The recent article “A Woman’s Perspective on Personal Self Defense” reminded of a situation that occurred 16 years ago. I can honestly say that the self-defense classes I took in college saved my life.
I was at our local mall with my then seven month old son. We were strolling around, looking at the decorations when I noticed a guy who I thought was following me. After a little more strolling, I went into a couple of stores. Not only was the creep still following me, I caught him rubbing himself- with his hand down his pants while he was watching me. I made eye contact with him, but he just licked his lips and kept going. I knew then that if I went out into the parking lot alone, I was not going to make it home. I was afraid to walk into a store that wasn’t very crowded, or down one of those lone hallways into a bathroom.
I took a long look at the man, making sure I could describe him in detail and walked through the mall until I found a mall security guard. As soon as I approached the guard, the creep took off. I gave him a description of the guy, and the guard walked me out to my car and waited until I had loaded my son and stroller into the car before I took off. I drove around for a long time, making certain that I wasn’t being followed before I went home.
That evening, I turned on the news and saw a photo of the creep who had been following me through the mall. He had followed home another woman from the mall (who also had a baby) and attacked her inside of her house. He threatened to kill the baby if she didn’t cooperate. A neighbor saved her life when he broke into the house and fought her attacker.
Here’s the odd thing: The creep was a convicted sexual offender. He had just been released from prison that same morning after serving 20 years for aggravated rape.
I renew my First Aid and CPR training every two years, and I also “renew” or “refresh” my self-defense training at the same time. I consider it a well spent investment of my time. – BLW
JWR Replies: I recommend much more frequent firearms practice. Even urbanites can make the time to go shooting four times a year. Get top quality training if you can afford it. If you are on a budget, the training offered by the RWVA’s Appleseed Project and the Western Rifle Shooters Association are genuine bargains!