Sunday, February 7, 2010

Reply: Kidnappings in USA: How to prepare for them

Anonymous said...
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!



Anonymous said...

Let me start by saying that I am a woman, and I completely understand fears about kidnappings, sexual assaults, or worse. However, I found this post sad and disturbing for many reasons.

I disagree very much with the idea of intentionally making yourself ugly to avoid being a crime victim. The main reason it disturbs me is because, for most people, it's demoralizing and damaging to your self-confidence to intentionally let your looks go. When you know you look like a troll, you start to feel like it to. Don't believe me? Go put on your Sunday best and look at yourself in the mirror. Who doesn't get a small boost in confidence when they see themselves looking pretty damn good? People generally feel better when they look their best.

Now I'm sure at this point someone is thinking that I'm materialistic, shallow, consumerist, etc. I'm far from it--I really don't care what you wear. My entire point here is that in a SHTF situation, you're going to want to want every shred of self-confidence and positive thinking you can muster up. Taking extreme measures such as gaining weight (which, btw, is just all-around bad advice, sorry) is going to put you at a psychological disadvantage for survival.

You don't have to sacrifice your looks to protect yourself. Let me tell you about how I protect myself. First and foremost, I carry a gun and a knife with me at all times, and I have taken self-defense classes. I keep myself in shape in case I need to run or fight. I'm extremely vigilant when I go out, keeping an eye out for anything suspicious. I keep myself free of distractions while in public, like cell phones and iPods. I wear sensible footwear and sensible clothing. By "sensible clothing", I mean nothing flashy, expensive, or provocative. I can easily blend into a crowd.

Notice how nowhere in the above paragraph did I mention gaining weight, wearing baggy clothing, or generally looking like a hag. If you want to do that stuff, go right ahead, but please don't fall into the trap of believing that you NEED to take those measures in order to be safe. You don't.

Furthermore, I take offense at the underlying implication in the original post that ugly women are less likely to be victimized. This is perpetuating the myth that attractive women are just "asking for it" by looking sexy. This has been debunked many times over. Men do not rape for sex; they rape because they get off on control, domination, and power. They can just as easily get that from someone who is utterly repulsive. And let's not forget that sexual assaults and kidnappings are most often committed by people who know the victim. In these cases, looking unattractive isn't going to save your butt.

citizendave said...

Anonomous' concerns about kidnappings are unreasonable in the USA and her fears are unwarranted. I have lived all over the States, visited B/A and Europe and presently live in Chicago while running a machine shop in Gary Indiana, famous for having one of the highest crime rates in the US. The Hiscox Kidnap Monitor shows the 300 million person USA not in the top ten countries numerically, with kidnapping by stranger estimated between 518 and 1700 per year. For comparison, USA traffic fatalities run 43,000 per year.

Valentin said...

I know that the men at the school I used to go to (I loved that school) expected someone to escort or accompany the younger women to and from different parts of the city both for safety and because a lot of the girls and women that went to my school were both good looking and fairly well dressed and I as well as other young guys at school were fairly strong, and in Delaware in most other schools boys had a tendency to treat girls in a very degrading way because of all the rap music they listen to.