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Update for May 10, 2018

I want to first off share that my daughter is graduating from college this Saturday. So YEAH for Tierney. As you can see I am extremely proud. She is smart, funny, kind and beautiful; and she is going to be a great teacher.

So I just wanted to add some opening information. I don't talk much about sexual harassment because that is a different problem. But it can lead to sexual assault or rape, and as you can see in recent national news cases it often has. With all the #MeToo articles and information floating about, this is a good time to become more aware. Women all over America from all races, religions, cultures, ages, professions, rich or poor, coastal or Midwest, big city or small town - MOST women still hesitate to report sexual assault and rape. They fear being harassed, lose their job, made fun of or embarrassed, threatened or worse. Plus defense attorneys have often said in the past; well she should have known better - she shouldn't have dressed like that, or drank like that, or went to his room. She must have known that was what was going to happen. This crime has always been treated that way though it is much better now than even 15-20 years ago. But the truth is, victims are chosen by bad guys - criminals. It is not the victim's fault. You don't choose to be attacked or sexuality assaulted. And statistically, rape and sexual assault have by far the lowest incidents of false reporting.

Making informed decisions can shield you from many of the more likely places and situations improving your odds of not being attacked; but the victim is NEVER at fault. Bars and parties with drugs are always higher risk because typically the victim and or the attacker are under the influence. Try avoiding high crime and gang neighborhoods. I know it's not always possible; but if you have to be there, be extremely aware and try to take precautions, and especially if possible be with other people to improve your odds of getting home safely. I'll go into much more detail later. Right now I'm just starting with basic overview points.

Someone trying to lower your inhibitions through buying or pushing drugs or booze to further lower your guard are highly likely to have ulterior motives. Anyone who tries to isolate you or control you is sending you huge warning signs that they may have intentions that you need to recognize as threatening. They may be completely harmless. They may just be a friend or a date. But these are some of the most obvious warning flags women should pay attention to so they can make safer decisions to improve their odds of staying safe.

Let me add one last point. I have had hundreds (literally) of women early in classes tell me that they have the "right to go wherever they want to go, whenever they want to go there." I completely agree. Unless you are prohibited by law, I agree with this statement completely. But NEVER confuse your right to do something with whether or not it's SMART to do something. Walking through a gang neighborhood at 3 AM down the sidewalk is perfectly legal but highly likely to end badly. I don't try to tell people what to do; I try to give information that will allow you to make safer and wiser informed decisions about your safety.

Live life well; but live life Smart.

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