Women, Refuse to be a Victim

It dawned on me earlier this week that I always lock my car doors.

I didn't used to. In fact, twenty years ago, I didn't even lock my car doors when I parked the car and went grocery shopping.

Whether home or out, I always lock the house, too. But, when I was a kid I doubt anyone in our family could have even found a key to our house.

And I think I've developed some street sense over the years, having lived in Miami, New York and Detroit. Street sense in knowing where to go and where not to, sensing who to trust and who not to trust, where to carry my valuables when traveling.

Criminals like easy targets, and I try not to be an easy target. Being six feet tall, I probably have an advantage over some women, who may be target simply because of their small size, or vulnerable looks.

Now, I can offer you some professional help!

On Saturday, January 31st, I'll be sponsoring a "Refuse to be a Victim" program at the Westfield YMCA from 1 to 4 p.m. There is a small charge, $10, for registration. (The fee pays for the speaker and light refreshments, with remaining funds going to the Y as a donation.)

I urge you to take advantage of the program. It's the first time it's been offered in Massachusetts.

You'll learn about home, phone, automobile and physical security. You'll also get to look at some personal protection devices, and learn the psychology of criminal predators.

We'll also have some information on self-defense physical training. And, the pros and cons of firearms--use, storage and legal issues.

Experts agree that the single most important step toward ensuring your personal safety is making the conscious decision to refuse to be a victim. Criminals, as I said, prefer easy targets. And you can prevent attack if you just take a few steps to take yourself difficult to prey on.

The seminar is taught by a woman, taught by an expert from the NRA. But, we won't be trying to sell you a gun, or lobby any issues. We'll just be talking about various alternatives you can use to protect yourself.

Just give me a call (568-8991) and tell me how many reservations you'll need. Leave your name, and phone number, please. Or, send your check for $10 to my office (Box 1248, Westfield) to pre-register.

Think you don't need it? Read this. Three quarters of all women over 12 today will be victimized sometime in their lives. A third of them will be violently raped, robbed or assaulted.

We want you to be one of the women who are not assaulted. At home, at work, in your car.

We want you to start thinking about when to fill the car with gas, what bushes to plant under your windows, messages for your answer machine. And that's just for starters.

Please join us the last Saturday of January, 1 to 4, at the Westfield YMCA.

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