Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Be cautious, prepared to avoid attacks in parking lots

September 23, 2007

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A women walks alone through a parking lot on the KU campus. Three years ago, following a rash of sexual assaults, a new program Jaywalk, was created at KU providing nighttime escorts for coeds worried about their safety while navigating campus after dark. But despite those concerns the service has gone unused.

A women walks alone through a parking lot on the KU campus. Three years ago, following a rash of sexual assaults, a new program Jaywalk, was created at KU providing nighttime escorts for coeds worried about their safety while navigating campus after dark. But despite those concerns the service has gone unused.

The Douglas County District Attorney's office suggests the following tips for staying safe in parking lots:

¢ Don't approach your vehicle if a van or other large vehicle with tinted windows is parked next to it. Find a security guard to walk you to your car, or look for a nearby couple walking to their car and say something like, "That car/van wasn't there when I parked. Would you mind walking with me to make certain nobody bothers me when I try to get into my car?" Most people would be happy to lend a moment and ensure your safety.

¢ Walk with purpose. Multiple studies have shown that a quick, purposeful walk sends subconscious signals to predators that you are not an easy mark. They typically decide to wait for another victim.

¢ Keep one hand free at all times. This gives you the opportunity to attempt to fend-off a would-be attacker.

¢ Have your key ready to open the car door. Never stand next to your car searching through your purse. Predators watch for this type of distraction.

¢ Once in your car, lock the doors immediately. This is the time a bystander could open a car door and let himself in.

¢ Get moving. Don't sit inside of your vehicle adjusting the stereo, rummaging through shopping bags or your purse, or talking on your phone. Instead, drive to a well-lit area and stop the car (but leave it running) and then search for the item, make a phone call, etc.

¢ If you have an unlocking button or keyless entry system, make certain you unlock only the driver door. Unlocking all doors allows a predator to slide into your car from the passenger side.

¢ Make sure that your dome light is always functioning properly. As you unlock your vehicle at night, glance into the back seat and make sure an attacker has not gained access to your car.

¢ Never approach your vehicle if a single male is loitering anywhere near it.

¢ If you are attacked, fight back. Yell, scream, hit, kick and continue trying to squirm out of his grasp. The attacker is looking for an easy victim and probably will give up if you put up a fight.

Comments

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 8 months ago

Have coyotes and escalators now found their way into parking lots?!

warthog 9 years, 8 months ago

No, it sounds like they're (notice the correct usage?) trying to get people to be proactive in protecting themselves by using some common sense. Police can't be everywhere at once. Crime is nothing new. It's always been the case that police are called to the scene of a crime. Crime prevention depends on people taking charge of their lives, which is what this article is all about: not becoming a victim.

deec 9 years, 8 months ago

I would guess someone was on a deadline and didn't have their story done. This list, or one very similar, has been circulating on the internet for years: http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/ninetips.asp

May Soo 9 years, 8 months ago

Wal-Mart parking lot is a dangerous place to be at night, I was approached two times by a man who tried to get me walked to his van, I just ignored him and pretended I didn't hear him and got into my car and drove away.

Confrontation 9 years, 8 months ago

"Never approach your vehicle if a single male is loitering anywhere near it."

I think they should warn to look out for females, too. Remember, many of these male criminals have a desperate baby's mama who will do anything to keep her man. This is regardless of skin color, age, height, weight, and whether or not they are the actual fathers.

hujiko 9 years, 8 months ago

¢ Never approach your vehicle if a single male is loitering anywhere near it.

obviously a woman isnt going to mug you... that's not possible, they arent allowed outside of the kitchen.

Janet Lowther 9 years, 8 months ago

Concealed carry is a nice option for guys, but any woman with a lick of sense should carry.

That pound or two of steel can more than even up the odds between a 100 pound woman and a 300 pound robber/rapist/murderer.

As I understand it, a lot of cops were giving their wives guns to carry in their purses even while it was still illegal for them conceal a gun.

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