November 22 is a day remembered by most Americans. As you all know, this year it is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. It is also a sad day for another anniversary remembered by many, the 10th anniversary of the day Dru Sjodin was taken from a Grand Forks mall parking lot, in the middle of the afternoon, and tragically killed by a high risk sex offender who had been out of jail since May of that year after serving a 25 year prison sentence. Here are more details from a recent interview with Dru’s mother.
Dru’s life has become an inspiration and through her death more awareness has been raised about violent crimes against women. The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public website was implemented and it allows the public to know the whereabouts of registered sex offenders regardless of state boundaries. Another option is the North Dakota attorney general’s page, see this link. Check out your zip code, I think you’ll be amazed.
Another lesser known association with Dru’s tragedy is this story: Angela Champagne-From was living in Minnesota and followed Dru’s case with interest as did so many. However, unlike most of the people who watched it on the news, she took the strong impact it had on her and was inspired by Dru’s life and determined to be ready to protect herself if she were ever attacked. As fate would have it, last year Champagne-From fought off an attacker although she received near fatal stab wounds herself. A former offender himself, her testimony sent him to prison for 20 years. See her Facebook page, “Fight Like a Girl”.
We have to be sure that innocent victims of attacks all over the world don’t die (physically or psychologically) in vain by removing the “fluffy white blanket of denial”(Lt Col Dave Grossman’s phrase) by gaining the mindset and skills necessary to stop attackers and reduce this violence. Predators fear failure, and just by fighting back, you dramatically increase your odds of prevailing.
Empower yourself by registering for a class. Don’t be a victim. Be Loaded!
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.