While I rarely write about my work and have recently taken some side trips posting about Pokémon Go (no fear regular readers, quilting and fashion posts will soon return), there are some observations I have made after reading page upon page of California criminal appeals.
What you read or see in the news is just a small portion of the detail related to violent crime. It is heartbreaking and there are times I weep for the victims as I read the statement of facts for accuracy.
What I can offer is advice you have probably seen - most likely also given from law enforcement.
Be aware of your surroundings - that includes walking, jogging while listening to your iPod with ear plugs, better to be "unplugged."
Women - do not go to bars alone, ever.
Arm yourself and become proficient at using a weapon. Seems counterintuitive for those calling for gun control but there is a reason, there are very bad people out there that want to do you harm - more out there than you could possibly imagine.
Lock your doors and absolutely don't open them for strangers.
Women - if you are with a man that is not the father of your children, do not allow yourself to become impaired in any way, it is usually during that time your children will likely be victimized. Do not leave your children alone with a man, only after he has proven himself to hold you and your child's interests foremost.
Gang members hold allegiance to their gangs, not to their partners, and will do harm to their own women if the gang decrees she has "done something wrong." I have read more than one case where a gang member's woman, pregnant with child, was terminated in the most horrific way.
Of course, the tendency is to think, "It will never happen to me or my family," and with Godspeed and good luck it perhaps never will, but take a moment to think of those who have suffered, say a prayer for them and stay safe.