So, I was 17, had my red P plates and decided to have a night in with my friend Laura and watch Dirty Dancing which was our absolute favourite thing to do at the time.
We were deciding wether to stay at my place, or to go elsewhere and I decided to stay home and Laura decided she was also going to go home. As we walked out the front of my house we saw a few guys run away and Laura’s car door open as if they had broken into her car. Luckily I think there was nothing stolen but we both jumped in our cars to go around the corner and check if we could see the guys that we thought we knew.
We drove around for a little, I was going to go stay at Laura’s because I was scared to stay home and then I decided I was being silly and thought if I put my car into the garage instead of leaving it on the street it would be safe. So as normal, I went to bed without a second thought.
About two weeks before this our family dog, Bella died. I was so used to her walking down the side/back of our house on the pebbles throughout the night and so on this particular night I thought the sound was the same until I remember that she wasn’t in the backyard.
By this time I had come to the realisation that there was people in my backyard trying to get into the house. I had no idea what to do, I was just frozen laying in my bed freaking out. I decided if I tried to call the home phone and then answered the one in my room that they would realise I was home and leave, but as I was frantically dialing and it was failing to ring I thought they had cut the power and freaked out a bit more. Turned out they hadn’t, I was just in a panic and typing the number wrong.
My room was next to the laundry which had a sliding door so I could hear very well when they opened the door and was already sitting up in my bed wondering what I was going to do next. The adrenaline kicked in and there was no rational thinking happening anymore, I jumped out and ran straight into the laundry face-to-face with three men (boys, probably with little balls). I have no idea what I said, it was all just a big blur of adrenaline filled rage. They could’ve easily hurt me with three on one but as I was screaming at them they turned and ran straight back from where they came from.
I was obviously so freaked out, called Mum and she raced home. Called the police, they came over, took my statement and finger printed the next day, sadly even though I seen, and knew one of the people they didn’t find any evidence so couldn’t take it on my word because it was all such a blur. I was a bit shaken for a while, I didn’t stay at home alone for a few weeks but eventually I got over it.
Sometimes I tell this story and think to myself “I can’t believe that actually happened to me”. I have no idea what i’d do today if something similar happened to me, I didn’t know what to do then I was running on pure adrenaline which luckily worked out in my favour when it really could’ve gone either way.
It seems a bit silly to think about, it’s almost a “that will never happen to me” kind of scenario, but it’s absolutely worth having a plan for if you are ever caught off guard. Now that I have my own home it’s something i’ve absolutely thought about, and read up on.
- Don’t approach them directly. Apparently, how I reacted wasn’t ideal because you can never anticipate the other persons reaction.
- Know which room in your house locks if you need to hide, usually bathrooms are the best option here.
- Get an alarm system, or a dog. I might not have giant terrifying dogs but I sure know the difference between my dogs “there’s someone here” bark, and “there’s someone here that I don’t know” bark. If nothing more they are a great noise warning.
- It may seem strange again, but keep something that you could utilise in an emergency situation nearby. A lot of people sleep with bats beside their bed- it’s not as uncommon as you might think!
- A pretty obvious one but call the police straight away!
- If you can’t call- use the app. Download it now, it’s called Emergency + and it tracks your location. Or, text the last person you text in your phonebook and ask them to immediately call the police.
Remember that having a plan isn’t being paranoid, it’s being prepared.
Have you had a brush with an intruder?