For those of you not in the know, there have been some very heavy rumors about sex trafficking occurring in the Waterford Lakes in East Orlando, especially in front of Target. Although the rumors have not been officially discredited, the police have not found sufficient evidence to either deny or accept the rumors. That being said, as of right now, the UCF police force has released a statement saying that "The Mother of God" church, which had been accused of being responsible, has been found innocent.
In the wake of these events, I wanted to share some tips on how to better protect yourself as a young woman.
1. Wear your hair down.
The FBI stated that during interviews with serial killers, the serial killers admitted to passing up women who had their hair down. Ponytails and braids make you much easier to control. If you have your hair down, they will be less likely to grab you.
2. Don't be afraid to scream.
Often, we as women are more worried about making a scene than our own safety. However, that is exactly what you want. Make a scene. Get people to look over. And if you have to scream, don't stop until it's safe to do so.
3. Fight back.
In the same interviews with the FBI, many serial killers stated that if women had fought back against them, they would have moved on to easier targets. Fight back.
- Your elbow is the hardest and sharpest point in your body, so slam that bad boy into whatever you can reach.
- Make a high-five, curl your fingers a little bit, and slam the meaty part of your palm into his nose.
- Slam your hand into his neck. If you do that twice - and hard enough - you might even incapacitate him.
- Fight dirty. Bite. Scratch. Go for his eyes and groins. He's fighting dirty, too.
4. Be aware of your surroundings.
Do you know where you are? How close is he to you? Where is he on your danger meter? Can you leave? If not and he attacks you, how should you defend yourself?
Ask these questions in every single moment you are near a man.
5. Report everything to the police.
I understand that going to the police station and making an official report is a hassle, and in many ways, it's not something you want to do. But outside of the Facebook rumors, there is no substantial evidence that anything is taking place at Waterford Lakes. There is no evidence of anything happening there because no one has reported anything. For the police to be able to help, we too must take the mantle and help them, especially by reporting. If you see something suspicious or you feel as if you are in danger, call the police and make the report.
It might not come to anything, but you might help the police save the lives of young girls who could very easily have been me… or you. Those 20 minutes that it would take you to report doesn't seem that bad now, does it?
6. Don't believe everything you read online, but be prepared for it to be true.
This sounds contradictory, I know. However, it's important to make a distinction between what you believe and how you act. Although the rumors may end up being just that - rumors made up by some bored idiot enjoying the havoc they made - we don't know. We won't know until either the worst comes true or we are given the all clear.
Until then, you have to act as if you know there is sex trafficking happening in Waterford Lakes. That does not mean harassing the church of "The Mother of God." This has nothing to do with other people. It has to do with you. Be extra vigilant. Try to only go during the day. Try to go with other girlfriends or roommates. Park close to the doors. If you see a van near your car, get in on the opposite side. Ask an employee to walk you to your car. Be safe and be careful.
Take extra caution everywhere you go. If you are still concerned, you can call the campus police at 407-823-5555.
Make sure to check out their Twitter as well, as that is the best way to stay updated.
Disclaimer: Due to the length of time from when we write these articles to publication date, some of this information may be outdated and perpetrators may have been already caught. Please check with the UCF Police Department for accurate up to date information.