In the grocery store, near closing time, I noticed a man “following” me. He didn’t try to make eye contact or talk to me, he just followed me up and down the aisles gathering a few items while I did a full grocery shopping for my family of 3. At check-out he was in the line behind me. I witnessed him slowly walk to the exit but he did not go out. Instead, he stopped and read publications which were in bins at the exit. When I finished paying I went out the exit but immediately made a U turn back into the store. He was on his way out behind me and cussed when he saw me double back into the store. At that point I knew he had been waiting for me. I went back inside, found the manager and asked him to walk me to my car, which he did. He helped me load my groceries and I drove away.

To this day, 31 years later, the hair on the back of my neck stands up when I think about this story. I am proud of myself for having been aware of my surroundings and for asking for help instead of being embarrassed to do so.

Be observant. Ward off potential problems when you can. Listen to your gut. Don’t be afraid to ask for intervention help.