{Safety} Crazy Comes in Many Sizes

It was 1980-something in Erie, Pennsylvania and my college roommates and I were getting ready to go out. Whether we were heading to Paparelli's Pub, the Pike house or an after hours club, we stayed together, watched out for each other and stepped in even when it wasn't always welcome.

Photo credit iStockphoto

Photo credit iStockphoto

How did we learn to do this?

When I think back to situations I was in, cues I missed and warning signals I pushed aside, I  can't believe how naive I was or how much I was willing to leave to chance.

I now have a daughter and I am not willing to leave anything about her safety to chance. With school, sports, sleep overs and the mall, she is out of my sight more than she is in.  She's young and fun and should be surrounded by curiosity, laughter, giggles and wonder.

She deserves to be safe.

She's also young and unaware that crazy comes in all shapes and sizes.

The National Crime Prevention Council shares some facts about teen victims of crimes:

  • Each year more than 40 million Americans are victimized at home, at school, or on the street.
  • For all major types of crimes, people aged 12 to 19 are the most frequent victims.
  • Almost half of violent crimes are committed by a victim's acquaintance or relative.
  • The younger a person is, at least down to the age of 16, the more likely he or she is to be a victim.

As adults, we know not to walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when the streets are deserted. If we think someone is following us, we switch directions or cross the street and move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. We park in well-lighted areas with good visibility and close to walkways, stores, and people.

As women, we've become hypervigilant. We've learned from experiences, and those of others.

As a mother I have to ensure my daughter's safety.  I can't be with her all the time so she must learn to do so on her own (and with a little help from her friends). When I saw this Women's Self Defense class focusing on recognizing and avoiding dangerous situations (and not subduing), I knew I needed to her sign-up.

I want to teach my daughter to be alert to her surroundings in a way that builds confidence and not fear.

I wish this wasn't the world we are living in today but the reality is we will all be safer when we can confidently recognize dangerous situations and respond immediately for ourselves and others.

Let's be careful out there.

This post, {Safety} Crazy Comes in Many Sizes, first appeared on lisarosendahl.com