At barely 5 feet tall, Cristina A. shook uncontrollably as she peered out of the witness box in a criminal court proceeding against her husband.
One night, nine months earlier, Cristina was at home with her two children when her husband came home and stomped up the stairs looking for her.
The bedroom door swung open and her husband immediately started yelling at her. He jumped on Cristina, punching her and pressing his fingers into her legs so that every digit left a bruise that wouldn’t fade for weeks.
But, Cristina didn’t call the police that night. Because afterwards, just as he had so many times before, her husband promised to work on his anger, promised he’d go to counseling, told her he loved her.
He also threatened to kill her. And threatened that if she called the police he’d find someone else to kill her for him.
The day Cristina calls her “enough” day, came not long after the fight in the bedroom. She’d kicked her husband out, but he called and said he wanted to work on his anger issues again. He offered to pick the kids up from school and then meet her in a mall parking lot on her way home from work.
But in the parking lot, while she was getting the kids into her car, the mall surveillance camera captured her husband coming at her. He grabbed a clipboard from the backseat and cracked her head open.
The next day, she went to the police. A detective interviewed Cristina and told her, “I read your file, and your husband is going to kill you.”
From this point on, Cristina was in survival mode. Cristina had to live always watching her back because she knew what her husband was capable of doing.
In other words, Cristina had to take extreme precautions with her everyday life since her husband was familiar with her and her children’s routines and knew where they’d be.
While I certainly hope you never have to run from a dangerous ex or a bad guy looking to harm your family, there are simple things you can do to help stay safe while on the run.
Don’t wait. No matter if you are evacuating in anticipation of a storm or fleeing from an abusive relationship, one of the most common mistakes people make is waiting too long to leave.
Obviously, these can be extremely emotional decisions, but the fact is, the longer you wait the more dangerous it gets. Unfortunately, you must always be ready to go even after a traumatic incident such as the one Cristina experienced.
Like her, you may be forced to leave after a violent confrontation and won’t have time to gather things, which is why it’s critical to have a bug out bag packed and ready.
Stay under cover. These days, you can get a drone for a few hundred bucks that can cover a long distance quickly. If someone was going to track you from your home, this is one of the easiest ways to do it.
They can simply follow you with the drone to keep their eyes on you at certain times. To prevent this, you want to avoid places where you can be spotted from the air.
For example, if you are on the run and decide to camp, set up your tent in a heavily wooded area. Or if you are trying to escape someone in a busy city, stay indoors and be outside the least amount possible.
Choose the unlikely route. Imagine you get into a confrontation and must leave the area immediately since someone is looking to harm you. The problem is, if the person knows where you live or where you will go, they can easily follow you or cut you off on your way.
My point is, when travelling don’t just go from point A to point B. You need to take different routes and turns that will be abnormal from your usual travel.
This will help you identify if anyone is following you and will also mean no one is setting up a roadblock on the route they expect you to use.
Cover your tracks/ provide wrong info. It’s easy to plant a listening device in a home or office and criminals will go to great lengths to get information on their victims.
The thing is, you never want to leave signs of where you’re going or where you’ve been. Obviously, if you are moving on foot, you want to avoid leaving footprints, broken branches or litter.
On the other hand, if you think someone may be listening to your conversations, you can provide them with misinformation such as you are getting your haircut at a certain place and while they are waiting for you there, you can move to another location that they don’t know about.
Bottom line: If you are in a situation where someone is trying to harm you then you need to always be one step ahead of them. You need to think like a criminal and plan your movements before they are able to catch on.
Of course, if your life is truly in danger and a crime has been committed, the first thing I would do is contact the police. After that, I would use some of these tips to help you stay safe while on the run from whatever danger you may face.