How To Avoid A Parking Lot Assault

Shopping for a lot of people like myself is a pain but, in general, it is meant to be fun, especially around the holidays. Retailers go to a lot of trouble to gussy up their stores to ease shopping experience. If the store is in a mall, developers do the same. They dress up the facility to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone in the family.

We have a close friend whose daughter used to drive a small train in the mall. It was used to drive youngsters around and they loved it. Other malls do similar things to attract customers and make shopping more enjoyable.

Malls seem to get bigger and bigger with more square footage and more stores. That means bigger parking lots. And bigger parking lots means that customers may have to park further away from their destination. Yes, you say, that’s good exercise. That’s true but it also increases the risk of assault, robbery, vandalism and rape. And to make the parking lot look nice developers install shrubbery and other accoutrements that make good hiding places for predators.

Quite by accident we discovered years ago that parking lots were dangerous places when it came to assaults and robberies. As a matter of fact, parking lots were third behind domestic violence and the workplace in terms of frequency of assaults on women.

For more info about places women get assaulted check out our article The Five Most Common Places For Attacks On Women.

The reason for this is that women may be distracted when they come out of the big-box store, grocery store or mall into a parking lot. They are frequently talking on a cell phone, to a friend or paying attention to their children in a shopping cart. They are easily distracted by all manner of events.

The next time that you are in America’s favorite big-box retailer, take a look at the parking lot. I know in my area, that particular parking lot seems to be a magnet for panhandlers and transients galore. Not that they would necessarily commit an assault against women but they are, generally speaking, unsavory characters.

Perverts who are looking for targets know that women do the bulk of the shopping. And they also know that women are easily distracted which makes them great targets for an assault and/or robbery.

Here are some tips to avoid potential trouble when in a parking lot.

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings both going into the store and especially coming out of the store.
  2. And sad to say, be especially suspicious of strangers trying to get your attention.
  3. Park as close as you can to your destination and park in a well-lit area if you’re going at night.
  4. If at all possible, use the buddy system and go with a friend. Or if you are by yourself, stay near a group of people headed in your direction.
  5. Lock your car when you arrive at your destination and on departure use keyless entry to unlock the door and then relock it once you’re inside.
  6. Upon approaching your car look around the area and in, underneath and next to your car. We remember a story of an assault in a parking lot that started with the assailant hiding underneath a woman’s car.
  7. Try to do most of your shopping during the day and avoid shopping at night if at all possible. If you do go at night, make sure you park in a brightly lit area.
  8. Many retail stores, especially grocery stores, offer an escort to your car. Don’t be too proud to ask for assistance.
  9. And for women especially who have that inner voice, that sense that something is wrong, where the hair stands up on the back of your neck; listen to it! It’s much better to feel silly than sorry.
  10. Finally carry some self-defense product with you such as a keychain pepper spray or stun gun. Even a personal alarm can scare away an attacker and draw attention to your distressful situation.

When you are shopping, distractions are plentiful. It is very easy to become engaged in something else and lose focus on your surroundings. It’s also easy to get lulled into a sense of complacency. Be on the alert and be ready! Follow these tips and you will be.