For years now, it seems like the number of stories we hear about women disappearing without a trace has been increasing.
I remember when a young lady that I went to school with vanished while on vacation with her family.
It was a huge story that continues to be a mystery 20 years after the incident.
More recently the stories have increased at an alarming rate within the states, and specifically Virginia.
And now, this foolishness has made its way to the 804 area.
Over the last week or so, there have been at least 5 separate instances where young women in the area have reported feeling like they were being followed by 2 men.
This was a local story from last week.
Since then, I’ve seen a few more stories/videos on social media from women in the area who believe they were being targeted.
Add to that, I personally know another young woman who believes she was followed by 2 men…and then encountered those same 2 men again.
I don’t claim to be an expert on the topic, but here are a few thoughts I have:
Please be vigilant when it comes to your safety and the safety of your loved ones.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Be overly cautious.
Don’t walk around in parking areas focused on texting or looking down.
Mace, safety alarms, keys, weapon of choice…whatever keeps you safe.
Notice who is around…on purpose.
If you are in a store and fear someone is following you, go to someone who works there.
Call the non-emergency police phone number.
Don’t worry about looking paranoid to others when you feel your safety is at risk.
…especially when you are out alone.
The holiday season is around the corner, and some folks like to go out shopping by themselves.
Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, pay attention.
Bad things happen daily. We know this. And of course, no one wants to live in fear.
But there is a difference between “living in fear” and “using necessary caution” in my opinion.
And to the fellas: This will be obvious to some but considered too much by others.
Be aware when you are in a parking lot (or anywhere really) and walking closely behind a woman that you don’t know; especially when she is alone.
Even the most innocent, non-threatening looking male can make someone uncomfortable. She may have already noticed you’re there and may be wondering your intentions.
Make it easier on everyone. Slow down, take another route, allow for some space between the two of you.
Too much? Maybe.
Now consider the same situation with the woman being your family (wife, mother, sister, daughter, cousin, aunt) and the other person, a stranger.
Still too much? Not really.
Be safe, y’all.