See I Survived…I Survived…I Survived…, July 1, 2011, for background.


1. For women: When a man threatens with a gun or knife and tells you to do what he says and he won’t hurt you, he will hurt you whether you comply or not.

1A. “You won’t get hurt” doesn’t count rape, gang rape, or being beaten. It means, and only temporarily, that you will not be killed.

1B. Whether you resist or not, you have a 50% or so chance of surviving. You lose nothing by resisting or saying no, running or fighting with whatever you have.

1C. Begging for your life means nothing. If he wants to and has come to kill you, no appeal to humanity, not his and especially not yours, will change the course of events.

2. If you are taken away from your original location, it is unlikely that you will be returned to that location, alive or dead.

3. If you are lost in a blizzard or dangerous cold, eating snow may satisfy your thirst but it will lower your core body temperature and make you more vulnerable to hypothermia.

4. If your gut tells you something is wrong, with a situation, a person, an open door, a light that shouldn’t be on, do not second-guess yourself. Back away, leave the car locked, hide. Don’t think you can talk your way out of it. Don’t ignore your fear. Too many stories begin with a survivor double-guessing herself or himself, sensing danger ahead, dismissing it because of ____ [I know this man, he looked clean-cut, she always seemed nice, I was tired, I didn’t want to be rude, etc.] , ending with the survivor in a trunk or bleeding or blacking out with hands around the throat.

5. People are capable of evil. You cannot tell by looking at someone whether he or she is evil or not. Heed lesson #4.

6. An animal predator may give up the attack if you make it harder for it to kill you [blows to its head or eyes, a hard fight, someone nearby also fighting, etc.]. At some point, it may decide you’re not worth the struggle and simply walk away.

7. You cannot prepare for evil. Evil happens.

I knew this before I Survived.

8. Hope can be regained in even the most dire moments. Thoughts of family, goals, a brief pause in the abuse, an appeal on TV that family is looking for you and don’t give up, a shower, dawn. Any shard of hope is enough.

9. Most people will not help, even if, and especially if, you are covered in blood, holding a gunshot wound, or naked and bleeding. Cars slow down and speed off. People don’t believe their eyes or fear their lives will be in danger if they stop or help. They call 911 on you. They tell you, I’m sorry but I can’t open the door, I’m so sorry.

10. Think. Survivors are thinkers, plotters, schemers, those who can keep a corner of clarity in the mind, who resist the panic as much as they can, who don’t jump into the icy water but scan for the best option using whatever they can muster or remember.

10A. You can fall apart later, when you hear the police at the door or outside the trunk, see the headlights, hear the paramedic or police officer or son or neighbor speak.

10B. Though it may not prevent you from getting hurt, being a bit smarter than your attacker can save your life.

10C. Also, being more determined than your attacker. See #6.

11. You will lose something. A foot. A best friend. Safety, temporarily. Childhood. Hikes in the woods. But not everything, or what is most important.


Screenshot: Biography, I Survived videos: Kaye: Intruder.

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