Recently I’ve heard multiple frightening reports of women being sprayed with drug-laced mists in local department stores. Some accounts involve a single man ambushing a lone woman with a mist directly to her face/facemask, others describe two men-one smaller seemingly nice man asking for help finding the right scent cologne, deodorant, or room spray and a second larger man that follows the victim for an opportunity to easily abduct her.
The goal of these tactics is easy abduction with a follow-up of forcing you into sex trafficking, drug trafficking, or some combination of theft, rape, or murder. He approaches when you are alone in an aisle focused on shopping. The mist he sprays into your face will affect you like any date rape drug:
*make you compliant and unable to say no
*weaken you so you can’t resist
*make you partially or completely unconscious
*weaken your inhibitions so you consent to activity (likely sexual) you would otherwise refuse
*impair your memory
WHAT’S A GIRL TO DO?
Go shopping and be ready to defend yourself. You are precious beyond measure, and you do NOT have to tolerate insidious threats to your safety and well-being.
**MAKE SURE SOMEONE KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE. If you are shopping with a friend either stay together or tell each other which aisle you will be in. If you are shopping alone, tell someone where you are going. Install a safety app on your phone that is easy for you to access and sends your GPS coordinates to 911 and a personal contact.
**LOOK AROUND FREQUENTLY. Move your head in all directions to be aware of who is around you in an aisle, especially if it’s only one other person.
**CREATE DISTANCE. Maintain distance between you and another person in the same aisle. If a man approaches-even if he seems nice and harmless-immediately take several steps away or leave the aisle altogether. You need to be more than his arm’s length way to keep from being sprayed in your face. Don’t smell anything he offers!
**LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION. Anytime a person or situation makes you feel uncomfortable, listen to your gut and get away. Your intuition is always in response to something and is designed to protect you.
**MAKE A SCENE. If someone gets too close, yell NO! HELP! GET AWAY FROM ME! or some such. Yelling at someone and making a scene when you feel threatened is a valid and necessary defense. Your safety is more important than social norms or his feelings. A little embarrassment is better than assault and murder.
**FIGHT. If you know self-defense moves, use them! Deflect his spraying arm away; kick him hard in the shin, knee, or groin and run away.
**IF YOU GET SPRAYED. Immediately yell for help or if someone you know is in the store yell their name or call them on your phone, immediately remove your mask if you’re wearing one, find a manager, dial 911. Date rape drugs will take effect within 10-15 minutes and last for as long as 4 hours.
**BE A GOOD WITNESS. If you see someone get attacked dial 911, make a scene if the attacker is still close by, and stay with the victim. Tell the authorities what you saw and give the most detailed description you can of the attacker.
**TAKE A SELF-DEFENSE CLASS. All women and girls can benefit from learning basic self-defense. At Kuk Sool Won of Muncie we offer self-defense workshops open to the public or by appointment that impower you with violence prevention, violence prediction, and physical escape skills.
You are precious and worth defending!
JKN Pam, Pam@kuksoolwonofmuncie.com