A young girl was walking to her car late one night and saw a Honda parked across the street with no lights on. She could see several men sitting in the car. It looked suspicious.
She knew she was being watched.
â€œShe knew something was not right. It was her intuition,â€ said Dan Starks, a self-defense teacher.
The girl got in her car, locked the doors and drove away. Sure enough, the Honda started to follow her. After making several random turns, she called the police and told them she was being followed.
Finally, a police car got behind the Honda and with help from other police cars, the car was barricaded.
Once the men were taken in, it was discovered that the car was stolen, and in the vehicle a rape kit, duct tape and some rope was found.
â€œThe police told her that they donâ€™t know what would have happened to her if she had not gotten away,â€ Starks said.
She refused to be a victim.
Starks said she did exactly what she was supposed to do in a situation like this.
â€œYour intuition is never wrong,â€ he said.
Starks was the guest speaker at the Florence Soule Shanklin Memorial Library Monday evening. He has taught self-defense for many years and is a member of many organizations including the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers and the American Womenâ€™s Self-Defense Organization. He can be seen weekly on NBC6-WCNC-TV Newsâ€™ â€œDonâ€™t Be A Victimâ€ and â€œPartners Against Crimeâ€ segments and monthly on Public Access Television with â€œGuns-n-Stuff.â€
Monday evening he went over key tips on trying to stay safe on a regular basis.
â€œThe number one security issue is complacency,â€ Starks said. â€œPeople just donâ€™t think it can happen to them.â€
He said it doesnâ€™t matter where you live or where you go. Crime can happen anywhere, it is not random, it is planned.
â€œSelf-defense is not an event, it is a way of life,â€ Starks said.
In order to not be a victim, he said people need to be prepared at all times and know what to do in an emergency situation.
â€œIf somebody comes up to you and says you are it, you only have three to five seconds to respond,â€ he said.
Some tips he went over include throwing your wallet away from the attacker in order to avert their eyes and then run. He said to never stop fighting and to never let a criminal take you to a second location.
â€œMost criminals expect you to freeze once they have chosen you. Your job is not to freeze. You need to fight back,â€ he said.
If one does not fight, they have not tried to get away, but if they fight, there is a chance they could be released, he said.
According to Starks, 70 percent of women will not be raped if they fight back. If one is faced with a criminal and is armed, there is only an 8 percent chance one will have to fire the weapon.
â€œCriminals look for victims that are available, accessible and vulnerable,â€ Starks said.
The key is to not look this way. Even daily tasks such as going to the grocery store should not be taken lightly.
â€œDonâ€™t balance your check book or fix your hair in the car. Just get in the car and drive,â€ he said. â€œPeople in their vehicles that are distracted are very vulnerable.â€
Starks said everyone needs to look at the world in the eyes of a criminal.
â€œI believe you have choice to not be a victim if you understand how crime works,â€ he said.
For more information on Starks visit danstarks.com.
by Amy Wadsworth