Criminals are everywhere and crime is sooooo random these days. We are all at risk of being victimized. However, seniors are perceived to be weak and vulnerable. While these tips are universal, it is ever so important that seniors take extra precautions because the bad guys think they are easier targets. You can prove them WRONG by refusing to be a victim, being able, and prepared to defend yourself; as well as being cautious and avoiding sticky situations.
Sexual Assault – you are never too old
1. Use initials instead of first names on mail boxes and phone listings.
2. Avoid remaining alone in isolated areas like laundry rooms and parking garages.
3. Never admit on the telephone or at the door that you are alone.
4. Avoid accepting rides from someone you have just met.
5. If assaulted, remember that your goal is to incapacitate the attacker long enough to run to safety and get help.
6. If sexually assaulted, call police immediately. Do not bathe or change clothes because you may destroy evidence.
Robbery – you are never too poor
1. Avoid carrying valuable items or large amounts of money.
2. Always think ahead. For example, when traveling at night, have your house and car keys in your hand ready to use.
3. If you are confronted give the robber the “things”.
4. If you resist, there is a greater chance that you may be hurt unless you are prepared AND equipped to incapacitate the robber long enough to run to safety and get help.
ATMs – you are rolling in the ’dough’ or so they think
1. Always be watchful of any suspicious people around you when using an automatic bank teller (ATM),
2. The chances of being robbed at night are much greater, especially if you are alone.
3. If someone is lurking by and watching in the area of an ATM machine, do not use it.
4. Leave the area and report the incident to the police immediately. You could save someone else from being a victim of crime.
5. Use ATMs located inside a business preferably banks, grocery stores, busy convenience stores, or department stores when possible.
6. Do not flash your cash. Count it when you get to a more secure location.
Street Safety – you are as safe as you want to be
1. Stay in well lit, busy areas. Avoid walking alone and in known trouble spots.
2. Hold your purse close to your body rather than by the handles.
3. Do not wrap purse straps around your wrist; you can get hurt in a struggle.
4. Carry only essentials in your purse or wallet, not everything you have.
5. Avoid using shortcuts through dark alleys, fields, or vacant lots. Walk facing traffic.
6. If you think you’re being followed, cross the street and change directions a few times. Go quickly to a well-lit place with lots of people. Do not go home. You don’t want an attacker to know where you live.
Think about it….Police come after the crime has been committed. Witnesses may not (probably won’t) help. Most criminals don’t have a weapon. Most crimes are stopped when the intended victim fought back. Your safety is up to YOU. Take charge of it before the criminal takes charge of you.
BE AWARE…BE PREPARED…BE SAFER
Vanessa Davis, MBA
Founder – DivaDefender