"I was 14 or 15, and walking alone during the day by myself. I was in a neighborhood I was familiar with but didn't live in, and this red car pulled up next to me and the driver kept asking if I needed a ride. I said 'no' multiple times and sped up my pace, but he kept driving next to me asking, over and over. Eventually, he pulled over in front of me and asked again. I was nearby my friend's house and ran there.
He wasn't home and I hadn't met his mom before but I pounded on the front door like the police, as the car kept creeping by. His mom answered and I guess she gleaned what was going on and let me in. I made awkward small talk with this woman for a minute or two and she drove me to where I was headed. My friend said that I woke his mom up and she had a night shift that night, but that she was grateful I did.
Thanks, Mrs. Friend's Mom, for saving me."
"My sister had a very close encounter. One Sunday, she was coming out of the grocery store after parking her car in one of the front rows. As you can imagine, the grocery store was pretty packed being that it was a Sunday, so definitely a lot of by stander-by present.
During this time, my sister's driver side door of her car didn't open from the outside. So after putting her groceries in the trunk, she proceeded to climb into her car from the passenger side, as she did on a daily basis due to the handle not working. A man saw her do this and took the opportunity to slide into the passenger seat beside her and close the door.
Once he shut the door, he pulled out a knife and put it to her throat and told her to drive the car. The man didn't realize (thankfully) that her door opened from the inside. She opened the door and made a run for it, and when she told me this story she told me, and I quote, 'it was either run and get help or drive and probably die, I took my chance.'
After running and screaming for help, the man jumped out of the car and a man whom I will always be thankful for tackled the dangerous man and he was charged with attempted kidnapping. I guess the message I can pass along from this story is even during the day, at a crowded grocery store on Sunday, women by themselves, or anyone for that matter, have to have their guard up."
"I was led out of the play park I was playing in by some shady dude who said my mom had sent him to pick me up.
The play park was in a mall, and he led me into a backstreet alley with little to no lighting. I played along (and didn't know I was in danger) until he flicked a switchblade out. The blade caught the light, which is how I found out it was there in the first place.
He then, for some reason, took me onto the main street where there were a lot of people, and that's when I used my 'mommy' tactic to get out of harm's way.
I remembered what my teachers had taught me and ran towards the nearest woman while screaming 'mommy!' and he bolted."
"I grew up in a well-off neighborhood with a tight-knit community and a somewhat overbearing local police force. I was at the local park with family and friends one afternoon and I was probably 10 years old. Some kids set off one of those model rockets and it blasted high into the air and ended up behind a house next to the park. Being a kid, I run after the rocket and leave the boundaries of the park and notice an old beat up Dodge van in the parking lot.
Some shady dude rolls his windows down and tried to convince me to get into his van because he saw where it landed and would take me to find it. I promptly ran away and told my dad, so he and his friends stormed over there to see what the heck this shady guy was doing. The dude peeled out, and we all looked at it as a close call. Later that night, a police officer came to my house because someone had reported him, they ran his plates from the city camera at the park, and the perpetrator was from a small town several hours away from mine. He was a registered offender, and the cop told me I did the right thing by running away. If I had gotten into the van, I'm sure he would've driven away with me and who knows what would have happened."
"I grew up in a pretty weird household and my dad was a heavy drinker for most of my childhood. So it wasn't too unheard of for me to get picked up after school and brought to the bar for a while until mom got home. I was playing Centipede by myself and some guy was seated next to the machine and he started talking to me about go-carts and mini bikes etc. The kind of stuff that would interest a kid who was eight or nine years old.
Eventually, the guy worked up the nerve and asked me for my address and said he'd take me to ride these go-carts and whatever and not knowing any better I went and asked my dad for some paper to write down my address. Luckily, my dad wasn't having any of it. There was a confrontation and several other patrons joined in the resulting beatdown. Two things I learned that day 1) you can't trust everybody and 2) my dad was capable of intense violence. Up until that point, I just looked at my dad as a happy old drinker. He was never belligerent or violent at home, always composed and content. I've never forgotten how close I was to the unimaginable."
"I was at a park with my friend when a creepy guy pulled the lost kitten routine. He told my friend to go look in the bushes for the cat and told me to follow him behind some other bushes. He pulled his pants down and said 'touch it!' I screamed MOMMMMMM!!! out of impulse, but she was nowhere around, of course.
He took off running with his pants around his ankles. I was about five or six at the time. Fortunately, I ended up going to live with my dad. That among numerous other close calls (one of which sent me to the hospital) are why he got custody of me and my sisters."
"When I was in 6th grade, I was a latch-key kid who walked home from school. One day, I forgot my house key and found myself locked out and very bored. I sat on the curb across the street dragging a stick across a metal sewer grate because it made a fun melodic clanging noise.
I slowly became aware that there was a silver hatchback idling on the side of the road down the street with two people in it. Then I noticed they were looking at me. Staring at me.
I started to get freaked out and I got up and walked toward my house, which was a townhouse at the top on an inclined driveway that we shared with our neighbors. Between the front door and the driveway was a fenced-in area where the trash cans went. The silver hatchback followed me up the driveway. I'm not sure what my plan was exactly, but I ran up to the alcove where the front door was and pressed myself up against the wall. I was obscured from the driveway by the trash can fence.
I heard the car reach the top of the driveway and I heard the doors open. A man's voice said 'Darn, the kid got away.' They got back in the car and left.
When my parents got home, I couldn't wait to tell them, but I don't think they believed me. My dad said that if they were really trying to get me, they would've followed me to the door instead of giving up on the driveway, which makes some sense. I don't know if they were just trying to mess with me or what, but it definitely happened and scared the heck out of me at 11 years old."
"My parents often lived in foreign countries when my brother was very young.
One day, my mom was jogging along a walkway near the beach and my brother was beside her on his tricycle. Two men came up to them and one grabbed my brother and tried to run while the other grabbed my mom. However, my mom was a very active black belt in karate at the time. She broke the assailant's nose and pushed him over a wall near the walkway. The guy that grabbed my brother didn't get too far because my brother was so frightened that he held onto his bike. My brother's attacker saw what happened to the other guy, dropped my brother and ran.
That's why I took karate in college, to be able to protect myself like she did.
It's scary to think about for sure. I don't think any of us (her, me and my siblings) would be here if she hadn't known what to do in a difficult situation like that."
"I was kidnapped when I was 16 with my friend for a short while, but we got away before it got really bad.
I don't really know how to begin this story.
We had spent a week being unsupervised, young and reckless in a small beach town. There wasn't much in the way of a good night's rest or healthy eating. We did the usual irresponsible teenager things, drinking and parties, dining and dashing, sneaking into pools, and we got into at least one wasted fight. We were pretty reckless.
Throughout the week, we had seen this creepy junkie type guy around. Older, tall and lanky, long wild hair, track marks and just a general skeevy vibe. Every day or so, we'd see him here or there and one day, he offered to buy us cookies.
By the end of the week, both looking worse for the wear, we were extremely tired and hungry and had lost our shoes on the beach the night before. We are waiting in the early morning for our bus when the junkie once again showed up out of seemingly nowhere.
My memory is pretty foggy on this part so bear with me. I just remember it was completely deserted out and he told us he had a weapon and we needed to go with him. So we did the only thing we thought we could do, we went with him. He made us walk off the main street area, where there no more sidewalk and no more houses. I remember my bare feet were getting shredded on all these broken sharp rocks.
We arrived at this shabby overgrown grass field with a dirty van. He pushed us inside, which is when I realized this was actually his home and he was a full-blown addict. The inside was disgusting, junk and clothes were strewn everywhere, a floppy stained mattress halfway overturned against the side of the van, and there was a small video player.
He took the only money we had on us, which was $40, our bus fare home. This is where things get more disturbing.
He put dirty videos on the small TV and starts getting set to shoot smack. My friend, I don't know if it was her way of dealing or if it was just sheer exhaustion but she was nodding off. I went back and forth between turning the tv off (he'd turn it right back on when he noticed) to elbowing her hard to wake her up. My mind was racing trying to figure out how to get us out of here. No one knew exactly knew where we were. I had a cell phone but it was off, with only one battery bar left. He continued being a pervert. He would casually touch himself and say gross remarks.
After what felt like an eternity, he started talking about how we should party together; it's no fun that we are sober and he was not. I decided this was my only chance. I started going along with him saying how I'd love to get wasted right now. I suggest he take some of the money he took from us to go buy Smirnoff then we can all party and have fun. He went for it. After rummaging around for a while, he finally puts his clothes back on and tells us to stay put.
As soon as that door shut and we were alone, I knew this was it. I had no plan other than we had to go NOW. We gave it a few moments to be sure he was gone then we just linked arms and made a run for it and got away."
"What's embarrassing about this story is my age, if I'm honest. So, my friend and I were walking on our way back from the ski resort's snack shack that we were staying at. On the way back, we were rolling coke bottles down a hill and just messing about. To put in the story in perspective, we were either 8th graders or 9th graders so we should have known better. But a guy in a truck stopped us and asked if we would like to help him out by moving cabinets in his condo and that we would get paid for our trouble. My friend instantly agreed since he was on a labor kick and just wanted to earn some money. So I got tossed into this agreement and the man let us in his truck to go to his place.
I am glad we still had to drop off stuff from the shack for my mom because I don't want to know how it would have gone down if we hadn't. We dropped off the snacks and I tell my sister what we were doing before we leave. So now, we are back in the guys truck heading down the road to his place. As soon as I step out of the truck my mom calls me and says, 'what the heck do you think are you doing?'
I explained it the way he told me, that we were just moving cabinets in this guy's place since he's selling the condo or something. She immediately told me to get my friend and run. Well, my friend was already inside, while I'm not. I call him outside and told him what's going on and to be fair to the guy it did look like cabinets needed to be moved. But I told my friend my mom wants us back now. The guy kind of pestered us about leaving, but eventually, we left and this is when I finally got it and started booking it back home.
After we get back to our condo my mom decides to go tell the resort's police about this incident, and she swore the whole way down there the guy was tailgating her, which freaked her out and then just disappeared as soon as she got to the police station. Nothing ever came from it after the fact but the funniest part is my friend at midnight that night finally got the situation and looked over at me before we fell asleep and asked, 'did we almost get assaulted'... yes, yes we almost did."
"I was set up by my ex and his best friend. I was barely 17.
I was naive and thought I could still be friendly with our mutual friends, so when his best friend called me in the middle of the night, distraught that his girlfriend had broken up with him, I didn't question it.
I didn't question it so much that I left my house around midnight, walked to the closed convenience store a couple blocks away (without telling my parents, of course), to meet up with him so I could be a shoulder to cry on.
When I got there, he was acting super strange. Not distraught, but stressed. He was also trying to come onto me. And he was constantly checking his watch and his phone.
His phone rang, he got this wide-eyed look, said he has to go and ran off into the night. I went home with a really weird feeling.
It turns out, my ex was a few blocks away in his car. Their plan was to kidnap me, assault me, kill me, and dump my body. My ex had a panic attack and thus missed the time slot to drive by for them to grab me and stuff me into the car.
I now have a life-long protection order and I'm not that dumb or naive anymore."
"I was walking home from school when I was 15. It was unseasonably warm for February and I was wearing shorts. A blond man with a beard in a red car drove by and honked at me. I thought it was just a moron catcalling a high school student and ignored him. A few minutes later, he drove by again and pulls up against the side of the road and tried to get me to come to the car. I didn't understand what he wanted but something about him gave me the creeps, so I waved at him and kept walking and he drove off. Again, he drove by me and I realize that he was circling the block. I ignored him and kept walking, starting to panic at this point. He sped off and I decided to take another way home.
I was about to cross the street, he drives by, this time from another direction, and is sitting at a stop light. He turned, looked at me, and gave me this creepy smile that haunts me, even now, almost 10 years later. Then he pulled off to the road I was about to turn down and I realized he was stalking me. I took off running in another direction, dodging oncoming traffic and turned down another street. I jumped in a patch of bushes and started to dig through my bag. I miraculously manage to find my phone, which in high school I never carried, and called my mom. While I was waiting for her to come and pick me up, I saw him drive by again one more time. He must have been circling the block again, looking for me.
To this day, I still have an irrational fear of men with beards."
"A large group of men attempted to spike my friend's and my drink in a nightclub. They were pushing against us and leaning over us to try and distract us and also putting drinks they bought in front of us, so we left. We went to a chip shop thinking we had got away from them but after we got served and turned around they were outside the shop waiting for us.
We ran and they chased us, and I don't know how we managed to escape. It was very scary as there was so many of them working together and they followed us at least a mile. But we escaped. I think of the people who didn't get away quite a lot. What helped us was a mixture of high cardio fitness, adrenaline, and really good luck."
"I was walking home from school one afternoon when a guy flagged me down on the sidewalk and said he needed help lifting a heavy box onto his cargo van. I was in my final year of middle school, so I was around 13 at the time. I stopped to pick it up and found it was probably like five pounds. That was strike one.
Then he asked if I could please enter his van and put the box on a seat and strapped it down. That was strike two. I came to my senses and found the whole thing sketchy and so, as I was about to run from the van, he tried to hold me back and throw me into the car. Thankfully, I didn't stop fighting and managed to run away as fast as I can. Looking back at it, I was extremely stupid to even get inside his van."
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