It could have been worse - she could have been walking to her car unaware she had a stalker! In the United Kingdom each year there are now about 2 million stalking incidents reported each year!
In the US the FBI reckon that 25% of female students are victims of rape or rape attempts over their 3/4 years at college more..............
Although in the first 6 months of 2010, nationally violent crime dropped by 10%, in my State, Wyoming violent completed rapes had increased nearly 20% from 2007 to 2009. The FBI estimates that less than 35% of such crimes are reported. In addition we have crimes of robbery and general assault to which women are more susceptible as criminals are like wolves; they hunt in packs and pick on the vulnerable. Wyoming seems such a safe and quiet place, and it is. It is very unlikely that the average adult female in Wyoming will suffer such an attack. The biggest risk is to younger women such as college students, shop workers leaving work in the dark and, of course leaving clubs and bars late at night often with a little too much alcohol!
Wyoming sits at around #24 out of 50 States, according to the FBI, for violent crime. Carrying a concealed weapon may help with your protection but of course you cannot take it into a bar and various other venues like college campus. Also in order to deploy it you will probably have to fend off your attacker in order to get it out of your purse. Then you risk it being taken off you and used against you so it can be a false security. You are more likely to have some simple defense tools at your disposal, such as a pen or hairspray, plus your readiness for an assault and awareness of high risk situations.
Travel outside of Wyoming on vacation or business may take you to very high risk locations. Often the best restaurants are in the "Red Light" area of the city. Anywhere you are a stranger automatically raises the risk level.
The ideal action to take in the case of any serious threat or attack is to run away. That is sensible. A self defense course should be
- To inform you of strategies to avoid risk by being aware
- What to do to escape from a risk situation before violence can occur
- How to respond to disable an attacker to facilitate escape