Hello again: It just occurred to me today that this question might apply to some of your readers. My father works for a defense contractor repairing submarines, and makes frequent "business trips" because he has to go wherever the boat is. Most years this means he's not home for a significant part of the year - this year we're going to see him for about six weeks between now and November. The upside of this is that he gets paid more when he travels, but the downside is that it's just me and my mother in the house for weeks on end. Any recommendations for extra security for two women alone? Thought this might help some readers.
Hi Katy, A while back I was in my dentist’s waiting room and overheard two young women talking. They were just the two of them living together and they were talking about moving to a condo because they were afraid of living in a house just the two of them without a man in the house.
Unfortunately it’s true around here that two women alone are viewed as an easier victim, and I suppose it’s the same in most places around the world.
The only thing to do is be more cautious and plan for better safety. How far you’ll take this will depend on how bad the crime in your area is. If you suffered home invasions in your area or other episodes of violent crime, then its better to get bust soon and not fall for the “it wont happen to me” mentality. On the other hand there are small towns in America where they cant remember the last time they had a home invasion episode, let alone rape or murder. If you’re one of the lucky ones, then maybe you can afford to be more lax about security. I simply can’t relate to that much because it’s the complete opposite of my current reality, where in the suburbs of Buenos Aires you may pay dearly for a care free attitude.
So what to do:
Improve your home security: Do install an alarm if you don’t have it already. Most houses don’t and there’s really no excuse for that since today good alarm systems are cheap and have an excellent bang per buck ratio. The first home alarm system I bought, I sold the Play Station I had to buy it. I bought a good one and did the installation myself. Read the manual and did some internet search to do it properly and it worked fine. So there's really no excuse for not having an alarm. A wirelss alarm costs a bit more but is much easier to instlall if you're not very handy.
A properly set up alarm may save a family from a rapist or burglar trying to crawl its way in at night. If the stalker has been doing some scouting and he notices you deactivating an alarm as you go in, he will probably look for a less prepared victim. A good door and lock should complete the setup. Windows are very weak points in most American homes. Other than installing burglar bars, your only other alternative is having solid shutters. At the very least, acknowledge this weakness and don’t leave opened windows unattended.
A good dog is also a great deterrent. Unless you have previous big dog experience, I’d go for a good, easy to educate breed such as the German Sheppard. The more I learn about security, the more I notice how bad guys simply dont like dogs. They are affaid of how the animal may react, even if they overpower the vicitm. You often hear criminals mention how much they worry about big dogs.
Good family awareness is probably your greatest asset: Close doors and windows, being careful not to open the door to strangers. Never go anywhere without letting the family know where you’re at, always have your cell phone with you and generally being safety conscious. Not paranoid, but do the mental exercise of noticing who’s around your home when you go in and out, notice suspicious looking people/vehicles.
As for self defense, I’d make it a priority for your mother to learn how to shoot, and you’re old enough to handle a gun as well. Guns in the hands of citizens have saved countless lives, often without firing a single shot. At the very least get basic one day training so as to handle the weapon safely, and a dedicated self defense shooting class wont hurt at all.
Let me mention something else about his: Self defense shooting classes aren’t for 7 feet tall muscle mountain Rambos. Some people have this pre conceived notion. Nothing further from the truth. Most defense shooting classes are attended by average folks, men and women from all walks of life, all sorts of shapes and ages. If you’re taking advanced tactical training then yes, you may find people that are more into all of this, and they are more physically demanding, but for the typical self defense shooting classes, know that they are precisely made for just ordinary people that like you, want to be able to defend themselves.
You can take slef defense as far as you want, make it a lifestyle. If that's nto your' thing, at the very least be safety concious and aware of your surroundings, install an alarm and keep your cell phone hadny with 911 on your speed dial and give seriosu consideration to buying a family dog if you dont have one already and getting a firearm. Doing this wont mean any lifestyle changes, and you'll be much better prepared security wise.
Hope that helped some, take care.