Am I secure?
True crime can be hard to hear about or think about. It can also be heartbreaking, gruesome, and incredibly important to our culture. Names like Ted Bundy and Ed Kemper have echoed through the decades because of the sheer horror of their crimes.
While learning about true crime can make us a little more paranoid, knowing the stories of victims and survivors can also help us to be more prudent and aware of our surroundings. You can never predict how or when something dangerous might happen. But there are things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a true crime.
Here are 10 tips we believe that every person, and especially every woman, should follow to prevent themselves from becoming true crime victims.
1. Communicate With Your Housemates. This can be a hard tip to follow if you live alone, but if you have housemates, make sure to let them know whenever your schedule will vary from your usual routine. If you decide to leave alone late at night, make sure your cell phone is charged and turned on, and text your housemate your location. This way, if something goes wrong, your housemate will have information to give the police, and they might find you much sooner.
2. Avoid Going Out to Bars and Clubs Alone. Sometimes when you’ve had a rough day, it’s nice to go out for a drink, and sometimes your friends aren’t available to go with you. If this is you, especially if you are a single woman, please try to avoid going out alone. Some of the most prolific kidnappings and attempted kidnappings in history have happened in bars and nightclubs. If you do decide to go out, make sure to text a friend and let them know your plans. Ask them to follow up with you later that night. Also, be aware of common drink orders that you can tell a bartender if you need help (The Angel Shot is a well-known one).
3. Lock Your Doors and Windows. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself and your family is to always lock your doors and windows, both at night and when you’re away from home. Even if it’s hot in your house, don’t keep windows open in your children’s rooms. Instead, try turning on a fan or turning up the air conditioning a little higher.
4. Arm Yourself. You don’t necessarily need to get a gun. But make sure that you are able to defend yourself if someone tries to attack you. Pepper spray, pepper gel, and handheld tasers are all good options for self-defense if you’re not comfortable with owning a firearm. If you do decide to purchase a weapon, make sure you get licensed appropriately and learn as much as you can about how to handle the weapon safely.
5. Get a Home Security System. If you’re worried about home intrusion, one of the best defenses you can have is a home security system. Make sure your security system has cameras, as this will help you to be able to identify intruders and provide relevant information to the police. Cove is great option for reliable, affordable home security.
6. Check Out Your Babysitters. When you hire someone to work in your home, whether they are a babysitter, a housing contractor, a roofer, or someone else, it’s worthwhile to check them out first. A good place to start is with the sex offender registry list in your area.
7. Believe Victims’ Stories. Sometimes it’s hard to believe what human beings are capable of doing to one another. But it takes a lot of courage for a victim to come forward about their experiences. The biggest thing you can do to prevent the same thing from happening to them or to you is to believe the victim. Don’t just brush it off.
8. It’s Okay to Call the Police. Sometimes, you might be on the fence about whether or not to call the police and report suspicious behavior in your neighborhood. And while it’s good to be cautious, it’s also important to call the authorities. They’ll be better equipped to handle dangerous situations than you are.
9. Turn on Your GPS Tracking. In today’s day and age, everyone has a cell phone. And our cell phones include GPS location tracking. Think about the “find my iPhone” feature on most Apple products. This feature enables you to find your phone using modern technology. Making sure your GPS tracking is turned on, and that at least one person you know has access to your tracking information, can keep you safe from dangerous situations.
10. Pull Over in Public Areas. Especially late at night, it can be difficult to identify the difference between a real police car and an imposter. Imposters can install lights on top of their cars easily. In most states, it is perfectly legal to continue driving to a public location before pulling over. When you do pull over, let the officer know that you did not feel comfortable pulling over in a secluded area. Police officers will understand this concern and should not bother you about it.
We hope these ten tips are helpful for you. It’s not necessary to live your life in fear, but sometimes, a little bit of extra caution can go a very long way. So lock your doors, avoid going out alone, and make sure you get that home security system! Take Cove’s home security quiz at covesmart.com/quiz to learn more about what Cove can do for your home.
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