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Jun 6

Staying Fierce and Safe in College


Edited: Jun 6


As the weather turns warmer and we break out our rompers and sundresses, many recent high-school grads are preparing for their first year away at college! Among exciting events such as exploring your new town or rushing a sorority, there are also many hidden dangers for women on a college campus. With these simple tips on personal safety, you can protect yourself, your belongings, and your loved ones. Through smart thinking and preparedness, you can live your life fearlessly!

Staying Safe While Walking Alone

  • Keep emergency numbers in your phone. Your university’s Campus Security number and the numbers of trusted friends are great options.

  • Always keep your phone charged, and keep a charger in your purse. This will allow you to call your emergency contacts in case of any danger.

  • Take a self-defense class or workshop. They are often offered for free through college campuses, and video tutorials are also available online.

  • Carry personal safety tools such as pepper spray, emergency whistles, and personal alarms. Familiarize yourself with how to use them properly so that you’re always prepared.

  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t use earphones when walking alone at night, or let your phone distract you. Distracted targets are ideal for potential attackers.

  • Carry emergency cash--you never know when you’ll need to call a cab or Uber to take you to a safe location.

  • Walk in well-lit and populated areas whenever possible. This deters potential predators from targeting you, since their goal is to attract the least attention possible.

  • Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you feel unsafe. You can always call 911, your Campus Security office or your emergency contacts to help you out of a dangerous situation.

Staying Safe at a Party

  • Always watch your drinks, and drink responsibly. Only drink beverages if you know exactly what’s in them--unopened cans and cocktails that you make yourself are the safest options for a night out. Even bartenders have been known to slip drugs in drinks, so be cautious in any situation.

  • Bring a friend, or several, to the party with you. Predators often target lone women, and a group of friends deters them from choosing you as a target.

  • Keep an eye out for your friends at parties. If someone is intoxicated, do your best to make sure they are safe. Calling a cab or Uber for them, driving them home, or calling a friend to pick them up are all great options for getting an intoxicated person home safely.

  • If you see a heavily intoxicated or unconscious friends going home with a stranger, do your best to stop them. An impaired or unconscious person cannot consent to sexual activity. Don’t hesitate to ask people for help, or alert the authorities.

Staying Safe While Driving

  • Always keep your car locked and windows rolled all the way up.

  • Keep your keys in your hand when walking to your car, and remain alert.

  • Don’t keep valuable items or money in visible areas of your car. This encourages a break-in.

  • Always check your car for intruders before getting in. Someone may be hiding in the passenger or back seat waiting for you to enter the vehicle.

  • Be especially careful in parking garages. They are usually dim and deserted enclosed areas, making them ideal locations for criminal activity.

  • Be careful during Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace transactions. Always try to arrange meetings in well-populated and well-lit areas, and during the daytime.

Preventing Home Invasion

  • Keep all doors and windows to your home, dorm, or apartment locked at all times.

  • Consider investing in a security alarm to prevent home invasions.

  • Never let strangers inside your home without you present. This gives them an opportunity to steal your belongings, or hide in your home and wait for you to return.

  • Keep valuable items, such as important documents or large amounts of cash, inside a locked, fireproof safe.

  • Keep shoes, car keys, and other important items in an easily accessible location in your home. This prevents you from searching for items you need to leave the house in case an intruder enters while you are at home.

  • If you see any signs that your home has been invaded (broken window, unlocked or broken door, sounds coming from inside your house) do not go inside or make your presence known. Leave the area and contact the police immediately.

New Posts
  • Katelyn Davidson
    May 8

    The statistics are grim.  If you are a woman heading off to college this fall, or a parent who is sending a daughter off to university, there is a lot more to think about than textbooks and dorm decorations.  According to the Association of American Universities*, 23.1% of undergraduate females experience rape or sexual assault.  Having a son doesn’t mean he’s immune, however.  Among undergraduate males, 5.4% will experience rape or sexual assault.  Those are chilling statistics, and they are ones that every student and parent should consider carefully heading off to school. Campuses are aware of the problem, but many choose to turn a blind eye.  Moreover, safety measures on campuses are only effective to a point.  There is greater awareness now than ever before, and students are being told about the dangers and how to try to prevent them.  Emergency phones around campuses are one of the proposed solutions, but when a student is being attacked they may not be able to reach one of those phones in time.  The G|B Defender was designed to help in situations like these.  With an SOS signal that sends GPS coordinates, as well as video that can record the face of a potential assailant, it is the best line of defense.  Exams should be hard.  Surviving college without being assaulted shouldn’t.  Take your safety into your own hands by strapping a Defender watch on your wrist.     *David Cantor, Bonnie Fisher, Susan Chibnall, Reanna Townsend, et. al. Association of American Universities (AAU), Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct (September 21, 2015).
  • Guardian Band
    Mar 14

    It seems on social media we are constantly seeing warnings about the dangers of human trafficking . While I hate to live my life in fear, I do think it’s good to be aware of our surroundings, and I personally appreciate when people share their experiences to give other parents a heads up. One Florida dad, Matthew Pilch, took to Facebook just two days ago to do just that after his family had a scary experience at a prominent Miami museum. Pilch, who is in the military, says he doubts he’d even know about human trafficking if he hadn’t been forced to take classes about it in his military training. Now, he is certainly glad he did. In his Facebook post, which he entitled, “Close Call: Our Brush With Human Trafficking in Miami, FL – August 28, 2018,” Pilch details their frightening account. He says his military discount has been an impetus for his family to visit lots of museums in Florida, where they live, both close to and a few hours away from home. But at one museum in Miami, they had a much different kind of educational experience. He says: “What we witnessed today was indeed out of the ordinary, and I was not simply being an overprotective dad. With several of the museums we have visited I took our camera to capture some of the moments and noticed lots of other parents, interested museum-goers, and tourists doing the same. None of the others visits or interactions gave cause for alarm until today…Keep in mind that this took place at a highly respected, state-of-the-art museum in downtown – right next to the Port of Miami. The admission to this museum is steep; it is well-staffed; and every exhibit is world-class.” Pilch says the visit was going great until about two hours in, when he noticed a woman repeatedly getting close to their kids. He didn’t think much of it at first. “I noticed a woman who at first seemed to be a little eccentric,” he said “She had her phone out and it looked at first glance like she had it on a video call or something and was shooting a selfie video with the exhibit in the background, just chatting away in Spanish. Weird, but whatever. It is Miami after all. The thing that first caught my attention was when my kids decided to lay on the ground to look up at the fish and this woman decided that she also would lay down on the ground, and somewhat close to my kids. That did strike me as odd, though it still didn’t set off any alarms. As we continued to enjoy the exhibit however, I started noticing that she was paying more attention to our children than she was to the fish. Whenever she noticed me looking her way she resumed chatting on her phone and holding it in front of her. Then, it seemed as if she was not videoing, but taking photos, and not of fish, but of our children! I couldn’t tell for sure. This was when I started to feel a little on edge.” Pilch continued being cautious and keeping an eye on the woman, but his parental radar really went off when a man joined the woman and used his high-quality camera to obviously begin taking pictures of Pilch’s kids. “It was unmistakable – he was taking pictures of our children with a good quality DSLR Nikon camera! That set off the alarm bells for me,” Pilch reported. He continues: “Before I could say anything to my wife, he had snapped another picture of one of our other children, seemingly oblivious to the fact that I was watching. I quickly informed my wife that we needed to leave and right away. Freaky? Yes. Reportable? I was still on the fence. I just wanted to leave. Maybe they were just weird tourists who thought our kids were beautiful. Hey! I think they’re pretty good-looking; they do take after their mother after all!” Unsure of whether or not to report the duo, Pilch and his family moved to another part of the museum. Soon after, the strange duo followed. Pilch says what happened next to really get him worried about human trafficking. “We had found a very kid-friendly activity involving kinetic sand and our children loved it, as did a number of other children in the area. They had been playing for only a couple of minutes when this woman came right up to that particular area in the room and started playing in the sand box with the children, smiling and laughing with them. Then, she took out her phone and started taking pictures again – not of the exhibit, but of the children. My children and other people’s children. It was too much. We had been followed and their behavior was way beyond the ordinary, and it fit the profile of a human trafficking team: usually a man and a woman; tries to relate well and interact with children; takes pictures; tries to get the children to interact with them and feel comfortable. I had to report it.” Pilch reported the duo to museum staff, who he says took it quite seriously. “The head of security was all over it instantly,” he says. “As soon as I related all the signs to him he immediately agreed that it was suspect and bore the telltale signs of trafficking. I was able to point out both the woman and the man to them, who were beating a hasty retreat when they saw me talking with security and museum management. Security went after them and we never saw them anywhere else in the museum for the rest of the day.” Pilch wants parents to know that human traffickers are sneaky and will even take the opportunity to find victims in an expensive, upscale museum like the one they were in. “After all, if they came in and were able to find just one child to kidnap and sell into slavery or the sex trade, that would fetch far above the price of admission for the day,” he says. After he got home, he found a couple of photos that he’d taken that captured the woman in question’s odd behavior. He urges parents to look at these photos, read his article, and do their own research to know the signs of suspicious behavior! “One can see clearly where her focus is and her demeanor,” he says of the photographs. “She is looking straight at our children, not at her phone or the exhibit, and giving them a huge, inviting smile. I can’t imagine the horror of missing one of my children right now. Instead I am blessed to be able to hug each of my children tonight and kiss them and tell them I love them. If you have never heard of human trafficking, it’s time to get educated so that hopefully you and your friends can also hug and kiss your own children each night.” Parents, this danger may not be super common, but it IS super real. Educate yourself about human trafficking so you know the signs!
  • Guardian Band
    Jan 25

    OUTDOOR SAFETY TIPS FOR WOMEN Outdoor safety tips for women: how to outsmart Predators The biggest obstacle to staying safe in parking lots and on city and suburban streets, country roads, and secluded paths is the average person's innocence. This naïveté of the prey takes four forms: 1st: carefree/careless (assuming no one wants to harm you, you act carelessly); 2nd: too trusting (if someone seems harmless or has a good story, you’re gullible); 3rd: mirror imaging (assuming a predator shares your morals, you try to reason with him rather than outsmart him); 4th: location immunity (assuming you’re in a “safe” area, you turn off your danger radar and fall into one of the first three traps). NEVER drop your guard, and NEVER let anyone get near you (in a vulnerable location) or isolate you – no matter how friendly he/she appears. A GLIMPSE OF A PREDATOR'S MIND Most victims simply didn’t expect the depravity of a psychopath’s mind. Your new attitude starts with a glimpse of that depravity: In November 1966, the “Zodiac Killer” wrote a rambling, taunting letter to the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper in California – and gave us a chilling look into a human monster’s mind. He gloated over his recent murder of “Miss bates” – bragging that she was stupid and sheepish – victimizing her once again. But he “had a ball” that day. While Miss Bates was studying in a library, he disabled her car’s motor (cars didn’t have hood-locks back then). Then he entered the library and waited for her to leave, following her out after a few minutes, figuring her car’s battery would be dead by then. He offered to help and she was “very willing to talk” to him (no cell phones back then to call for help). He told her his car was nearby and offered her “a lift home.” When he walked her away from the library to a secluded spot, he told her that “it was about time” for her to die, put a “hand over her mouth” and, in a frenzy, nearly decapitated her with a small knife. He's never been caught - he may be incapacitated, dead, or in prison for another crime. Serial killers rarely forever quench their thirst for a God-like power of life-and-death over a helpless victim. If Miss Bates had had the chance to read this outdoor safety page, she’d have suspected that a “friendly predator” was trying to isolate his prey, and would’ve stayed in her locked car. Today, a flattened tire is the common ploy. Two Kinds of Predators Here's a handy rule-of-thumb: a violent criminal is either a Force Predator or a Friendly Predator. You’ll instantly know a force predator – he’ll suddenly attack you from the open or from ambush, though he might first play cat-and-mouse while deciding whether or not to attack you. However, a friendly predator will first try to get near you to isolate and trap you, and then attack you. Many victims, afraid to appear rude, ignored their gut feelings and were trusting, easy, naïve prey for a friendly predator. Never forget that and you’ll never fall for a stranger’s lure. It’s impossible to fully anticipate the panicky chaos of a sudden threat forcing you to make split-second life-and-death decisions. Nonetheless, understanding your victims options now will help your intuition choose an option then. Crime-safety-security/ Michael Edward Loftus Sr From GB: Wear a G|B DEFENDER and scream loudly to let the possible perpetrator know you are “armed.”