The tragic story of the 22 year old Sian O’Callaghan, who went missing after a night out and was later found by Police, the victm of a vicious and tragic crime.
It’s a sad story and one where we must all bow our heads and pray for her family and friends at this time.
However, it’s also a story that we must draw lessons from and not make it any easier for these predatory and evil individuals who prey on their victims.
With the limited facts it seems some factors involved with this case are the use of public transport, namely taxis an cabs, walking alone, the dangers of familiar surroundings when close to home.
As a result, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some basic steps we an all take to be safer in these types of scenarios.
- When on a night out, ensure you are in familiar, and sensible company.
- Never walk home alone, even when it is only a short distance away (we often allow our guard to drop the closer we are to our home as the surroundings become more and more familiar).
- Never accept lifts from strangers, taxis or cabs that you have not pre-booked.
- Never allow a stranger to befriend and accompany you on your journey, even if they seem like a good Samaritan.
- Always pre-arrange your transport home.
- Ask the driver to wait until you are safely in your home.
- If you are in a cab and feeling nervous or uncomfortable, then ask them to stop at the next well populated area, or somewhere you know you can gain attention from others (asking to stop at a petrol station for money or cigarettes is a good ploy).
- Make sure someone knows where you are going, when to expect you back and how to contact you while you are out.
- Have emergency numbers set to speed dial on your mobile – ensure it is well charged.
- If you are being followed, walk more confidently and try to gain more distance between them and yourself, (only run when out of sight as it can indicate you are panicked and scared and will encourage them they have found the right victim).
- Know you limits – Alcohol can impair your judgement and rational thinking and is the most common date rape drug.
Lets all work hard to stay safe and learn all that we can from tragic events such as these.
RIP Sian and our thoughts are with her family and friends
Stay Safe and Have Fun