The Well-Armed Woman:
Tips to Avoid Getting Abducted
October 20, 2021 | View PDF
On a Sunday in late March 1970, 22-year-old Kathleen Johns packed her infant daughter into a station wagon and left San Bernardino, California to visit her sick mother.
Kathleen was also seven months pregnant with the child of her long-time boyfriend. As she travelled on Highway 132 near Modesto, another vehicle pulled alongside the station wagon and the driver appeared to signal that Kathleen should pull over.
On the side of the road, the driver explained that the back wheel of Kathleen’s station wagon was loose, but he promised to fix the problem. Instead, unbeknownst to her, he loosened the lug nuts and the wheel fell off as Kathleen tried to drive away. The man then offered to drive Kathleen to a gas station, but she climbed into his car and discovered he appeared to have other plans.
She claimed he also made veiled threats to harm her child. Eventually, Kathleen grabbed her daughter and jumped from the car. A passing driver took Kathleen to a nearby police station where she identified the stranger from a police sketch of the Zodiac Killer.
Kathleen was lucky. Unfortunately, there are many people who are not so lucky. According to the National Crime Information Center, there were 543,000 people who were reported missing in 2020. Not all of these cases were abductions, but abductions still represented a significant portion of the cases. The majority of these missing people were females under the age of 21.
Fortunately, there are many strategies you can use to reduce your chances of being abducted. Here are just a few tips to keep yourself protected:
Trust your gut. If something feels suspicious, it probably is. Don’t be complacent. No one thinks they could ever be a victim until they become one. Don’t get lost in your daily routines and ignore your surroundings. Use situational awareness at all times, especially in public places. The three most common places that abductions occur are grocery store parking lots, office parking lots/garages, and public restrooms.
Stay off of your phone while in public. Phones impair your ability to pay attention to your surroundings and often can place a target on your back.
Walk with a purpose and look confident. Attackers don’t want to attack someone who they think might put up a fight.
Be wary of vans, especially ones parked in odd places or ones parked by your car. Don’t pull over on the side of the road if someone is flagging you down. If you feel like there is a valid reason someone is trying to get your attention and you feel like you need to stop, go to a highly populated area to do so and be very cautious.
There are many other things you can do to avoid becoming a victim. At our monthly meeting this weekend we will be discussing some of these things as well as discussing real-life examples of crimes and what we can learn from them. Please join us for The Well Armed Women (TWAW) Sterling chapter meeting on October 16th from 9 am to 11 am at Logan County Shooting Sports complex, 12515 Highway 61/2nd Amendment Way off Highway 61 Sterling, CO.
TWAW Shooting Chapters exists to educate and empower women in a safe and non-threatening environment for their effective and responsible self-defense with a firearm. Prospective members are welcome to attend their first meeting before joining. If you would like to become a member, you can join online at www.twawshootingchapters.org. or contact Jennifer Everhart at [email protected] or visit TWAW Shooting Chapters, Inc. website at www.twawshootingchapters.org.
You can also like us on Facebook @twawsterlingcolorado or stop by Boondocks Army Surplus at 324 N 4th Street in Sterling and pick up a flyer.