Protect yourself from sexual predators

The two young women who were attacked a few weeks ago in Stephenson Canyon did everything right, said the Kitsap County Sheriff’s detective in charge of sexual offender investigations.

BREMERTON — The two young women who were attacked a few weeks ago in Stephenson Canyon did everything right, said the Kitsap County Sheriff’s detective in charge of sexual offender investigations.

“They were absolutely correct to fight back,” Detective Ken Smith said. “If you fight, you may very well avoid the attack. But if you don’t fight back, you’re guaranteed to be a victim.”

There are a number of simple things people can do to increase the odds of either deterring a sexual attack before it begins or stopping it short:

— Be vigilant. Always be aware of your surroundings. If nothing else, if you notice someone coming toward you from some distance away, it might buy you the time to take defensive action.

— Don’t walk alone. Pair up with a friend if you can (or bring your dog — see below).

— Carry pepper spray. Getting hit in the eyes with this substance will stop most people cold.

— Bring your cell phone. And have it readily accessible. 911 is your friend.

— Let someone know where you are going and approximately when you expect to be back.

— If you have a dog, bring it along. “Many predators will be put off by an animal that may turn out to be aggressive,” Smith said.

— Scream your head off. Make as much noise as you can — but be specific about what sort of assistance you need. “Help, help” is not going to be as readily responded to as “Help me, I’m being attacked.” What the predator wants least of all is more people on the scene.

— If you are dressed in business attire, one of your most potent weapons may be on your feet. For women in high heels, coming down hard with a heel on an attacker’s instep delivers a shot of pain that will dissuade most people.

If it seems like this list is geared toward women, that’s because it is. The vast majority of sexual assault victimes are female, but most of these points apply to anyone who’s out and about in remote circumstances.


More in News

Firework cakes with prices attached, Elisha Meyer/Port Orchard Independent
Fizzle or boom on fireworks with higher costs?

Fourth of July celebrations in Kitsap County are getting back to pre-pandemic… Continue reading

Downtown Port Orchard. Courtesy Photo
Funding advances for Port Orchard downtown revitalization

The House Appropriations Committee has advanced new funding championed by U.S. Rep.… Continue reading

Suquamish Councilmember Sammy Mabe speaks during the tribe's joint meeting with the city of Poulsbo. Courtesy Photos
Poulsbo, Suquamish officials meet for 1st time since 2020

Tribe suspended relationship following fatal shooting

Supreme Court rules in favor of former Bremerton football coach

High court’s 6-3 decision states Joe Kennedy was terminated without justification

Former Bremerton High assistant football coach’s six-year battle leading up to the Supreme Court ends with a decision in his favor over religious freedom issues. (First Liberty Institute photo)
Prayers answered: Coach wins in Supreme Court

By Mike De Felice Kitsap News Group On June 27, Bremerton High… Continue reading

Applesauce from South Kitsap High lunchroom
Changes in free summer lunch program upset some

A popular food program is making its return to the South Kitsap… Continue reading

Motorcyclists weave through each other during a pre-parade demonstration. Elisha Meyer/Port Orchard Independent Photos
Fathoms parade winners announced

The annual Fathoms O’ Fun Festival returned to the streets of Port… Continue reading

Consumer fireworks are now for sale across Kitsap County, with the exception of Bainbridge Island. (File photo)
It’s official: Fireworks season has begun

Sales started Tuesday; consumer fireworks can only be discharged on Fourth of July

Most Read