I have a love-hate relationship with my cellphone. I love having the whole world at my fingertips whenever and wherever I may be. But, I don’t like being at the whole world’s beck and call. And I’m not alone.
Our general ambivilence about our cell phones is reflected in the self-defense world. On the one hand, people who are up to no good need three things going for them before they can successfully carry out their nasty deeds: intention, ability and opportunity. For the vast majority of them, isolating their target is part of creating opportunity. Cell phones break isolation, giving potential victims a connection to the world outside, a chance to get someone’s attention or call for help. No isolation, no opportunity, creep moves on to a more vulnerable victim.
For a wonderful example of the use of a cell phone as a tool of self-defense, see the success story below in which a 16 year-old Beersheva girl outwits her three captors by saying she has to call her mother… A great Mother’s Day tribute.
On the other hand, you probably don’t need me to tell you that cell phones can be a real safety hazard— and not just for drivers. According to a study of pedestrian safety at the University of Illinois published this past November, using a cell phone while walking can be hazardous to your health. Compared with people just listening to music as they crossed, users of hands-free cell phones took longer to cross the same street under the same conditions and were more likely to get run over by a vehicle.
Personally, I think the cell phone is one of the best tools of self-defense ever devised. Unfortunately, it seem that good always comes with a price tag attached. Chocolate has calories; weekends have Monday (or Sunday if you live in Israel). Your cell phone can connect you to the world, or soak up so much of your attention, you become more vulnerable becuase of it. It can be a source of increased safety or increased danger. It’s a matter of maximizing your awareness and deciding how to use the tools you have. Which reminds me: don’t forget that striking someone straight on with a cell phone to the nose, the solar plexus or the groin can get your message across with no additional air time charges and without even calling your Mom.
Beersheba: ‘3 Arabs tried to kidnap, sexually assault girl’
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
Police in Beersheba arrested three Israeli Arabs on Thursday on suspicion of attempting to kidnap and sexually assault a 16-year-old girl.
According to suspicions, the suspects noticed the girl walking and offered her a ride to her friend’s house. The girl apparently entered the vehicle, but soon learned that the suspects had no intention of letting her out unless “she agreed to their sexual demands,” police said.
The suspects allegedly confiscated the girl’s phone to prevent her from calling for assistance.
“Keeping her wits about her, the girl told her captors that she wanted to phoned her mother to let her know she would be late. The suspects gave her the phone, and the girl proceeded to immediately contact police,” Negev police added.
The suspects became alarmed by the call and in the confusion, the girl escaped from the vehicle. The suspects fled the scene in the vehicle.
Police in the meantime deployed large numbers of patrol cars to the area, and located the vehicle containing the suspects, and the girl walking along a main road.