A second look at self-defense after woman is kidnapped and raped

On Friday, many women in our area said they're concerned for their safety since the man suspected of abducting and raping a woman at knifepoint Wednesday afternoon has not been arrested.

"That's crazy, because you see that stuff on TV, but you don't think it would actually happen somewhere around you," said Christin Crews.

Danielle Duff said she plans to buy pepper spray after hearing about the incident.

Experts have advice for women, such as Crews and Duff, when it comes to protecting yourself from a potential sexual assault or abduction.

"Really some of the simplest techniques to use are just walk with confidence. Don't be a target in how you're walking. Don't close yourself off, hunch over, don't seem timid or scared from the environment. Walk with authority," said Tina Toth, who is a sexual assault counselor for the Rape Crisis Center.

She adds that predators tend to act on opportunity, so finding ways to limit your vulnerability is important.

Other safety and self-defense practices include having a buddy system in place if you are leaving work or a location late at night, as well as staying in-touch with friends and/or family if you are in an unfamiliar area and letting them know how long you plan to stay there and when you plan to leave.

As for Wednesday afternoon's abduction and sexual assault case, Toth said the way the woman handled the situation and the amount of information she was able to recall from what happened was remarkable.

"It was pretty amazing that she was able to recall what she could from the events, because when we are traumatized, our cognitive processes are really shut down," said Toth.

She also mentioned that when these cognitive processes shut down, so does the amount of information victims can remember, because they are in survival mode.

During survival mode, the mind will store things on a sensory level, so some victims may only be able to recall smells or a feeling on their skin.

Although a victim's memory may be piecemeal, over time, she may begin to remember what happened, which can cause a form of post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

"Your nervous system is on alert. All the time looking for the next possible threat, because it has been through this horrific event," Toth said.

Toth said it also can have an effect on the community, because residents may be more paranoid or on edge when the incident occurs at the time and even months after.