Why did you go alone?

This morning on my television set, I again got to witness yet another young murdered woman’s body being discovered. Her grandmother lives in the same small town I live in a few hours from Los Angeles, where this young woman was murdered and dumped.

Her father, who I saw on tv the other day is about my age, and now he gets to fly to LA to claim the body.

Why is it that so many young women are so fucking naive about the dangerous world in which we live? Why in the name of God would this particular woman go ALONE to meet this freak who told her he would take her picture which might possibly get her into modelling and acting? Why didn’t she take a friend with her?

Another young woman who he pulled this scam on took her boyfriend who watched from a distance in his car and ran to her aid when this freak got aggressive with her.

I understand that you can’t go through life always afraid, but it seems to me that many women (of all ages actually) live in a complete fucking fantasy world about their safety.

Do they understand that EVERY day rapists are released from a prisons all across the US? Do they understand that these guys don’t usually get better. Do they understand that they look for women who are alone and vulnerable?

I recently spoke to a woman on the phone for business from the LA area and she told me her husband transports prisoners around the LA area and he won’t let her drive alone any where.
She said he hears about and deals with the FREAKS in our society and he knows what they are capable of.

I am not talking about women who are attacked when they really were not in a dangerous place or situation. I’m talking about women who do things like this young woman did, or drive around alone with their doors unlocked, or who choose to drink to excess with no friends around to help them if there is some asshole who might hurt them.

I have a 17 year old daughter and if I start thinking too much, I will end up like the guy who won’t let his wife drive anywhere alone. But she has a cell phone and pepper spray in her car and I always tell her to lock her doors when she is driving.

When I walk down the street every night to my car, even as a man, I listen to sounds and I am aware of my surroundings in case someone comes up behind to try and hit me in order to rob me.

I know many women are very careful. I have a female friend who lives in a rural area with her husband who told me one night some guy followed her down the dirt road that leads to their house and when she got out to open their gate, he pulled up and got out “to ask directions” (well off the main road)

She carries a gun in her purse and she pulled it out and he was gone. She understands.

It is the ones who aren’t aware of how dangerous it is that baffle me. The ones who would go meet a “photographer” alone. I am sitting in my office alone typing this at 8:27 pm. If I was a woman, I wouldn’t be in here alone, unless I had a gun with me for protection like my friend had.

Women…Please…I don’t care if i sound sexist or condescending… PLEASE BE CAREFUL

I’m pretty sure the OP is referring to this story in the LA Times.
Registration required for link.

A sad story indeed. You’d think a girl who looks like a model, as this one did, would be especially cognizant of the dangers of creepy guys, but apparently not.

Very sad- I’ve seen TV shows on this, where they lure an intelligent adult woman into a potentially dangerous situation just the same as they’ve shown they can do to children. It’s very scary that people can have such a terrible lack of judgement.

Man, I was hoping for a Euchre rant with a thread title like this…

Young women here on campus have the safety thing pounded into their heads because the university is paranoid about being held liable. Consequently, a woman wanting accompaniment late at night can actually call a sponsored group of people who are there for the purpose of walking people home on campus. And there’s little emergency boxes all over campus in case she doesn’t take the warnings to heed. And a cop drives by any spot on campus approximately every 3 minutes. Even with all that protection, girls around here are still pretty good about always walking late at night either with a man or in groups. You’d think the danger was common knowledge. And if it’s common knowledge here in tame peaceful Missouri, I can’t believe anybody would make a decision to ignore the threat in Los-frickin’-Angeles.

I certainly don’t like to go anywhere alone, even though I live in a relatively low-crime area of the country.

I used to live in a major city. Though I lived in one of the “nice” neighborhoods, I was terrified to go anywhere by myself. Even a trip to the grocery store alone seemed daunting. I used to at least take my dog with me when driving, because she barks like crazy if anyone approaches the car.

My husband has taught me a few self-defense moves, and I’m planning on taking a martial arts course soon, to give myself more confidence.

Being a woman can be very scary sometimes. Men don’t usually have to fear being attacked and raped as women do. I’ve often wondered if there’s a sense of security that goes along with being a male, which women can never feel.

Sort of random question here, but Lissa, you made me think of this.

I wonder if there’s a sense of helplessness that women feel when just thinking about being mugged/what have you.

When I’m daydreaming and imagine being mugged or accosted in some manner, I imagine that somehow, if I couldn’t talk my way out of it, I’d be able to physically protect myself. I’m not a particularly strong person, but I still have that sense of confidence in my ability to protect myself. I imagine (gross generalization here) that many if not most men feel the same way; they’ve got the superhero/Schwartzeneger fantasy going on.

Do women also have that, or do you just imagine being victimized without being able to help yourself? I’m not talking about using self-defense training, as I have none, but just being able to throw a few punches or kicks at the right spots and make an escape.

Are there psychological reasons why women may lack that “sense of security” that you mention? 'cause I know in reality I’m probably not much better equiped to deal with a dire situation than an average woman.

I don’t have any sense of helplessness. I don’t fear going places or being by myself. I never imagine being victimized and just taking it. If I were going to be mugged, yeah, I’d just give up the money. OTOH, if I were to be physically assaulted/raped, I’d fight back. Maybe I wouldn’t win, but I wouldn’t just give up.

I think the main reason I don’t have a fear of being assaulted is because I was abused my by mother. One day I finally hit her back. She never touched me again. An ex-boyfriend threw across the room a few times one night. I got up and hit him so hard my hand broke. Since then the thought of being physically hurt just doesn’t scare me anymore.

I’ve read a few places that a criminal will pick a victim by the way they carry themselves, that if you walk purposefully, and don’t act scared, they will pick someone who looks “easier.” I’ve always done that. I use my head, and try not to put myself in dangerous situations. I listen to my gut, and never wear high heels.

Maybe I’m stupid and naive, and should be scared, but I’m not.

I think it’s that we women are more at risk for different kinds of crime than men. Whereas men are targets for mugging, women are also targets for rape. A mugging is much easier to deal with, psychologically. A mugger is just interested in your money, whereas a rapist wants you to feel pain and terror.

It’s not necessarily a concern for not being able to defend ourselves, but, I think, a fear of the very trauma that accompanies being attacked. I’m sure a lot of women could fight off a man, but would be scarred by the trauma of being a victim of attempted rape. There’s something very powerful in the idea of being stalked by a sexual predator, and then grabbed when you least suspect it.

I guess I personally do have a fear of being helpless, if the attacker is armed, or if there are multiple attackers. I’m a small person, and not very strong. There’s also the question of not knowing how I would react. I can take a self-defense course, but if faced with an actual attack, would panic and fear make me freeze? Perhaps it’s more of a fear of the unknown.

Personally, I don’t feel ‘secure’ about being male. When I’m by myself in a dangerous neighborhood, I feel tense and nervous.

pepper spray

Why would any woman fall for such an obvious scam???

I mean, does this sound remotely plausible to anyone? “Hey, let me take yer picture. I can get you into the movies!” 2 million women out there paying for head shots and some mope photoghrapher (without a studio of his own, mind you) can open doors for you?

Let’s establish some basic rules of common sense to make it a little tougher for the next psycho serial killer.

Professional photographers are looking to get paid. Most are not that interested in launching the career of an unknown. Those that are, and can help, will have a studio. Or at the very least, an established office. They will NOT ask you meet them in a remote location alone. This, by itself, should set off alarms in your head.

That being said, I hope they catch this guy and I hope he gets the lethal injection.

I agree that the woman in the OP was stupid, and tragically she’s paid for that stupidity more than anyone should ever have to.
Having said that, though, things like this

and this

always make me very sad. The OP asks “why aren’t women mor careful”. But “women” as a group are careful. More than that, “women” as a group are scared

More than that, “women” as a group are more scared than they have to be because people are constantly telling them how scared they should be

Women are always, always, always being told that we have to be careful, not go around by ourselves, not do all sorts of things that men take for granted that they can do. Because we’re ‘at risk’

Except that we’re not, actually, at risk. The population most at risk are men. Twice as much at risk in my country … three times as much in the US.

And, of course, we’re generally more at risk of murder from our boyfriend/husband/partner than a random psycho.

If you take a good hard look at the probabilities, you reduce your chances of dying more by never driving on the freeway than by never walking home alone at night.

I would never go with a strange man to an unknown location for a “screen test” or whatever other scam the guy was pulling. But I’m still going to walk home from work after dark whenever I want to - because I refuse to live in a cage.

Exactly what Aspidistra said. I worry more for my teenage sons when they are out than my daughter with her friends, because MALES are more likely to be involved in violent conflicts than females. And although I live in an area of high drug use/trade, I feel NO fear walking in my streets after dark. The only thing I am likely to encounter is one of the homeless folk hassling me for a couple of bucks.

Sure, I’m not naive enough to put myself into situations that might be potentially dangerous, but nor do I avoid LIFE because I am too scared to step outside my door. I don’t carry a knife or a gun or even mace/capsicum spray, and I have never been hassled. And I suspect that I am like most women, indeed most PEOPLE. The myths and the hype promulgated by the media about personal safety are just that…myths and hype. And if you choose to heed such unnecessary messages, then you deserve the life of agraphobia and paranoia that awaits you.


It’s true women are more likely to be subject to physical assault (with the intent to rape). But I’ll have to agree that men are much more likely to be on the receiving end of violence, just because of statistics.

I’ll also wholeheartedly agree with the people that say that attitude is what makes the difference. I grew up in downtown Boston (not the worst of crime cities, but it is still a city - my mom was once mugged a couple blocks from my house). My parents, especially my mother, always told me to keep my head up and look purposeful, like I was aware of my surroundings and knew what I was doing. If you walk out of your house looking every which way for an attacker, jumping at every sound and all in all looking very frightened and weak, then of course you’re going to be much more of a target than the people who look confident.

People who look frightened look like they can’t take care of themselves, and an attacker doesn’t really want you fighting and clawing his eyes out, he wants easy power.

I’m not frightened to drive to the food store or anywhere (unless traffic’s horrible then I might be afraid of an accident or something). If I let fear run my life, what kind of life would that be? When I served tables (in St Louis), I’d get off shift at 1:30am, then walk home the two blocks at night. Sometimes there were unsavory characters out, but you avoid them, and if anyone sketchy talks to you, asking for money or looking for something, you just ignore them and keep walking. Now sure, sometimes these people could get violent, but I’ve never had that happen, in more than four months of working five night shifts a week.

I don’t like to walk alone at night, but many times I have to do that. I live off campus (in the other side of the street, literally), so the escort system will at most drop me one side of the street. But calling and waiting for the university escort often implies being alone in a dark place on campus for unknown minutes. I prefer to just walk home, going by the most lighted route, and walking briskly.

I understand criminals are released every day, and every day people become criminals. Still, I don’t think that is reason enough to forfeit my outings because of lack of a male escort.

That seems a little bit OTT. I can’t imagine what it would be like to never be able to go anywhere alone, drive in the car alone, or just take a trip by myself to visit a friend. It’s one thing to be cautious, and another thing entirely to be so paranoid of bad things that you totally restrict a person’s independence.

Some women probably do, and there are some of us who don’t. Then again, it was either bravery or insanity that made me bite a mugger to get him away from me.

Personally I think the constant barrage of telling women how at risk they are for being the victims of cirme is counterproductive because it causes them to walk around looking scared, helpless and like they would be an easy target. Men, as was noted above, are three times as likely to be the victim of a violent crime in the U.S. than women are, and there’s a lot to be said for state of mind to keep oneself out of harm’s way.

Falling for obvious scams like ‘Baby, I can make you famous.’ is something that women can avoid doing in order to keep themselves away from those with criminal intent, but so is being aware, alert, assertive, and projecting the image that you’re in control of yourself while you’re out. Being afraid to leave the house without a man or a group of escorts strikes me as pretty sad because I can’t imagine constantly living in fear.

Even before I was licensed to carry concealed getting attacked wasn’t something I worried about, and so carrying a gun isn’t something I did to eliminate fear. It was something I did to give myself another means besides my teeth, fists and feet to defend myself. Living in paranoid fear of attacks so much that you don’t do the things you want to do reminds me of living in a self-imposed prison. I couldn’t do that, and I’d take serious issue with any man (boyfriend, father, husband) who told me I should live that way.

I can’t imagine being so scared that you can’t go anywhere alone, but I do understand feeling a bit nervous when you do go out alone, especially at night. Well, mostly at night.

My mother tried to instill some common sense in me from an early age. Walking to our carafter Christmas shopping she’d say “Be good in the parking lot. Women who are distracted by naughty children get robbed.” (Maybe she just wanted us to be good, but being distracted in a dark parking lot at Christmastime IS a good way to get robbed.)

When driving around she’d always remind us to lock our doors, and she’d check them when we drove past anyone standing on the median of the street.

When I was old enough to stay home alone I was taught to lock the doors. When I was old enough to answer the phone I was taught not to give dangerous information out (like that I was alone, or my name or ss# or other info to people who might not have any business knowing it.)

When I started going out with my friends for the first time, she’d always tell me not to drink anything I didn’t open/pour myself, and not to let my drink out of my sight. I knew a man (a friend of my grandmother’s) who was robbed and left to die when his drink was spiked at a restaurant while he was in the bathroom.

She also reminded me all the time to have my keys ready before I got to my car or to the house.

When I went to France, my mom and my grandmother gave me a bag that goes inside my shirt for my money and my passport, and they reminded me not to flash or count money in public.

All of these things are more are common sense things that people tend to forget. All of my girlfriends growing up had the same stuff drilled into them by their parents, and when I moved out to the 'burbs in highschool, I was stunned by my friend who didn’t seem to ever consider any of these things. She’d do stupid stuff like leave her purse on the seat of an unlocked car. I was very worried about her when she went off to college, but she’s been ok so far.

I still feel nervous when I am home alone at night. It’s frightening to think I might wake up to find someone on me. What could I possibly do at that point? I’m not strong, and I might even be afraid to fight at all for fear he’d hurt my baby. I feel much more helpless when I am pregnant.

I also worry sometimes about how I can protect my kids if there is an intruder. This was worse when my kids were in seperate rooms with the stairs in between. What if I went to get the baby and then the intruder came upstairs between me and the other two?

The suspect for the murder is currently in custody.

This is my fear. More than being concerned for my own safety when we’re out and about or home alone, I think about how I could keep my daughter (age 6) safe. If I woke up and someone was in the house (luckily her bedroom is accessible only through mine, unless you count the windows) I worry about how I could most effectively get the intruder out or incapacitated so that I would be certain she wouldn’t be harmed. If I knew that the only thing that the person wanted was either to rob us/rape me, I hate to say it, but I’d be more inclined to let it happen so that they would leave quicker. Also of concern are escape routes in the house if someone were to break in. Especially if I happen to be downstairs and she upstairs asleep.

It’s hard to teach her to run away from me if we are attacked in a parking lot or something because her first instinct when she’s afraid is to come to me, but my thought is to get her as far away as possible from harm. Sometimes I wonder if I should put my cellphone in her coat when we’re out so if I was forced to part from her, she would easily be able to call her father/grandmother/911.

But normally, fear of being mugged or attacked doesn’t usually weigh heavily on my mind during the course of running errands or other things. I think the things Cessandra listed above are the things I do and will teach my daughter to do to minimize her risk of being victimized, but I value my independence too highly to restrict my activities because of the probably small possibility that I will be attacked.

Ok this is what I don’t understand. Why don’t you go to the animal shelter and “rescue” 2 or 3 dogs who bark when anyone knocks on the door? This is very simple. It would alert you and also scare off most intruders AND keep your house from being broken into when you were away.

Wouldn’t you feel safer?