November 3, 2009
Following the recent discovery of eleven murdered Black woman in Cleveland at the hands of a convicted rapist and the ongoing FBI investigation of nine missing Black women in North Carolina, Black and Missing, Inc. President and CEO Derrica Wilson shares why she and co-founder Natalie Wilson are fighting for missing Black women and tips to save your life.
I was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the same location where Tamika Huston, 24, went missing back in 2004. I witnessed how her family fought to shed light on her case and attempt to bring it to the media forefront, while Natalie Holloway’s story was dominating the local and national news network. I looked at FBI statistics of missing persons and realized that 40% of missing persons in America are people of color. It was clear, something had to be done to help these families. Natalie and I channeled our professions and created Black and Missing Foundation (BAM).
Black women, minimize your chances of being targeted for abduction and crime, by doing the following:
- Become vigilant of your surroundings. Follow your instincts and see who’s around you at all time.
- Periodically check the Sexual Offender’s Registry in your near your home, workplace and/or school.
- Be careful when internet dating. A lot of offenders prey on women on the web.
- Do not personalize your home answering machine. Offenders often prey on young women living alone.
- Do not give out personal information in public while you are on your cellular phone, or use names.
- Do not leave personal information inside your vehicle.
- Do not publicize your comings/goings over your cellular phone or social network statuses.
- Take a self defense class (i.e. Rape Aggression Defense also know as RAD. The RAD class is for women only and usually offered through the police departments). Check the laws in your state for carrying mace.
- Create a buddy system. Check in with your friends regularly and keep them posted of new male friends in your life.
- Let at least one other person know where you will be at all times and how you can be reached.
Photo credit: ESSENCE