Friday, February 15, 2008

Staying Safe While Being A Good Witness

In just a split second, you could find yourself face to face with an attacker, but would you be able to get away and be able to help police track down the suspect?

Here is some advice that could help you survive a dangerous situation and help you to provide police with information to help track down your attacker.

Always be aware of your surroundings. I cannot stress this enough.

For you moms with small kids or babies, it is especially important for you to know what's going on around you at all times. Pay attention when strapping your child into their seat.

When leaving a store or mall, look into the parking lot before you step away from the building. What type of auto is parked next to your car? Are there other people around? There is safety in numbers!

If there is a van or other large vehicle parked next to your car, don't approach your vehicle from that side. Get in from the other side, even if you have to climb over the console.

Once in your car, lock your doors. I'm always amazed at how many people drive around with their doors unlocked.

Don't be talking on your cell phone when walking. Stop and look around to see what's going on if your phone rings while walking. Let the call go to voice mail, you can always call them back from the safety of your locked car.

If you are approached, do everything and anything to get away or bring attention to yourself. Scream as loud as you can.

Never, ever let yourself be taken to a second location. Odds are you will not return.

Assess the situation, is there an easy way to escape safely? Is the attacker armed?

If the attacker gets into into your car and forces you to drive them somewhere, drive erratically to call attention. Try to drive to a police station.

If they are forcing you to drive to an ATM, this may be a chance for you to escape. They are expecting you to get out and move around. Take off running.

If you have a child with you, comply with the attacker and make sure you let them you will do anything so that they do not hurt the child.

In these split second decision making moments, you’ve got to do anything you can do to make sure you protect you and your family.

Look for physical characteristics, such as height, weight, eye color and race or ethnicity.

If they are armed, try to identify the type of weapon. If it was a gun, was it black or silver?

If a knife was it a switchblade, kitchen knife, dagger?

You may not have much time in a very dangerous situation, but any information about the attacker that you are able to pass on to police could be critical to taking the creep off of the streets.

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