Richard Andrew King
Grandmaster—Kiado-Ryu Martial Arts
As one of the seemingly endless and escalating scenarios of stalking, assault, abduction, rape, and possibly murder, a woman in the San Diego area was walking innocently along a sidewalk when an older model black sedan began following her. The driver asked for her phone number and repeatedly asked her to get into the car. If this were to happen to you, what would you do? Here are some positive actions:
First, this thought: Never, ever, ever get into a vehicle with anyone whom you don’t know. Remember the Natalee Holloway incident. She got into a car with several young men she didn’t know and never came back. Underlying her tragic demise was the news report that she had been indulging in alcohol, possibly drugs, and was “partying”—all behaviors which drastically inhibit a person’s discriminatory faculties. Even though she was a Straight A student, these substances so clouded her judgment that she made a fatal mistake. Please remember that life doesn’t always give second chances and that this is a predatory world. Natalee Holloway never got a second chance because, under the influence of intoxicants and a desire to party, her judgment was egregiously flawed, which cost her her life and untold misery and suffering to her family, friends, and loved ones. Yet, she did have choices. She could have chosen not to drink and party and not to get into a car with young men she didn’t know. She chose otherwise. She lost . . . her life. This is why one of the major principles of the Karate Institute of America is, “Your Life; Your Responsibility.” Don’t neglect this simple and powerful truth.
Keep your distance! The first principle of security in defending yourself is to stay away or get away from potential danger. Trust your instincts, eyes, and mind. An unknown car following you is a danger! A person whom you don’t know asking for your personal information is a potential danger. Certainly anyone asking or demanding you get into their vehicle is danger incarnate. Get away . . . as fast as you can! If a car pulls up along side you, turn around and go the other way. Find a crowd of people if possible. Make noise. Draw attention to yourself. Do something but keep your distance.
If you feel you are being stalked, begin moving away, call 911 immediately and leave your cell phone on so authorities can locate you via its GPS (global positioning system) feature.
If you have time and presence, get the license number of the vehicle. Memorize it, write it down, take a cell phone picture of it, scream it out loud, call your home and leave it on your answering machine, call a friend and leave it with them.
Don’t beware of everything, just be aware of everything.