You and cars

Parking lots
When you park your car in a lot, park it near the entrance/exit and when you’re making your way to your car, have your keys out and ready. Don’t walk across the lot rummaging through your bag or on your mobile/cell phone. Instead, give your surroundings 100% of your attention.

If a van is parked next to your car on the driver’s side, you may want to enter your car through the passenger side. Offenders have been known to snatch women and throw them in a neighbouring van – for the offender, it’s quick and easy.

Getting into your car
When getting into your car, quickly make sure the car is empty first. Once you’re in the car, lock your doors and drive off immediately so you’re not giving an attacker time to get into the passenger side of your car.

Abducted while driving
If someone does get the jump on you in this way, crashing the car may be preferable to being taken to a secondary location of his choice. The best course of action depends on what the offender has planned, which will be hard to ascertain. But know your options.

Car maintenance
Keep your car in good working order (many women have been abducted after their cars broke down) and keep a mobile phone to call for roadside assistance in case you do break down.

If your car breaks down and you don’t have a phone or don’t have reception and you’re on an isolated stretch of road in the middle of the night, the safest thing to do is to camp out in nearby bushes. Walking along the road you may be targeted and if you decide to sleep in the back of your car, again you could be targeted. But no would-be offender is going to search nearby bushes for you! If you are planning a long trip, you may like to keep some warm clothes in the car!

If a man is driving next to you and points to your car to indicate something is wrong, drive to the nearest petrol/gas station and check the car. Do NOT pull over.

In the boot/trunk of a car
If you’re ever abducted and in the boot/trunk of a car, smash out the tail lights, reach your hands through and wave like crazy. Hopefully a motorist behind you will see you and either take action or call the police.