How to protect yourself from an abduction

POSTED: 10:42 PM May 17 2013   UPDATED: 9:22 AM May 20 2013
abduction prevention
ABILENE, Texas -

In the wake of the abductions of three young women in Cleveland who were held captive for more than 10 years, KTXS wanted to find some tips to help others avoid a similar situation.

Every situation is different, but there are several ways to protect yourself from becoming an easy target.

"I think some important things for women to do is really be aware of their surroundings for one thing this day and age we walk around with cell phones and texting and looking down in parking lots and I think that kind of makes you a target," said Monica Reid, assistant director of the Regional Crime Victims Crisis Center. 

The National Center for Missing Adults said 2,300 Americans are reported missing every day, including both adults and children. Two-thirds of abduction victims are ages 12 to 17. Eight out of 10 victims are females.

Most of the time people are targeted when they are alone in parking lots or structures so be extra cautious in those areas, don’t get distracted by a cell phone, always walk directly to your car and trust your instincts. If you see someone acting suspicious don't shy away, instead act confident.

"Standing up, making eye contact, having your keys ready when you're in a parking lot, I think is real important. Even carry pepper spray or mace," said Reid. 

If someone tries to grab you there is also some self-defense moves that will make you more likely to get away.

"If you do have to actually get into a conflict there are five very main areas to go for. That would be eyes, throat, something in the mid-section, the shins and the top of the feet," said Tony Forbis-Stokes a trainer at Premiere Martial Arts in Abilene.

You can also yell things like, “stop, no” or “fire” to get other’s attention.

Premiere Martial Arts offers quarterly seminars to teach women self defense techniques. Those events are open to the public and are free of charge, but donations are accepted.