This is so unfair. This is an example of why we need more advocates for the mentally disabled!
By Carla M. Thompson author of The Busy Woman’s Pocket Guide to Safety
So, your baby is leaving you; don’t freak out. You are not losing a child, you are releasing an adult into the world. I am going to give you some on how to prepare your high school graduate for the real world:
1. Parents, the first tip is for you. You have to remember that your “kids” aren’t “kids” anymore, they are young adults. Giving them a list of do’s and don’ts isn’t going to work. You have to influence their thinking by respectfully influencing them. The tips that I am going to give you are things that you should discuss with your teen. Notice I said, discuss, not lecture…
- 2. If you haven’t done so already, you must let them know that you respect them as an adult and that you want them to trust you. You want them to know that they can come to you with anything. This is a safety issue because, most teens are afraid to go to their parents for help. So predators capitalize on the fear of exposure and judgment so they can control their victims. But parents, when they come to you make sure you don’t over react…
3. Explain the importance of communication. Let them know that you don’t want to control their lives or ruin their fun but you do want to know where they are going and some information about their friends. This is important because if you ever had to trace their steps it would be easier and quicker.
4. Be sure that your teen has a working cell phone. Even if you have to get a prepaid phone. They may need this for an emergency. Help them understand the consequences of sexting and even though you will not be there to monitor their behavior misuse of the cell phone could create a safety issue. There have been various stories about teens that send inappropriate pictures of themselves and draws the attention of predators. Remind them that once pictures go online it is very hard to pull them back.
According to the US Department of Justice:
- Approximately 1 in 7 (13%) youth Internet users received unwanted sexual solicitations.
5. Make sure you teen has money for emergencies. It may be a challenge to explain that it is not pizza, pop, etc. money, but is for a “true” emergency
such as paying for a ride home after a party, medicine, etc. Help them understand that you will not always be there to take care of them so you trust them to make the right decisions.
6. If your son/daughter plans to live on campus, once you get the name of their roommate run a background check on them. It may be difficult to get enough information about them to do this (especially if they are still under the age of 18) but if nothing else run it through the National Sex Offender Registry or do a general search. See if they have a Facebook page, and look at their friends and their posts. You might want to do this with any boyfriends or girlfriends as well. This is important, your teens must understand that everyone they meet at school isn’t necessarily in school for the right reasons. To ensure their safety they must do their research and proceed with caution when meeting new people.
More statistics from the US Department of Justice:
- Teens 16 to 19 years of age were 3 1/2 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.10
- Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.12
7. Evaluate your son/daughter’s social networking pages to ensure that they are not giving away too much information. For example, I don’t think it is wise to put your address on your profile, your school, or your schedule. This type of information could be used for stalking.
8. Going to parties is a part of college life and they can have fun but remain safe. Explain the negative effects of popular party drugs, such as ecstasy. Share some real stories from teens about their experiences with these types of drugs.
- 9. Empower your teenager to trust their gut instincts. We are all born with a “sensor for danger”. Help them understand that even if they think that other people will laugh at them or tease them, reacting to their gut feelings about a situation could save their lives.
10. Seal the discussion by assuring them that you don’t want them to fearful and you want them to enjoy their new freedom but that you just want them to use sound judgment!
These are just example of things that you should discuss with your teen. You can’t give them as safety tip for every situation but if you can change the way they think then they can apply the logic to any situation they face.
Additional Resources for Parents:
Stop it Now: http://gethelp.stopitnow.org/results/start
For more information purchase The Busy Woman’s Pocket Guide to Safety, www.thebusywomanspocketguide.com for $4.95. Or download it for $.99 on Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, or Google E-books or PCs.
Source: US Department of Justice: http://www.nsopw.gov/Core/teens.aspx#teens
The Busy Woman’s Pocket Guide has been nominated for the Dan Poynter’s Global E-Book Awards. I hope that you will give me 5 “e”s and leave a really great comment. Winning this contest would help me spread the word about preventing crimes against women. So, please take a couple of minutes out of your day and vote for The Busy Woman’s Pocket Guide to Safety. Please click here to vote. Thanks
Source FBI: Here
Help Us Catch the East Coast Rapist
New Digital Billboard Campaign Launched
A new digital billboard campaign launched today aims to help investigators catch the “East Coast Rapist,” a violent serial offender who has attacked or attempted to attack a dozen women in Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, and Rhode Island for more than a decade.
The billboards feature composite sketches of the rapist and a toll-free telephone number where people can call to provide information. “These billboards give local police departments and the FBI an added edge to identify, locate, and apprehend the subject,” said Ronald Hosko, special agent in charge of the Criminal Division in our Washington Field Office. “The public is the most important tool law enforcement has for solving crimes like this.”
The East Coast Rapist attacked his first victim in February 1997 in a Maryland suburb of Washington D.C. He approached the 25-year-old victim on a bicycle as she walked home from work. The attacker began a conversation but then pulled a gun, forced the woman into nearby woods, and raped her.
Since then, 11 more attacks or attempted attacks have occurred. The female victims have been white, black, and Hispanic. The rapist generally approaches victims outdoors on foot and threatens them with a weapon—usually a knife or a handgun. He sometimes wears a black mask or hooded sweatshirt to conceal his face. He typically asks for money, giving victims the impression they are being robbed. But after the assault, no robbery occurs.
The attacker is described as a black male between the ages of 20 and 40 who is 5’7″ to 6′ tall, weighs between 150 and 200 pounds, and has a medium to muscular build. In addition to a mask and hooded sweatshirt, he has worn a variety of clothes during attacks, including green overalls, a green camouflage coat or black jacket, dark sweatpants or blue jeans, tan boots or light-colored tennis shoes, a black hair rag, and a brown or black hat.
The rapist’s last known attack was in Woodbridge, Virginia on Halloween night in 2009. He raped two teenagers on their way home from trick-or-treating.
All of the East Coast Rapist’s attacks have been linked by DNA, said John Kelly, a detective with the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia. “We have the DNA linking the offender, but we need someone to recognize and identify him.”
The digital billboards will run in Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, where the attacks and attempts have occurred, as well as in New Jersey, New York, and Delaware.
The FBI started its national digital billboard initiative in 2007 with the help of outdoor advertising companies that provide free access to more than 1,500 digital billboards in more than 40 states nationwide to publicize investigations and to provide public safety information. Since the start of the initiative, at least 39 cases have been solved as a direct result from tips from the public.
Today’s campaign includes partnerships with a number of local police departments involved with the East Coast Rapist investigation. In addition to the billboards, Fairfax County Police Department has launched a dedicated website, www.EastCoastRapist.com, which provides composites and additional information about the case.
We need your help to capture this armed and dangerous serial offender. If you have any information regarding the East Coast Rapist, call 866-411-TIPS. Maryland’s Prince George’s County Police Department is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information related to the investigation.
By Carla M. Thompson
There is a very popular phone scam trending in the Metro-Detroit area right now that has the potential to put innocent people in a very dangerous situation. My family and I were almost victims of this phone scam, but my mother’s quick thinking prevented it. Here is how it happened:
My grandmother passed away last week and we are having the funeral on Sunday. (She would have been 100 years old this year, WOW!) So as you can imagine we have been receiving a lot of phone calls and we have been busy making arrangements. In the middle of all of this my mother received a phone call and it went something like this:
My Mother: “Hello”
Caller: “Do you know who this is? I’ll give you a hint, I am from out of town. I heard about the funeral and I am here to attend it.”
My Mother: “Billy?”
Caller: “Yes, it’s me. I came as soon as I heard and I am on the road with two friends. But here’s the thing, my car broke down. I am in the city but I can’t get my money from Western Union until after 6pm. Can I borrow $140? I will send my friend Roy over to pick it up. What is your address?”
My Mother: “Give me your number, let me call you back.”
The call ended there.
Under normal circumstances my mother would have never played a guessing game with someone over the phone but because she was stressed she was caught off guard. And that is what con artists count on. Now, I do believe that this could have been someone we knew, family member or friends of the family but it could have also been a stranger who looks for these types of opportunities. Had my mother given him her address they would have not only gotten the $140 but could have also robbed everyone in the house. After the phone call ended she called the suspected family member and found out that he was still out of town. I am glad that my mother is cautious, even on her worst day she didn’t allow herself to be put on the spot. This could happen to anyone. So, everyone be careful!
By: Carla M. Thompson
Have you ever received an email like this?
I am Miss Abena Fabien and I got your contact on my desperate search for a trusted partner who will help me in investing my late father money abroad.
My late father, Mr Paul Fabien was a gold dealer here in Ghana before his death and he left me with five million US dollars ( $5m) in his deposit account in a Bank here in the country. As the only child, my uncles are threatening to kill me if i don’t release the documents of money to them.
I contacted you so that you can be my foreign partner in investing this money in your country for me to settle down in your country and start my life there. I contacted you because the bank refused to allow me withdraw or deduct any money from the account until it is transfer to foreign beneficiary account due to what is stated in agreement letter the bank made with my late father when he deposited the money.
I also want to assure you that 30% 0f this money will be yours for every effort and expenses you will make to receive this money in your country and to help me in investing it there.
Waiting for your urgent reply.
I hope that no one has been a victim of this type of scam but just in case let’s answer this question. How do you know if it is real? Here’s how:
1. The first sentence gives it away, if they are in search of someone they can trust why are they contacting you? Do you know this person? Would you email them if you needed help?
2. The next paragraph says that she is being threatened by her uncles. The scam artist is trying to draw you in emotionally so that you will have sympathy for her. This is all part of the con. Why not call the police?
3. The next paragraph explains why she needs you, “I contacted you because the bank refused to allow me withdraw or deduct any money from the account until it is transfer to foreign beneficiary account“. She wants you to give her your account number so that “the bank” can deposit the money into your account. But in actuality they will take money from your account. And if you think about it, why would anyone’s family member set up an account like this for their beneficiary?
4. Then to close the deal she promises you 30% and wants to you to help her spend it when she gets here. Sounds like a good deal right? Wrong. Too easy!
It is best just to delete these emails.
See full story on Fox 2 Detroit Here: Detroit Man Shot, Robbed of Groceries.
Seriously, can it get any worse that this? I think it will get worse. Most of you know that unemployment is a major problem in Michigan and on top of that some people have exhausted their unemployment benefits. So, if there are no jobs and no unemployment benefits then what are people expected to do to survive? More importantly how are the rest of us going to survive?
Here are some safety tips:
1. Look around as you enter and exit your home. Be suspicious of anyone who is looking back at you or sitting in a car.
2. Confirm the identity of a stranger prior to opening your door.
3. If you are approached by someone who makes you uncomfortable and you have something in your hand then drop it and run. The added weight could slow you down.