Women and safety are an important topic in any century – but particularly in ours when we live in large cities and are practically on top of each other. Women’s safety is a particular problem, of course, because we are more likely to be targeted than men are. Safety for women is the responsibility of each woman and information is a huge weapon in the battle to keep ourselves safe.
So women’s safety tips are always appreciated and I was pleased to receive the following email from my daughter.
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YOU MUST KNOW *77
I knew about the red light on cars, but not the *77. It was about 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and Lauren was driving to visit a friend. An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on. Lauren’s parents have always told her never to pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather to wait until they get to a gas station, etc. ? Lauren had actually listened to her parents advice, and promptly called *77 on her cell phone to tell the police dispatcher that she would not pull over right away. She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was an unmarked police car with a flashing red light on his rooftop behind her. The dispatcher checked to see if there were police cars where she was and there weren’t, and he told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had back up already on the way. Ten minutes later 4 cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. One policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes.
I never knew about the *77 Cell Phone Feature, but especially for a woman alone in a car, you should not pull over for an unmarked car. Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going to a safe & quiet place. You obviously need to make some signals that you acknowledge them (i.e. put on your hazard lights) or call *77 like Lauren did. Too bad the cell phone companies don’t generally give you this little bit of wonderful information. *Speaking to a service representative at ** Bell ** Mobility confirmed that *77 was a direct link to state trooper info. So, now it’s your turn to let your friends know about *77. ? Send this to every woman (and person) you know; it may save a life. This applies to ALL 50 states.
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This might be a piece of information that saves lives. At the very least, it might prevent rape as might have happened with the woman above if she hadn’t been smart. (She listened to her parents – imagine that! :-)
However, I spoke with a local policeman about this who says that the number to call depends on where you are:
If you’re in a local area where the state police are appropriate, call #77.
If you’re in an urban area, then 911 is better. If you call #77 they will have to call the local police which will result in a delay.
So, if an unmarked police car flashes his lights:
#1: Turn on your emergency flasher
#2: Call #77 or 911
#3: Only stop in an area where there are other people – LOTS of other people
911 & A Home Invasion
In our area there have been several home invasions that are similar to the monster above seeking a girl to rape. With this crime, a couple of men knock on the front door of a home, dressed as police officers. The residents naturally assume that it’s safe to open the door whereupon violent criminals burst in the front door, and often their cohorts are waiting nearby.
What to do to protect yourself?
Look through the windows to see if you can spot a genuine police car. If not, call 911 and ask if two of their officers are at your house.
If you see a real police car the men at your door are probably real police offiers – but it doesn’t hurt to check. If they ARE genuine, they will appreciate your caution.
Safety for women is too importantan issue to be casual. Whenever you become aware of scenarios – like the two above – play them out in your head and decide what you will do if you’re ever iface with those circumstances. Then if, God forbid, these attempted crimes ever occur in your life, you will have a better idea about how to handle them. There’s a slogan that seems almost like a cliche, but it’s nevertheless true: "The live you save may be your own."