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Guns-Safety Even for Non-shooters

Posted by TuriRhen on August 8, 2014 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (34)

I am fairly neutral when it comes to guns. By this I mean I believe in the right to bear arms, but think restrictions need to be in place to minimize the chances of guns getting in the hands of known criminals or those who are mentally unstable.

For safety’s sake, I believe it is important for everyone to understand the way guns work, the capabilities of different types of guns, and how to safely handle a gun. In addition, I think it would be helpful to learn self-defense skills, including communication and negotiation. Daniel McElrath, Managing Editor of Shooting Illustrated believes, “The basics of gun safety are for everyone, regardless of experience level.”

Last fall, a bear was on the porch of our cottage. I asked why my boyfriend didn’t shoot it. He said the rifle he had at the cottage was not the right type. It would be the equivalent of a B B gun because the bear has such a thick coat and skin.

I then became curious about the different types of guns. We went to a sporting goods store and looked at the different types of guns. I learned the distance I would have to be from an attacker in order to use a small hand gun. I learned about the bullets and magazines and reloading. There are many sizes and options when it comes to firearms.

A wild animal is scary, but what about an intruder? What would I do? What am I capable of doing? What can I legally do to protect myself? My boyfriend is very knowledgeable and I trust him. However, it is recommended to take classes from an outside professional, not a friend or relative. I compare this to a doctor treating his family members.

There are many reputable hunter safety courses available. In addition, often shooting ranges offer classes. Hopefully, you will never encounter a gun pointed at you, or have the need to use one for protection. Education is power and can save your life, with or without a fire-arm.


 

Five safety questions to consider before moving to a new neighborhood.

Posted by TuriRhen on August 4, 2014 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I am in the market for a new home. My top priority is to find a neighborhood that I will feel safe. Based on some past experience and research, the following is a list of things to consider before moving into a neighborhood.

1. Reputation – Check for police reports related to the neighborhood. Is there a lot of police activity?

2. Walk through the neighborhood. Do you feel safe? Does anything or anyone make you feel uncomfortable?

3. Are the homes and yards in the neighborhood well maintained?

4. Drive by in the evening. Is the street well lit?

5. Talk to neighbors. Look for anyone who has lived in the neighborhood for a long time. They tend to like to tell the history of the neighborhood.

If you are not comfortable with any of the five points above, continue your search.



 

Words from a survivor of child sexual abuse

Posted by TuriRhen on July 30, 2014 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Kids are terrific—happy, innocent, and free. They can remind us of what is best about ourselves. When they are sexually abused, that happiness is dimmed, sometimes for life. – Stop It Now - Facts About Sexual Abuse and How to Prevent It

 

Sexual offenses toward children are not uncommon. In fact, on average 1/5 girls and 1/7 boys are sexually abused in their lifetime. This is a staggering number. Parents must remember that these offenses are usually not random; in fact only 27% of all offenses are committed by strangers. In 90% of child sexual abuse cases, the child knows and trusts the person who sexually abuses them. Most of these sexual offenses occur after 6 p.m. It is critical that parents be vigilant in checking up with anyone they leave their children with. This is not meant to scare parents away from going out and leaving their children with a sitter, but rather give foresight to the problems we face as a nation with sexual predators.

Darkness to Light (D2L) suggests that parents need to have age appropriate, open conversations about our bodies, sex, and boundaries; it gives children a foundation for understanding and developing healthy relationships. It also teaches them that they have the right to say "no." Children who are taken advantaged of usually feel ashamed or confused by the incident and then in turn fail to tell their parents. This is why an open dialog between parents and children is so crucial. According tohttps://www.rainn.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network) “Many adults tend to overlook, to minimize, to explain away, or to disbelieve allegations of abuse. This may be particularly true if the perpetrator is a family member”. Children should feel comfortable coming and telling their parents whenever they feel nervous or upset. These types of discussions with your children can mean the difference in some cases between life and death.

 

As a sexual abuse survivor I know the burden someone carries with them when they don’t tell. It can lead to a dark path of drugs and depression that can take a lifetime to overcome. A simple talk with your children to open up the dialog can lessen the burden a small child must carry. Personally speaking, the effect of being abused caused my adolescence to be hell and has been a costly investment in my adult years in terms of therapy and working through the web of lies. So please, from a survivor of sexual abuse, speak with your children and open the doors of communication. It might be the most important conversation you ever have. Don’t risk dimming your child's light.

 

Don't forget how to ride your bike - Safely

Posted by TuriRhen on July 20, 2014 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

You may not forget how to ride a bike, but do you remember how to do it safely? Biking is a great sport, way of transportation and a fun activity. As a driver, I become more vigilant when cyclists are around. Unfortunately, many cyclists, especially children, are forgetting they need to do the same. Here are a few basic reminders that can keep everyone safe.

1. Cyclist and motorist must follow the same rules of the road.

• ride only on the right side of the street or with traffic

• stop at stop signs and look both ways at intersections before proceeding

• obey traffic signs

• use proper turn signals

• watch for pedestrians

2. Wear a helmet - 90 percent of fatal bicycle crashes are the result of head trauma.

3. At night wear reflective clothing or use reflective tape and use a light.

4. Always ride holding both handle bars.

5. Watch for cars backing out of driveways and people opening their car doors.

When both bikers and motorist follow the rules, no one gets hurt.

 


When a black SUV approached my stepdaughter on her way to school.

Posted by TuriRhen on July 13, 2014 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

It was a Friday when my daughter Amelie was approached by a black SUV on her daily walk to school. The mysterious man asked her if she would wait while he ran home to get some items for her to take to her school. Terrified and alone, half way from home but still half way to school, Amelie was faced with a decision. What did Amelie do you ask?

 

Using the special training provided by The Town of Menasha Police Department through their Yell and Tell program.  

Amelie ran. Amelie ran directly to school and told the student office worker what had happened. When police arrived, Amelie was able to remember the street she was on as well as what the vehicle looked like. While these facts might seem trivial, they were all part of the training she had received via the Yell and Tell program at her school.

 

The situation turned out to be a misunderstanding by an elderly woman who mistook Amelie for another child in the area. The woman had box tops that she wanted to donate to the school. Police found the woman and spoke with her about approaching children and the fear she had caused Amelie. The police liaison awarded Amelie for her courageous acts and all school assembly, which was televised on the local news.

Please click here for the full story of Amelie’s recognition and story.

 

As a family and a community we are very proud of Amelie and her bravery, but we are also grateful that such programs exist that spread awareness of public safety. This could have very easily been a story of tragedy, but Amelie was prepared with the tools to handle the situation on her own. The Yell and Tell program keeps a pulse on trends that pose a threat to children as well as provide solutions should those risks come to life. Knowing that a threat is present is half the battle; however knowing how to respond and protect ourselves should those threats become a reality is the other half.

 

Keeping the public safe and informed is a community effort and can extend beyond the scope of the police department and into our schools and homes. Ensure your children know what to do when a stranger approaches them. The fear that came over our family when we first got the basics of Amelie’s encounter was enough to cause a heart attack. Finding out how brave Amelie was eased the fear, but it hit home that we must ensure our children are educated on how to handle the various curve balls that life will throw their way. Clearly, not every school system has this training available, but the information is out there to be seen and read. If your school system does not have the Yell and Tell program mentioned above seek out assistance from your local police department and try to get a program going in your area.

 

A few Yell and Tell rules:

 

1) Walk to and from school in groups.

2) Never accept a ride without first getting permission from parents.

3) Never take shortcuts. Always stick to routes selected by parents, and stay on main roads.

4) Leave home with money for telephone calls, or a calling card.

 

Far too many children go missing every year, and, if they are not found in the first 24 hours the likelihood that they will be found alive diminishes every minute. It is critical that we give our children the best gift we possibly can, and that is the gift of knowledge. Knowledge that could save their lives if a stranger approaches them. The death of a child is one of the saddest things to know as a human being, so ensure your children have the knowledge they need to survive. Don’t let your child become a statistic, keep them informed and advocate for programs in your school system that will aid in this teaching. No parent should have to bury his or her child.

 


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