31 July 2012

We’re taught to fear “the stranger”, but most sexual assaults are done by someone the victim knows. Most children will be assaulted by a relative or family friend, most women by an acquaintance. Teach your children to know a dangerous situation, rather than relying on “stranger danger”. Women should know that they are not necessarily safe when they are with people they know.

Conversely, enjoy the company of people around you. Do not approach everyone like they are a potential scam artist/thief/rapist/liar. Life is too short to view everyone as a suspect.

If someone has a weapon and says “Come with me or I’ll hurt you”, DO NOT GO! Where you are is much safer than whatever abandoned place you are about to be brought to, that’s why they want you to leave it. Throw a loud fit and run towards people as if your life depended on it (it might). Even if you are injured, you are in a populated place and will receive medical attention. Many people have been murdered and/or sexually assaulted by simply following instructions.

Love is a risk, but worth it. After exiting a marriage with someone who was such a compulsive liar that he was effectively a stranger, I thought I’d never take that risk again. However, after time (and therapy), I am lucky enough to find myself less than a month away from marrying the best partner I could possibly imagine.

If you live in a country that celebrates Halloween, let your children celebrate it as you did when you were young: scared and in the dark. “Safe” events aren’t the point of Halloween, and it isn’t fun for kids.

With much luck, health, and happiness,

Meghan Callahan mabnon@gmail.com Duluth, Minnesota, USA