Author Archives: Brad Michaels

Switch Endings

Help Your Teen Daughter Avoid the Deceptions & Ruses That Can Make Her Vulnerable

I like movies that catch me off guard. Unpredictable plot twists. Startling, “I can’t believe that just happened!” moments. And, especially, unexpected endings — what my dad used to call, “switch endings.”

A switch ending (according to my dad) is when the storyline is moving along in a perfectly predictable way. Then, Bam! In an instant, everything changes. 

Quentin Tarantino’s most recent film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” is a perfect example of this. Tarantino leads us down a path which seems quite predictable, reassuring us along the way that we know exactly what’s coming. As the final scenes unfold in an unanticipated way, there is confusion, followed by shock and disbelief. Perfect! I loved it!

Unfortunately, this same sequence — apparent normalcy, followed by disorientation, shock and denial — is precisely how predators create ruses designed to deceive and take advantage of young women. 

Though there are many types of predatory deceptions used in all sorts of situations – on dates, at parties, on college campuses and while traveling — we rarely think about the ones used against young women while in the apparent safety of their own cars. 

In today’s article, I want to talk with you about one particularly ominous car crime, one that occurs with such frequency that it even has a name among cops and law enforcement professionals: bumper rape. 

Here’s what you need to know…

Not All “Accidents” Are Accidental! Some are criminal ruses designed to get young, unsuspecting women out of their cars and into trouble. The “bumper rape” strategy is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this.

Here’s how it happens…

A woman is driving alone, usually after dark, on a quiet road. While stopped at an intersection, she is struck from behind by another car. It’s usually only a tap, but enough to crack a taillight or crumple a fender.

Without giving it a second thought, she does what most of us would do… she gets out and walks to the back of the car to check the damage and talk to the other driver.

In an instant, she is grabbed, forced into his car, taken to a secluded spot and assaulted.

This is a disturbingly effective ruse and it happens all the time, in all kinds of communities, all over the country.

Here’s what you can do…

Teach your daughter these five simple, but important rules.

1. Do Not Get Out of the Car

While checking to see that all doors are locked and windows are up, she must discipline herself to stay in the car and keep the engine running. With her foot on the break and the car still in gear, she should wait for the other driver to approach.

2. Relocate to a Safe Place

Without rolling down her window, she should ask the other driver to follow her to a place where she feels safe. Once there, they can inspect the damage and exchange insurance information. Police and fire stations, convenience stores, and service stations are generally close-by and provide adequate security for this.

3. Call the Police

If he is unwilling to cooperate with her request to relocate, and has behaved appropriately and unsuspiciously to this point, your daughter can suggest the only other acceptably safe alternative — call the police and exchange information after they arrive.

4. Do Not be Swayed – Never Violate Rule #1 

If he makes any attempt to persuade her to get out of her car, she must remain resolute in her commitment not to. Predators are well-practiced in the use of guile and know exactly the right things to say to get young women to let down their guard.

No matter what he says, regardless of how rational it may seem, she must not leave the security of her car.

5. Leave the Scene

If at any time, for any reason, she feels concerned, fearful, uncomfortable or unsafe, she must leave immediately. As a parent, give her your whole-hearted support and permission to trust her intuition and do what feels most safe.

 

Not All Switch Endings Are the Good Kind

When it comes to movies, I love the surprise of a switch ending. In real life, however, being caught off guard can have serious consequences. By heightening your daughter’s awareness to the dangers that exist and introducing her to these simple rules, she’ll have all that she needs to feel confident and safe every time she gets behind the wheel.