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Ladies! What do you do to protect yourselves?

I ask this because as I get older and especially now that I had a child, I am more and more concerned about the world around me.

When I was much younger, I used to run outdoors by myself and was pretty fearless. Now I stick to running and working out indoors at the gym. I feel like there are so many creeps in this world and feel more vulnerable than ever.

Additionally, I have become more cautious in everything I do. Not to the point where it is debilitating, but certainly not free spirited.

Anyone else feel this way? And what measures do you take to be safe?

Thu. Jun 14, 2:43pm

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i think things are definitely different than they were when we were kids. a co-worker and i were just talking about that today. you have to be on your guard all the time and always have an eye on your surroundings. last night a friend of mine insisted i take mace with me when i run outdoors and take self defense classes. i probably don't do enough while out running, aside from being cautious, staying in high traffic areas and carrying my phone with me, i'm sure there's more i could do.

i typically stay away from the paved wooded trails in my nieghborhood, and if i do it's a short walk that i don't venture too far from my house. i run on the sidewalks because the visibility is so much better and there's always a lot of people and cars in my busy neighborhood. i also make sure i turn at busy intersections instead of less travelled streets. lots of cars, lots of activity....

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 2:53 PM

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I took assorted martial arts for a total of 8 years so that I'd be free of the fear you mention.

I also minimize the wearing of "stupid shoes", pencil skirts, etc. - in other words, anything you can't move freely in. Not a big sacrifice, I don't like those things anyway.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 3:01 PM

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The girls on my hs track team make sure we run in larger groups (usually at least 3-4 girls). A few months ago some van was trailing us while we ran (it was a residential street near my school). Luckily one of us had her cell phone with her and we all near someone's home and started making a call, prending it was the the cops or something. They drove away rather quickly.

Ever since then, we all make sure we always have a cell with us. It was pretty scary.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 3:03 PM

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There is an awesome trail along a very long stretch of road that I've been dying to run, the problem is, the road isn't very busy. I just imagine running one day and getting forced into someone's vehicle or something. I know it's silly to let these things rule me, but I'm seriously scared sometimes. The recent story about the girl abducted in (Kentucky or Kansas, I can't exactly remember) makes me realize all over again, we are all vulnerable.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 3:07 PM

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It was Kansas, it was right in front of a mall that I go to! I am scared when running outside even during the day. It's a bit ridiculous how controlled I feel by this fear. I appreciate this thread, I've been considering Mace lately... Does anyone have experience with it?

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 4:10 PM

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What happened to that poor girl in Kansas just reminded me of how as a female in today's world you have to always be aware of what is going on around you. Listen to your gut feelings about people , situations etc. I think often women ignore gut feelings because they don't want to seem rude or afraid. Listen to your gut feelings ladies ! there is a reason you are feeling them.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 4:28 PM

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2:53 again- it was Kansas- 10 minutes from my house.... it really makes you think even more. about all the evil that's out there. just this week there was a lady in Lenexa, KS approached while running in my best friend's neighborhood that she runs in all the time.... it's just not safe anywhere.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 4:33 PM

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Permit to Carry

I have a permit to carry and handgun and I do! I will not go unprotected in today's society. Tazers are another great option if you don't like handguns.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 4:33 PM

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4:10 we should run together... power in numbers! (2:53 and 4:33)

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 4:35 PM

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Reading this just made me nervous because I sometimes walk my dog alone after dark in our neighborhood. I feel safe but don't always think about the things that could happen...

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 4:51 PM

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I'm so glad I'm not the only one that is always thinking about personal safety. I do envy people who are happy go lucky and never worry about a thing, but I'd rather be safe.

I want to learn more about tazers, not sure if I'm ready for a handgun since I have a little one at home, maybe when he's older and can understand.

Sometimes I even feel unsafe in my own house. Recently, there were reports of a guy going to people's front door and when they would answer, he'd throw a plastic bag over their head! WTF!

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 5:22 PM

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It is much different today than it was when I was young. I would run around all day and my mom wouldn't worry. Today, my kids don't leave my sight. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself:

1. Carry mace (as people mentioned previously). Dog mace is cheaper than human mace and has the same ingredients.
2. Never have earphones in both ears. Always have one ear open to listen for people coming up behind you.
3. Take a self defense class. I did this when I was much younger and I loved it. You can learn moves to get yourself out of situations (like if someone is trying to choke you). Empower yourself to protect yourself.
4. Do a kickboxing or tae-bo workout a few times. This may sound stupid, but you learn kicks and punches that can one day save your life.
5. Always look around. If you pass someone, turn around and make sure they don't follow you. Don't worry about hurting their feelings or anything. If it's a good person, they will understand that you are only trying to protect yourself. Also, if you see a strange car or strange person, memorize details immediately. In order for the police to do their job, they need details.

Don't let fear bring you down. Don't let these crazy people keep you indoors and tell you how to live your life. On the other hand, don't be foolish and go out by yourself at night down a dark alley. Be smart. Be safe.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 10:49 PM

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Instant Media

What's really different about today's world then when many of us were growing up is that our parents didn't have 24/7 news that reported on kidnappings and murders occuring around the country (and sometimes the world!) The constant exposure to such media naturally heightens our fears, but some crimes are actually no more or less prevalent than they were 30 years ago. We just hear about them more often.

Stay safe!

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 11:00 PM

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I forgot to include an important website. If you don't know about this site, you really need to check it out. Unfortunately, it's only useful to those living in the United States. This website will list anyone convicted of a crime related to women and children (domestic abuse, sexual abuse, rape, etc). All you do is put in an address and you can see the name, photo and charges of the convicted person. It is very helpful to know who lives around you and which streets to avoid.

I need to point something out. I hate to have to do it, but sometimes it's necessary. The website listed above is to protect ourselves. It is not meant to gather information and harass the individual convicted of a crime. It is a great website, and I would hate to see it shutdown because a few individuals took "the law" into their own hands.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 11:10 PM

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Re: Website

Over 100 in my zip code alone, three of which live on my street... literally three blocks away. It lists the convictions, but some of them make very little sense to me. For instance, what does it mean if someone is sexually delinquent?

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 11:42 PM

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Interesting website! I live in the middle of downtown Chicago, and somehow there aren't too many "bad guys" living by me! Oddly, though, there is a senior public housing building across the street, and there is one "bad guy" who lives there. However, it lists him as being born in 1978 - so he is definitely NOT a senior, and should not be living there for free!! Argh, our good tax money at work...

When I walk my puppy early in the morning, I never carry anything with me that could be taken, but I must admit that I never really consider the alternative that I might be taken! My husband walks the puppy late at night, and I sometimes worry about him. When I walk the pup, I avoid alleys, etc., and try to stay away from people who "look" scary. Being in such an urban area, though, I never feel alone.

Friday, June 15, 2007, 11:04 AM

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Yowza! 92 around me! This is extremely helpful, it visually shows me that there are plenty of creeps around me. I'll be extra careful!

Friday, June 15, 2007, 1:28 PM

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