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over.
The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.
Yes, a friend of my friend said that her friend told her that a friend said... This is an e-mail hoax started in 2003. Thank you, Snopes.
Also, can someone explain to me how a baby would crawl out of a window and into the street? The baby is still crawling and it's tall enough to reach a standard window. What about screens? Even if there was no screen and the baby managed to crawl onto something where it was able to reach a window wouldn't the fall from the window to the ground be enough to incapacitate it to the point were it couldn't continue crawling?
another tip i was sent earlier: Know how much money you take into stores/gas stations. It is a new trend that preditors will see somone get into their car, and knock on their window. Then they will show them a $5 or $10 bill and tell them they dropped it on the way back to their car. After the woman thanks the kind man, and opens her door, he will grab her. It almost happened to one woman, but she knew she only too $5 with her into the gas station, so the change was not hers, another woman got raped by that man though.
Which man? When? Where?
But never fear, I will be sure to keep an eye out for "preditors." I would never want "somone" to murder me.
I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.
Remember boys, IF you love your female relatives send these wonderful tips on. If you don't, just keep it to yourself and let the next Ted Bundy murder them. Side note: what about Gacy and Dahmer? They were very prolific killers and they didn't go after the ladies. Why isn't there a list of tips for men?
Final thoughts: Don't get sucked into this never ending campaign of paranoia. There are people who want to hurt you, but there are a lot more that don't. Be safe, don't live in fear.