Simple Self Defense for Women®
How to Simply Escape an Attack,
NOT Stay and Fight!
Investing In The Personal Safety of Women
IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE…NO IT’S A DRONE!
By definition a DRONE is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and also referred to as a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by onboard computers or by the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle. You have seen them in science fiction movies, read about them in the paper and seen them on the news. Most people think of them as a commercially used instrument but as the prices come down the number owned by the general population grows. You can purchase some drones for as little as $300. I probably wouldn’t have a problem with them if they were used like a remote control plane or helicopter out in a field, away from homes but when I am walking down the street in my gated neighborhood and there is one flying over head I think that is going to far. You can imagine my surprise when I found out there is a DRONE retailer located in my community.
On a recent business trip my husband and I were discussing DRONES and I decided I wanted to learn more about them and how they are regulated for personal use. It was interesting timing because upon our return from our trip I noticed the trash can outside our house had been moved to an unusual location and the top was caved in. If you have one of the heavy duty trash pickup containers you know it is very difficult to damage them. After finding no other damage around the house we decided that someone had moved the trash container to lowest point of the roof on the side of the house and used it to get on and off of our roof but we didn’t know why? There was no damage or signs of attempted entry into our home through a skylight or elsewhere?
When our neighborhood security officer came out to take a report they indicated that they had received a similar report of someone using a ladder to get on a roof to retrieve their personal DRONE that had landed on an unoccupied house which was not theirs. As soon as he said that it clicked, remember I mentioned early one had been flying near our home. With that I decided it was time to reach out to law enforcement to get some answers. Not just for me personally but because as the co-founder of Simple Self Defense for Women® I wanted to know how this new technology could affected women who are being stalked by an ex or being used by someone with a restraining order against them?
One of my questions was would it be a violation of a restraining order for someone to fly a DRONE over a home? Answer by one agency: “In relation to an injunction, there is usually language in the order restricting following, harassing, stalking, and third party contact. I believe a drone flown over the property would fall under harassing or stalking and would be a violation of the injunction. The difficulty would be proving the drone was in fact in the air above the property and proving who was in control of the drone.” Agency number two told me it would absolutely be a violation for similar reasons!
Remember, DRONES have the ability to have cameras attached to them so my next question revolved around taking pictures and your expectation of privacy.
Answer- “Although you can’t take someone’s picture or record them on private property without notifying them or violate their reasonable expectation of privacy, there is a big loop hole. If I photograph a public area or an area where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy and you happen to be in the picture it is perfectly legal. Since the Supreme Court has ruled there is no expectation of privacy from aerial photography they are free to take your picture from above.
Now if you have a patio with a roof or were to put a tarp up that would give you a reasonable expectation of privacy from above then it would be a violation of your rights. Yes you have to make that extra effort even in your back yard! Third question, if a drone were to fly into your yard and look through your window, would that be a violation of your expectation of privacy? The answer is thankfully yes!
There is a word of caution photographing children in a public area fall under the same rules as adults. There are laws regarding distributing children’s names but anyone is free to publish or use a legally obtained photo any way they would like as long as it is not pornographic or depicts a dead body. It’s important to remember the public is not bound by the public records laws the government follows in regards to children”.
So what about that DRONE that lands in your yard or on your roof? Answer #1 “If a drone hits your house the owner or operator of the drone would be civilly liable for any damage they caused to the property, similar to if they threw a rock at your house or crashed their car into your living room. If intent could be proven it could be criminally pursued as vandalism, but if it was an accident it would be a civil case.” I was told by this agency that you would have to eventually return their property to them. Answer # 2 -The other police agency told me that if it lands in your yard it becomes your property. Similar to a child playing ball or Frisbee and it landing in or on a neighbor’s property. As the owner of the property you have the right against trespassers thus you can choose not to allow them on your property.
FAA UAS Guidelines
Individuals flying for hobby or recreation are strongly encouraged to follow safety guidelines, which include:
•Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles •Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times •Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations •Don't fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying •Don't fly near people or stadiums •Don't fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs •Don't be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft – you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft
In summary federal FAA laws for UAS are minimal and new laws will take years for congress to pass. Local laws vary by state, county and city so you will need to check with local law enforcement if you are faced with a violation of a restraining order or potential trespassing by a DRONE and its owner. Keep in mind an operator of a UAS is required to have the DRONE in line of sight at all times but proving it would be difficult. Until further laws are enacted criminal and civil cases will be difficult to prosecute.
I personally think DRONES are a threat to our privacy, commercial aircraft and way of life. So always be aware of your surroundings, report suspicious activity to the police and if you see a DRONE that may be violating someone’s privacy, take a picture with your phone and call local law enforcement. For more information on UAS visit the FAA web site https://www.faa.gov/uas/
What Your Daughter Needs to Know About College Campus Safety!
Do you remember taking your daughter for the first day of kindergartner? I do and I even remember what she was wearing. The next thing you know you are taking her for senior pictures and wondering what she is going to wear to prom. Now you’re packing boxes and worrying as your daughter heads off to her first semester at college.
As parents we have spent their whole life teaching our daughters about right from wrong, helping them make decisions and most importantly keeping them safe. Now it’s all up to them, let’s hope they have been listening! Since you still have that drive time on your way to set up the dorm room, I thought I would share some extra safety tips that you can talk about on the way.
1. First things first… Make sure you daughter gets to know the dorm resident assistant (RA). She will be familiar with all of the important things she needs to know. Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions.
2. Did you know that the first six weeks for a college freshman are considered the rape red zone? This is because it may be the first time your daughter is on her own, she’s not really sure who she can trust and unfortunately will probably attend a college party where there is drinking. It’s extremely important for her to know how to avoid, prevent and ESCAPE if she is faced with this situation. We say this all the time but it’s worth repeating… TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Women have amazing voices in our heads, we need to listen to them!
3. If you have an opportunity to pick your roommates, try to pick friends or girls you are familiar with. Rooming with someone who isn’t a friend? Check them out online. Look at their FaceBook, Instagram and
Twitter page. If you want to know more you can always pay to run a background check online.
4. If allowed, change the locks when you move in and add a deadbolt or chain lock for additional security.
5. If staying off campus try to stay in a gated community that has an alarm system (changing the code when you move in). You can even add a portable doorstop alarm inside your room at the door for personal safety.
6. Before you head out check the location finder on campus, it will help you know what is nearby and student friendly.
7. Never go out anywhere alone. Always try to go in groups and only with people who are close friends and stay together whenever possible. If you are breaking from the group make sure someone knows as much as you do about the person you are going with.
8. Try to take a taxi or bus as a group. If you find a taxi driver who is reliable and you are comfortable with try to use him each time.
9. If you have a car, never walk to your car alone! Same applies if you have a dog, never walk them alone at night. They make you feel safer but you could still be a target.
10. Always carry your pepper spray and be familiar with how to use it!
11. Provide family members with the phone number of a friend or roommate on campus in case they are unable to reach you.
12. We strongly suggest you watch the following video link to learn how to escape from a potential sexual assault situation.
LET'S TALK BACK TO SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS!
It seems like we were just planning summer vacation and now the supplies are back on the store shelf. It’s back to school time! Getting the kids to and from school always made me a little nervous. As parents we are extra cautious at the beginning of the year but like with most tasks we fall into a routine and might not pay as much attention as we should to some important details. Let’s talk back to school safety! In addition to our tips below, I strongly encourage you to visit the National Sex Offender Registry before your children head out the door.
First things first… Do you and your child have a safe list? The list will include approximately 5-7 people based on your child’s age that would ever be allowed to pick them up from school or day care. If they drive, their cars would be the only car your child is ever allowed to get in to. Let your child provide details to you of the people on their list. No stranger danger here. Making this list should be fun and interactive. It is something that will stick with them throughout the years.
Will your child be walking or riding a bike to school this year?
Make the trip with them a couple of times so you are both comfortable with the route.
Time how long it takes for them to travel each way; walking or riding.
This gives you an idea what time they should arrive A.M. & P.M.
If they have a cell phone ask them to call/text when they leave & arrive both ways.
If there is another child in the neighborhood going to the same school, try to arrange for them to travel together. You remember the old saying…there is safety in numbers.
Point out “safe places” for them along the way (if there are any) in case of an emergency.
Will your children be riding the bus this year?
Make sure they are familiar with the bus number. It’s better to miss a bus & remain at school with adults that can help instead of taking the wrong one and nobody knows where you are.
Wait in a group at the bus stop.
Don’t ever leave the group to walk up to a car or individual that approaches.
Communicate! If your child is expressing concern or feeling uncomfortable find out why & take action. Children have great instincts. Listen to them.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DOMESTIC ABUSE
The legal definition of domestic abuse is any abusive, violent, coercive, forceful, or threatening act or word inflicted by one member of a family or household on another. We hear about it on the news, we read about it in the paper and many of us know someone that is in an abusive relationship. Domestic abuse affects people of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, genders, and income levels and it comes in many forms.
There is physical abuse which can include punching, kicking, biting, sexual assault and more. Since More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners we strongly suggest you watch the following video link to learn how to escape from a potential sexual assault situation. https://vimeo.com/user26142692/review/133472916/a017aef34f
Abusers that inflict emotional abuse may attack their partner’s self-esteem, their body size, hair color, education, etc…wearing the victim down.
The one we don’t hear about very often is financial control. This is when the abuser controls all aspects of the finances in the relationship. This can work two ways. If the abuser is the one working they may not allow the victim to work and provides them with a minimal allowance or no money at all and no access to the finances including bank accounts and credit cards. Anything the victim wants or needs is controlled by the abuser. The other side of this is the abuser sits home and does nothing and the victim has to turn every penny over leaving them with nothing or they have to face consequences.
Men are less likely to report abuse because they feel it’s a sign of weakness. Friends will tell them to man up and deal with it, that they can take a punch or a hit but should they have to? Men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults in the USA. Many will often experience emotional abuse that they ignore so they can be with their children with hopes the relationship will recover.
Did you know that 1 in 4 women are the victim of domestic violence? That woman could sit in the cubicle next to you, be in line in front of you at the grocery store, or standing right next to you at the next family gathering and you won’t even know. The number one fact about domestic violence victims is that most will never report it.
More than 60% of domestic violence cases happen at home between the hours of 6pm and 6am and often spike near the holidays.
Victims and potential victims need to have a plan. Packing a ”go-bag” is highly recommended. The way to position the bag in the home is that it’s there in preparation for an emergency such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, and so on but you know why it’s really there. The bag should include photo ID’s of you and your children, proof of residency, medication or copies of prescriptions, clothing for a couple of days, basic toiletries and some non-perishable food items that do not need preparation. Many abusers don’t allow access to a phone, or they take control of the cell phone activating tracking apps. This why we recommend having a prepaid phone that you keep separately with an extra a car key, cash, and a phone/address list of family. Even phones that are not active call still dial 911.
No victim of domestic violence or abuse is ever to blame! If you suspect someone is the victim of domestic abuse don’t look away. They need your support!
Domestic Violence Hotline:
Trick or Trouble-10 HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS
It’s not just the trick or treating that makes Halloween fun for me, it’s also my birthday! My husband is one of the few men that can say he’s married to a real witch and get away with it! As a child I spent my birthdays trick or treating & as an adult walking with the kids as they went door to door. The number one rule for us was only going to houses that had their lights on. Well times have definitely changed & I want to share some safety tips with you that you may have not think about.
1. When picking a costume with a mask check the following:
•Can you easily see out of it? •Can it be quickly removed? •Is it well ventilated for easy breathing?
2. Does your costume have a bottom?
•Is it easy to walk in? •If it’s adult costume, can you drive in it?
3. Before you head out knocking on doors take time to check the national sex offender registry for your neighborhood.
•Most local city & county agencies have this information available. •Avoid these homes •If you know a home is registered to a sex offender & they have lights on and decorations out, report them to local authorities immediately!
4. Parents always carry a flashlight & peppers spray with you.
5. If kids are uncomfortable going to a house because it looks too spooky, walk up with them
6. Never enter anyone’s home to accept candy even if it’s just for a minute. Always wait outside
7. Respect people’s personal space and don’t let anyone within your personal space. Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean it’s ok to walk up to just anyone. If you are uncomfortable be sure to keep your distance or ask that person to step back.
8. Be mindful/respectful of what time it is.
•If it’s 10:00 pm & the trick or treaters are long gone, don’t open your door to a random knock
9. ALWAYS walk in groups or pairs. It’s never safe to walk alone.
10.Check all candy/items before eating them.
•Only eat factory wrapped candy.
•If a piece of candy looks questionable, throw it away!
7 Holiday Shopping Safety Tips
Can you believe the holiday shopping season is right around the corner? I laugh now looking back… My dad always had a backache the day after Thanksgiving and now I know why. He didn’t want make the drive, fight the crowds, carry the packages and handle the kids while my mom shopped for the entire day! The one thing that hasn’t changed is that men still don’t like to go shopping at least until Christmas Eve. What has changed is how dangerous it can be if you aren’t aware of your surroundings. This is especially true for folks that don’t normally venture out to the mall or the big box stores during peak hours or with crowds.
Here are 7 simple safety tips to help make your holiday shopping experience a safe one!
1.Tell someone where you plan to shop and approximately what time you expect to be home.
•This is especially important for those who don’t normally go out very early or late. •Leave a note or tell someone where you plan to shop just in case. This can be very valuable I there is an accident
or worse. It gives family, friends and police an idea where and when to start looking if you don’t return.
2.Since holiday hours now start in the wee hours of the morning and go very late into the night, be sure to park under a
light and as close to the entrance as possible.
•Write down where you parked or even take a picture so you are not wandering looking for your car when you are ready to leave.
3.Always have your pepper spray in your hand when you are walking to and from the car!
4.Minimize the amount of items you carry in your purse during the holidays.
•Only carry one credit card and a minimal amount of cash. •Leave all the extra pictures and personal items at home. •Always put your purse inside the car and lock the door (keep out your keys) before you start loading the car. NEVER leave it sitting out in the cart. •If someone tries to steal your purse, LET IT GO!! It’s not worth your life!
5.Are you carrying more packages than you can manage? Can you barely see over the top of your cart?
•Make multiple trips to your car if you are shopping at a mall or strip center. You do not want to have so many packages in your arms that you have to lean them against the car or leave them in the cart where someone can walk by and grab them. •Put all items in your trunk or cover under your hatch. Don’t leave anything visible to the public.
6.Avoid the ATM machines when possible. If you have to use one, go to a drive up and keep your pepper spray in your
hand, only open the driver side window and stay alert to anyone around you.
7.Parking lots are a place where people come and go. Pay close attention if you notice anyone lingering and acting
suspicious. If in doubt, call and report it.
The safety tips in this article and many others can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women DVD and in our new Simple Safety Tips book. Visit our website www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com for more details.
Years ago everyone knew their neighbors by name and didn't worry about the kids playing outside after school and in the evening. Now you know the person down the street by the car they drive or maybe the dog they walk but what do you really know about them?
We encourage everyone to visit the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender Registry at least once a month. Below are a few of the ways the site can help you identify a registered sex offender in your neighborhood.
1. Sign up for email notifications to find out when a registered offender is moving into your neighborhood.
2. You can search by an individual name.
3. There is also a feature to check by radius (1, 2, 5 miles) from your home. You may be shocked to find out who lives two doors down.
Take a good look at the pictures you see and make time to have a conversation with your kids (including teens) about avoiding having any conversation, interaction or contact with these individuals.
Keep your family safe, search today!
Do You Know Who Lives Down Your Street?
Whether you have violated a traffic law or not, many of us have been pulled over in our vehicles at some point.
What is the best way to comply with the officer?
Keep in mind they do NOT know if your a good guy/gal or a wanted criminal?
1. Pull off the roadway to a safe location, preferably a well lit parking lot off the road. Use your turn signals to indicate to the officer you are looking for a safe place to stop.
2. Make yourself easily visible. Roll down at least the drivers side window. If you have dark tint or it's late at night, turn on the dome light.
3. Don't move around the vehicle too much. The officer does not know why or what your doing? Do not reach for your license, registration, and/or insurance until requested.
4. Keep your hands as visible as possible. Preferably on the steering wheel or on top of your lap.
5. Be courteous and follow all officer commands.
6. If you have a weapon in the car, immediately advise the officer, what and where it is? DO NOT MOVE/REACH FOR THE WEAPON! Wait for further instructions.
7. Never argue with the officer. If you are not satisfied with the traffic stop, all citations have a contact number you can call to speak with a supervisor or file a complaint.
7 Key Points on How to Make the Traffic Stop
Easier on You and Law Enforcement