For those who believe news hound Lois Lane is only supposed to date the crime fighter and not be one…you might just change your mind once you read my story.
I left a career as a news reporter to help fight crime in my own way by teaching others how to be scared safe.
During my 10 years spent as a television news journalist (most recently at WKMG-TV/Local6 News here in Orlando), I’ve learned – when it comes to personal safety as a woman – there are things that you just don’t do. I have never lived in a first-floor apartment (after doing a jail-house interview with a criminal who told me first-floor apartment dwellings were his main targets for break-ins). I have never parked next to a van in a parking lot (since I’ve reported on several woman who have ended up being kidnapped after doing just that). Back while I was single I never let a man pick me up at home for a first date and have never turned my back on my drink at a bar (after covering several date rape stories). The rules I live by were never taught to me; they have slowly worked their way into my subconscious mind. Why? Well, just ask any crime-beat journalist and he or she will tell you. We hard-news reporters live, sleep, eat and breathe these crime stories because we cover them day in and day out, and in that process, recognize patterns and methods that others may not. This has given us unique insight into actions and behaviors that often lead to victimization. In any given newsroom there are countless times when reporters, producers and anchors alike say, “This, again?” or “How are people still falling for that?”
My aim in leaving the sometimes not-so-glamorous world of T.V. news behind was to make a difference in Central Florida communities by using my experience as a crime reporter to help save lives. I became the founder of a women’s safety and awareness organization called Scared Safe NOW, Inc. I realized that behind every crime story is a lesson to be learned about personal safety. I apply those lessons to my own life and have started Scared Safe NOW, Inc. as a way to share what I’ve learned with others by translating true crime stories into practical advice.
I take stories ripped from the headlines and told from a news reporter’s perspective to help teach life-saving rules to hundreds of women and teenage girls attending our Scared Safe NOW, Inc. seminars each month. Through our news interviews with victims and detectives, they share their insight and advice, on what they believe every woman needs to know. In some cases, the criminals themselves share with us what they look for in a victim. All of the information gathered during these interviews helps our organization remain dedicated to keeping women safe.
The comprehensive programs I teach through Scared Safe NOW, Inc. serve as my platform to spread the lessons that I have learned from the crime stories I have covered. In conducting these safety and awareness seminars and also serving on the board of directors for the Victim Service Center of Orange County, I am living my dream of using my experience as a way to help save lives. Being scared safe is a good thing.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Article by By: Charnel Wright-Hollinshead
Contact Scared Safe Now Here:
Scared Safe Now, Inc.
P.O. Box 2141
Orlando, Fl 32733