How to Avoid Being a Victim

store aisleDo you know how to avoid being a victim? In an earlier post I shared the story of how a friend of mine was targeted by a man as a possible victim. He lurked throughout the Dollar General, basically casing her to see if he liked her and to determine how he would obtain her.

This morning I received a comment from Mary and she asked what would have happened if my friend hadn’t said, “NO!” to the man. How would the scenario have likely played out?

This crime isn’t a respecter of persons. It impacts every demographic imaginable. I’ve met victims from all walks of life: black, white, Hispanic, poor, middle class, wealthy, young and old. Because the human trafficking industry is a $32 billion dollar a year industry, perpetrators aren’t picky about their girls. They don’t view girls/women as people, rather ATMs and all that concerns them is the money they can make.

Well one thing you don’t need to do is assume the devil is under every rock and behind every door you pass. You’ll become narcotic and a captive in a cell of your own making. 1 Peter 5:8 says,

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” [Emphasis mine]

Being alert is incredibly important. Unfortunately, with cell phones, many people have their focus on their fingers instead of on what is going on around them. When you aren’t alert, you instantly become an easier target for any crime, especially trafficking.

Self controlled is the word nepho and it means:

1) to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit 2) to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect.

Basically, it means don’t freak out. When you do, you don’t think clearly and clear thinking is critically important in situations like these. Assess the situation and weigh your options. If someone finds themselves in a situation similar to my friend in Dollar General:

  1. Draw attention to yourself by talking loudly or making a scene. Anything you can do to cause others to stop and look at you will also, in turn, draw attention to your potential perpetrator, causing him/her to leave the scene. They don’t want to be easily identified and when a store full of people are looking at them, the probability exists.
  2. Determine all possible exits. Make sure wherever you flee won’t lead you to a dead end, giving you nowhere to turn.
  3. Use your cell phone in your favor. Take a picture of the perpetrator and send it to a family member, friend, 911 or the Polaris National Human Trafficking Hotline, 233733 [BeFree]. Be sure to text your name, the name of the store you’re in, and the address or as close to it as you can get. That way if you are taken, authorities will have a lead.
  4. Call 911 and describe the individual you think is targeting you, telling the police he is making you uneasy and do so loud enough for him and others to hear you. Ask them to send an officer to the store. Wait in the store for the officer to arrive and have him/her escort you to your car.
  5. One thing my friend said she did was make sure the potential perpetrator was never behind her. She kept tabs on his location at all times to ensure he couldn’t grab her from behind with a weapon and force her out of the store.

These are just some suggestions for this scenario. Each scenario is different. Talk with your teen about various scenarios and how they would get out of the situation. You cannot possibly plan for each and every situation; however, if you’ve talked through options and ways to avoid being taken, then they are more likely to be alert, remain calm and focused if faced with a situation. It’s the same principle as running a fire drill. If you’ve thought through it and even practiced it, if or when a crisis arises, you’ll have an idea of what to do.

Do you have further suggestions of things someone could do in a similar situation? Please share them here. The more ideas we have the better. It’s like adding another tool to your tool belt.

*Next week is spring break for our school system, so I am taking the week off to spend with my family. I’ll meet you back here on Monday, April 7th. Enjoy your week!

By | 2014-03-28T07:12:42+00:00 March 28th, 2014|Christ Follower, Human Sex Trafficking, Women, Young Adult|13 Comments


  1. Bill Rhoades April 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Have you seen Dianne Scimone’s information? She has written an anti trafficking wordless curriculum bring used around the world.

    • Natalie April 8, 2014 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      I did a Google search, and the correct address for the website mentioned above is

      • Susan Norris April 9, 2014 at 6:54 am - Reply

        Thanks, Natalie!

      • Marty Marshall August 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm - Reply

        what if your alone, and there isnt anyone around?

  2. Sarah April 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Encourage to take a self-defense class and/or martial arts.

  3. Andrea April 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Here are a few other suggestions:

    – Use your shopping cart as a barrier between you and anyone you perceive as threatening.
    – As you are loading things into your car, look up between loads and survey the area.
    – Have your keys out and ready before you get to a parking lot.
    – Get into your car quickly, and lock the doors immediately. Don’t linger in the parking lot putting on make up or chatting on the phone.
    – Look out for other women, especially teens. For example, if you see a woman walking to her car alone, take an extra circle around a parking lot to make sure she gets to her car safely. Yes, it might freak her out a bit if she is aware, but I think we can do a lot as women to keep each other safe.

    Thanks for sharing,


    • Susan Norris April 9, 2014 at 3:34 pm - Reply

      Great suggestions, Andrea. Thanks so much for sharing. As we get others to join the conversation, we can help educate one another.

  4. Evadne Brown March 22, 2017 at 4:25 am - Reply

    Follow your gut feelings. The first one is usually tge correct one. Do proper research to chwck the ligitimacy of anyone who are offering overseas jobs. Better yet, it is best to seek overseas emoyment from the Ministry of Labour or other government agencies in your country.

    Never Talk To Strangers!!!

  5. Evadne Brown March 22, 2017 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Follow your gut feelings. The first one is usually the correct one. Do proper research to chck the ligitimacy of anyone who are offering overseas jobs. Better yet, it is best to seek overseas emoyment from the Ministry of Labour or other government agencies in your country.

    Never Talk To Strangers!!!

  6. Aliyah Rullier April 27, 2017 at 10:54 am - Reply

    sex trafficking is a detrimental catastrophe going on right now all over the world and it needs to stop

  7. Matt Tiza August 7, 2017 at 2:07 am - Reply

    Use the buddy system. Bring a friend with you when you go out, and never travel alone at night. Never substitute convenience for safety. We are all vulnerable in the wrong situation. Even the strongest person can be ambushed and overpowered when going out alone because no one is watching his/her back, and there may be no one else to call for help. If you are not able to defend yourself, you are easy prey for anyone who wants to hurt you. Predators all use the same tactics. They look for the most vulnerable targets, e.g. someone who is alone, the young, and those with small or lean stature. Think about your daily habits. Does your job cause you to travel after dark or to use public transportation by yourself? Strongly consider making changes to your career and to your lifestyle to avoid becoming vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need someone to accompany you to your car in the parking lot, for a quick trip to the grocery store or the gas station, or any time that you need to use the ATM or go to the bank. As a person who has been approached and propositioned by those with harmful intent, I know firsthand that women are not the only victims of abuse and trafficking.

  8. Marty Marshall August 6, 2018 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    what do i do if im like… on a street alone? like, lets say im just walking home from school, and there is someone following me, but there are no houses around. just a road, and sidewalk? I am in highschool and im getting quite paranoid every time i go about my buisness alone, mainly because i have had to confront a stranger in a big crowd of teachers and students at my school once that was following my friend. she came up to me and told me he followed her around for awhile and she never seen him in her life. so i confronted him infront of one of our teachers. it went well in the end, he was escorted off the property, and i believe he went to jail aswell. but im worried about what would happen if there was no one around, and it scares me a bit.

  9. Susan August 6, 2018 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Marty, thank you for your comment. I would suggest there is always safety in numbers. Whenever possible, try not to be in places along, particularly isolated places. Also, use your cell phone as a tool. Share your location with your family members so they know where you are at all times. Call a friend if you have to walk somewhere alone and let them know where you are, if you’re alone and if you see anyone else around or following you. Go so far as to describe the person, what they’re wearing, and if they’re making you uncomfortable. Make eye contact with the individual while you’re on the phone. Law enforcement says that lets the individual know you see them and can pick them out of a line up if necessary. If you’re in a neighborhood, knock on a neighbors door and stand their talking with the neighbor until the person passes. These are some options recommended by law enforcement. Hope that helps!

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