The Fear of Being Taken

A problem a lot of us face is the fear of being taken when walking outside in public, especially as a woman. In fact, most of the time there is a higher chance of being abducted as a woman than a man at 78%. Which shows how most of us, especially as women, have a higher chance of being abducted and maybe even being put into human trafficking. This places and increases the fear of being taken into us as we run the risk of never seeing our family, and friends ever again. Which leads us to worry even more about the people we leave behind if it ever does occur. Such as leaving behind people unintentionally who depend on you not just for survival but for mental support as a friend or companion. As a person I’m not always in a state of fear of this but I do get the sense of fear whenever I’m alone outside because of the fact I know how some people have gone missing by being alone by themselves especially as women. As being outside alone can sometimes make you feel as if something may happen to you. I understood this concept yet for myself I wasn’t always able to experience things that most people have been able to experience in life which makes me upset in a way. A couple examples would be, being able to walk by myself, and riding a bike in my own neighborhood and community without the fear of being abducted by anyone. At times I am able to do some of these but I hardly do because of the fear of being taken as a young female adolescent that was placed into me.

For me to be afraid sometimes of going outside concerns me the most as I know other people have to endure the same thing and are prevented from playing outside and exploring more about their own neighborhoods, and community. This would be because of the worry I have for future generations to come that also run the risk of being taken. Who knows, maybe in the future, people have a much higher chance of being taken then they do now if we don’t stop to think about how to prevent this now so it doesn’t affect our future children and their children to come. If we continue to turn a blind eye to this situation, who knows what will happen to our future generations who fall into the same fate as those who have already been abducted by the hands of traffickers or other people.

In my own memory I can still recall the times when other parents would tell their children what to wear especially the young little girls. I remember vaguely what they had said but in short it was clothes that weren’t ‘’revealing’’ as many of us as young female adolescents are taught this. In order to not become a target to men or people who might see us as a girl who’s ‘’asking for it’’ or worse. This idea was planted into my head like a seed which over the years soon grew to become a sense of fear of people who would try to take me so I would be concerned with the way I dressed as a young child. Afterwards, I knew how this idea affected my way of dressing up when I grew up but I also came to terms with myself that it’s not always the way we dress up that gets us stolen.

As there has been news of people not wearing anything revealing yet they still get cat-called, raped, abducted, or even worse. According to there have been instances where someone was still raped, such as the case of one girl who was only six-years old at the time it occurred. She states and I quote ,’’A sun dress. Month’s later, my mother would stand in front of my closet and complain about how I never wore any of my dresses anymore. I was six years old.’’ This implies on how even though she was very young she was still raped and all she was wearing was a sun dress. This also helps conclude that it doesn’t matter what we wear as at the end of the day we ALL still have a chance of being raped that then leads to getting stolen no matter the age.

Over time I have also grown to understand that we cannot track everyone at once and stop them from doing crimes like this. We all know that but because most of them tend to not stop, we must face a new challenge of finding ways to protect ourselves not just as young female adolescents but as young male children. As it’s not always the females who get attacked but also young male adolescents who don’t even get taught the dangers that are given to them as well. As a result there has been rising technology and ideas to prevent this and stop this outrageous act of taking people, harming them, and more.

Some ideas as to how to prevent this is being very cautious to our surroundings and never taking our guard down. If we do so we can someday be enjoying our time as usual, then the next we’re gone and never given the chance to say goodbye to everyone we know and care about if we do not find a way to prevent this. Well, that’s just one idea on how to be cautious of your surroundings but another would be to know who you’re around such as the people in other neighborhoods might see you as a new person who doesn’t know or understand anything about the place they’re in and who might also see you as a target. These days we never know if someone sees us as they’re ‘’perfect’’ target to take, so we must always be cautious of who we know, who’s around us, and our surroundings.

To add on, if you still do not feel safe enough you can always have someone you know and trust be with you whenever you need to be somewhere. On some occasions, some people would rather walk alone yet still know they still have themselves for safety as they learn martial arts or even up to heading to the gym to gain muscle. Which obviously, is a way in which some people do prefer to do but if you are someone who can’t find a way to do so, or are somehow prevented from not doing so they’re are still other ways to prevent being snatched from society. Such as being with someone who you trust can help you at a time that you need them, but there are still other options to prevent being taken. These are just some ways on how to at least know how to protect yourself without running much of a risk of being put into trafficking or being that one person on the news who’s missing and never found again.

Since technology has grown over the years people also put trackers on themselves, on their phone, or even just having someone who knows your location can help you whenever you need to let someone know where you are if you feel threatened at any time you’re outside. Well these are just some ideas on how to protect yourself, but I hope you are able to apply some of this into your life to feel safe or even understand to never put your guard down even when you think someone you trust won’t harm you, or even how wherever you are, can make you a target to abduction, as not all people have your best interest at heart. On other occasions though, these ideas to protect yourself don’t always work out. For example, someone who still has a weapon in hand can still get harmed and abducted but it is still a good idea to atleast have a weapon whenever you may need it.This action of abduction does proceedingly grows fear into people for the main fact that if they do or do not contain a weapon they can still have a chance of going missing from society. Who knows though maybe in the future when we are able to find ways in order to prevent being taken from society, then the people, especially the women in our society can feel more safer walking outside in our streets, neighborhoods, and wherever they may go in the future.

Allison Ortega – Chicago Hope Academy – DMSF Class of 2027

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash