One thing I’ve seen detailed alot when it comes to abductions; parking lots are a frequent hunting-ground for predators. A frequent MO for these predators is to stalk women while going to their cars. The attention is on the keys and the door lock or items from a store and attention is averted from one’s surroundings. This is when and where predators like to strike. There are two easy things we can do and condition ourselves to habituate these behaviors.
Make a point to be obvious about simply looking around and taking note of the people that are around you as you walk back to your car. The predators will often times choose not to follow you if you make visual contact/notice of them. They rely upon the element of surprise and if you take it from them, they will most likely move on to easier prey. Especially stop at the back or front of your car; depending upon how it’s parked, and take a purposeful scan of your surroundings and the people in your area. If you notice someone has gotten much closer to you than they had previously been in an out-of-the-ordinary way, keep moving and head back toward the store like you forgot something keeping cars or other barriers between you and the person that seems potentially stalking.
After having performed a good scan at your car, always be prepared and have your key in hand and ready to go while you’re making that scan at your car, so you’re not fumbling and otherwise distracted and taking a long time to enter your car. Make yourself get in the habit of getting in quickly and purposefully and IMMEDIATELY hitting the door lock button locking yourself in! It is at the point of your car door when predators will make their move and rush you, even going so far as to open the door you’ve just closed and force their way into the car with you.
Potentially terrible things can easily be avoided with simple behavioral habits that thwart the popular/common predator opportunities and methods.
And this will help us to avoid having to brandish our CCW and help avoid getting into such a situation in the first place…
God Bless and be safe! You can do alot for yourself in avoiding bad situations AND armed confrontations with just some simple steps…
All good advice.
Additional thoughts: avoid walking in the row directly to your car, rather walk along the row of cars just opposite your car then step between the cars to yours.
Also I see moms bent over inside their car bucking their kiddo into the car seat. This is a very vulnerable position. I don’t know the best alternative unless it’s pop the kid in the trunk, drive to a safe location then proceed with the car seat.
Assailants always look for easy target and the weakest person they can find at the certain time.
If you are looking around every few seconds, paying attention and showing this to other - you are not the target. There are always weaker one around.
Simple touching your hip or appendix at belt level can show the person who observes you that you may carry. Nobody else will see this but that’s the signal you want to send.
Bucking the kid into the seat should be done after you wait 5 - 10 seconds watching your surroundings.
Think like the predator and you will know what NOT to do to be his victim.
Unfortunately it’s not so easy as writing about it… but after spending some time training this behavior, you will see how easy it can be.
Agree 100 percent with all previous posts. Keep your head on a swivel. Walk straight to your car and have your keys ready. Situational awareness is key. Don’t be distracted by your cell phone. Lock your doors as soon as you enter your vehicle. I wake up at 4:00 am to go to work. It’s still mighty dark outside. I step outside my home and I look around and get into my vehicle quickly and lock the doors.
I have a key fob for a newer car. I try to keep it on my body, tucked in waistband or wherever. No need to fumble for keys. Walk confidently, eyes up and attentive. It might fake out the bad guy. I also now look/glance inside cars parked next to me to see if someone is inside. Just because. And do a body scan to check what my gut might be telling me. Sometimes things are really ok. Sometimes better to be safe than sorry.
One more thing, watch vehicles driving towards you. Try not to park your vehicle where you can be trapped by another vehicle. ( Given… This is a hard thing to do sometimes)
Lock your cars and do not leave the windows down on a hot day. I was sitting in my vehicle after shopping at a local grocery store and observed 2 young men rather scruffily dressed (no ethnicity given) were watching people coming and going from their vehicles. A person left their car to go into the store and one would go up to the car and see if it was locked, I observed one pull a door handle. After I was sure what they were doing I called 911 and told them what I had seen and requested a squad car do a drive thru, I just told dispatch I was a concerned citizen and hung up and waited 5 minutes and when I saw the squad car enter the lot I drove home.
I would add that everyone should carry pepper spray and a light with them. I personally carry pepper spray and both a tactical light and a light on my key chain. In addition to being aware of your surroundings and prepared to quickly enter and leave in your car, a flash light and good loud verbal commands can be a good deterrent to having someone approach to closely. The pepper spray can also buy you some time to escape if the light and verbal commands don’t deter them. Here is a light option for less than $30.
And please: DON’T be looking at your phone when you’re walking! I saw a lady walk right into a sign and give herself a black eye.
The only thing lacking was a “Rob me, I’m not paying attention” T shirt.
If it’s dark out and I light my flashlight, doesn’t it give the bad guy a focus point as to where I am? Easier to aim at me. That’s my thought. Please enlighten me!
Very rarely are we in a place that is totally dark, especially in places where we are most likely to be a victim of violence. Areas we go may be low light, but they don’t tend to be no light areas. Grocery stores, convience stores, strip malls, business all have to have some kind of lighting. So you’re not likely to give up any advantage by using a flashlight. Plus criminals also tend to target victims they can quickly and easily attack and get away without drawing any unwanted attention. Spotlighting them and shouting loudly to stay back tends to interfere with their OODA loop process.
Thanks Chad. I will keep that in mind. I don’t usually carry a flashlight but its a good idea.
Harder for a disabled or even partially handicapped person to follow some of this advice. Due to 2 fractured vertebrae it is difficult to impossible to enter the vehicle Expeditiously in my case and I see other older women with the same problem. Hence even more important to be aware of your surroundings before opening that car door.
yeah @Sheryl3 - you are right. I did not considered handicapped women with that post.
Self defense and everything what is attached to it for handicapped people → that’s the whole different story. A lot of behaviours used for self-defense cannot be used by handicapped person and I get it.
I’ve never been in such position and never trained anybody for this, so for me it is impossible to give any advice to handicapped person.
You want to get a good high quality flashlight. I have a Streamlight HL-X. Just watch the video below and you’ll understand. It doesn’t make you a target, it actually puts them at a disadvantage.
What type of crime are they committing? If it’s a mass shooting where they’re shooting indiscriminately sure the light makes you a target. But if they’re trying to prowl in the dark and victimize you, using the light to blind them puts them at a disadvantage. Because A. They can’t see behind the light, they can’t see if you’re with somebody, if you’re pointing a weapon at them, if you’re LEO. It also puts them on a spot light. So if anything is to happen you and witnesses now can identify clothing, what they were wearing, what’s in their hands, what do they look like?
If somebody is already planning on victimizing you why are you worried about giving up your location when they already know your location? It doesn’t make any sense.
Thanks Forensic_Wow!!! Funny, I came on here to post this and you beat me to it. Its such a good explanation and is in alignment with what you were telling me. Perfect answer…now I have to get one!
When walking at night, I use a flashlight. On one vacation, after several nights passing a restaurant that had a person trying to entice customers at its entrance, as I passed, he said I see you pass by every night with your flashlight. I replied, yes, that is the point, and kept right on walking by. I use it as I do my eyes, scan around every once in a while, close and distant. Also try not to stare directly at the light spot, use your peripheral vision, unless the light finds something you need to see.
Once you start carrying a flashlight, you discover how often it comes in handy. A small tactical light is easy to carry; I keep one in my pocket. I also have one in almost every room in my home and one in each vehicle.
I have a good quality tiny and very bright AAA flashlight on the key chains of all of our vehicles. It is the only way I can get my wife to carry a flashlight but even she admits they come in very handy at times.
It’s a lot… Not alot…
Simply avoid the public…
Simply avoid others…
I would suggest singing loudly, preferably a nasty song…not appropriate? Is getting mugged appropriate? Whatever it takes to be safe.