“Twenty five years ago I was walking to my car in an underground parking garage when a man grabbed me from behind and put an ice pick to my throat. I was raped in the car, but I managed to escape afterwards. Thank you for making and sharing this video because you are teaching others basic safety skills so they don’t have to go through what I did. I was twenty five years old, married and the mother of a two year old when this happened to me.” –The Victim
The stories keep coming in and people are confiding in Pretty Loaded about their personal encounters which made them wish they had received safety training before their event. Most of the stories start with one of these themes: “I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings” or “I had this gut feeling that there was something wrong with the person, but he was good looking and seemed really nice.”
There are many different tactics to discuss about the why, how and what to do with either of those two situations, but we’ll discuss a couple tactics here for dealing with the unfortunate surprise of being targeted by a predator. “When you least expect it, you’re elected” is a line to pay attention to. Predators don’t call ahead to make appointments, but they do have some signals they give that you can pick up on to give yourself an advantage.
Cell phones are one of the biggest distractions and it is so easy for someone to ambush you when you are not paying attention. Just look around the next time you’re in public and you’ll be amazed.
The targeting procedure used by predators in selecting their victims usually follows these steps:
First, they target you. Do you look distracted and weak? Are you a slow walker with little or no eye contact?
Second, the attacker will try to get into position so he or she can get close to you. Be aware of your personal space, especially once someone is within 30-50 feet of you. If you’re going to avoid the attack or prepare to defend yourself, you need time. As our friend and trainer Henk Iverson (defense trainer for civilian and military elite) says: “The thing that matters the most in a fight is time.”
Third, a question will be asked by the predator to further disrupt you and check your compliance. An example of a question is, “Do you know where the closest post office is located?” It seems like an innocent question, right?
The final action of the predator is to make the decision to attack or not based on how they process the signs and signals you have given them. How are you hoping a predator processes your signs and signals?
So, what do you do if you’re approached by a stranger? If a stranger is coming at you then put both hands out in front of you because it’s the universal sign for STOP and there’s no translation necessary. An appropriate response would be “I’m sorry sir, I can’t help you!”, even before they finish their question. It’s polite, strong, and responds to about every question they could ask you. Give your “command response” while creating distance from this person (remember, time is your friend). Your response and body language to move, signals that you are aware and you are a fighter. Remember, predators want a weak and easy target.
Lastly, do not worry about offending the feelings of a stranger. After all, you were polite and closed the conversation at the same time.
These are just a few tips that you can start using today. As the research shows and our feedback from all over the world is confirming, even if one survives a violent encounter, there are significant emotional scars that remain. It’s better to have the skills and not need them than need the skills and not have them!
Consider your habits and actions. How do you respond to strangers? Are you too trusting or can you unleash your inner BADASS without fear of offending someone in case your life DOES depend upon how you respond?
Awareness of some key techniques can have a profound effect on your personal safety. These are all skills that can be learned, practiced and implemented to help prevent an attack.
If you haven’t seen the video please go here and share with all your friends and loved ones.
Be Safe. Be Empowered. And Be Loaded with Safety Skills!
Beth is the founder of Pretty Loaded. On a mission to install strength, awareness, and confidence, Beth began her journey as an educator and speaker after a close encounter with a would-be predator. She has trained thousands of people in person, and through her online training around the world. Beth loves spending her time reading, running, cooking, and painting. She is married and has four wonderful young girls, organic chickens, and lives on an organic produce farm and vineyard.