I wanted to share on this topic as this is an important one that unfortunately seems to be a growing concern for us here in the USofA.
As a single woman with no familial support, I am caring for an aged and completely dependent father (who is almost 80). All my life I was called "beautiful" and a "babe" - but we live in different times and I now "fly under the radar" in every way possible because if something were to happen to me, my dad would die.
Here is what I do and why;
First of all, for security purposes I NEVER wash my car(s), (when it rains, they get washed; good enough), I don't fix "dings" as any "self-respecting" thief would not pick my car over a hot-looking one nearby. I never leave anything in my cars to tempt anyone either.
Because I feel secure in myself, I dress down for "camouflage", I wear nondescript "old & shapeless" clothing; I never wear makeup and I will don ugly brown glasses to wear. (I plan on getting an old lady wig at some point - in case!). I walk with purpose and a swift stride in and out of stores; I never carry a purse, I never flirt or act "feminine" with guys, my behavior is "non-sexual" and no-nonsense. I am alert and will move away from males who may turn to get a better look at me; I do NOT make eye contact but am aware of them peripherally and will move away. I quickly move in and out of wherever I have to go. I don't chitchat or stroll. I keep my dad with me at all times but due to his being wheelchair bound, I will run into stores and back out to him, where he is - locked in the car, with the brake on, etc.
Now, I have always been pretty careful, but last year we had a kidnapping right in our area. My girlfriend was very nearly nabbed by a man on her way to work at 8am (she was near a school). She ran as he stopped the van and tried to chase her on foot to catch her. She is 38, has 8 kids but dresses like a teenager and has a ponytail. She would not go to the police (she may be "illegal"). She was lucky that day. But, just two days later, in the same area - a 16 yr. old was kidnapped right near her school - at about 7 am. Her pictures show she probably had a ponytail, too. (*easier to grab and take down) This guy was cruising schools looking for a target in the early mornings while it was still a bit dark until he "caught" one. He drove a van with no windows. This freaked me out. I went into a hyper-vigilant mode and became "more underground" - I put on weight to make sure I would not be targeted but still dress "non-sexual" always. My main reasons for all this is in keeping my dad safe because there is no one else and if something happened to me, he'd be dead.
I truly believe the kidnappings here (we are 35 mi. from the "open" border) are related to the "sex-slave trade" as they just "disappear" - there are no calls, no notes, & no ransom wanted. I willingly have sacrificed my looks and femininity to keep my dad safe. I am also doing what is necessary in case of SHTF scenarios, but I thought since this is such an important thing to be aware of, I would share what I do - out of necessity, being a single female. Oh, and don't think I walk around "fearful" either, I don't. I have a prayer life and I utilize it daily like a force-field for protection - but if anyone were to ever grab me, trust me, to keep my dad safe, I'd tear the attacker's eyes out blind. Seriously, I would - as I believe it is cowardly not to fight for your loved ones and honorable if you have to die doing it. God bless us all. Keep safe.
February 6, 2010 1:59 AM
First of all let me congratulate you for you dedication to your family. Seems pretty rare these days.
What you do is what lots of women do in dangerous places round the world as well.
Thanks for mentioning sex slavery. It’s a serious problem here in Argentina. “White” trade, as they call it here, happens very often and while mentioned on the news, its not covered nearly as well as it should. There’s SO many children and young women that end up as sex slaves, moved around the provinces, forced to “work” in different brothels. Sounds crazy but they are so well organized that the network is almost impossible to crack, specially because of the police being involved at a local level.
Did you consider purchasing a firearm for concealed carry? Assuming its legal where you live, you certainly have the right mindset for it.
What Anon 12:18 PM said is also true. You can keep your guard up in general terms but still live life. Even though its sounds kind of cold talking about something romantic as something practical as well, finding the right man for you would not only be good for you sentimentally, it also means having someone there for protection, watching you back, etc.
A partner for life in general, but also someone that helps when you need him, its easier to get by both in good and bad times when you have someone at your side.
Having said all this, marrying and having kids or not is a very personal decision. For me its by far the greatest joy I have in life and you sound like a nice person, so that’s why I’m mentioning it, please understand I don’t mean anything else by it.
As you said, we really just know what you’re saying and nothing more, but I just wanted to point that out.
Take care, and good luck!