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If you’re anywhere near the Midwest, your social media feed has been blowing up about Mollie Tibbetts. Or even if you watch the national news, you may have seen her as the sophomore from the University of Iowa who went missing on July 18th while out for an evening jog. Since then multiple other social media stories have popped up of alleged kidnapping and high-speed incidents on I-80 and US Hwy 6 in Iowa with men trying to lure women to stop on the side of the road. Now people are starting to question, is it even safe to drive through the heart of the country.

I almost did it.

I almost shared those same posts for “public awareness”. But I stopped. Reading the comments of the original posts and of the shares and you can see in moments, women are becoming scared to go out in what used to seem like the safest party in the country. In preparing for this post, I researched from State of Iowa Patrol, Officer Ludwig that these 1-80 and US Hwy 6 incidents were never called in and the stories led on Facebook were positioned to have lasted from 10-20 minutes.

So here we have the problem. Is it false news yet again to capture quick viral sensation? Or do we have women who are literally blank when it comes to an unknown and scary event? While we certainly can’t stop the prior we can most certainly talk about how to become a little smarter in today’s world. So let’s talk about it. Let’s quit being scared to live the lives we were meant to because someday, somewhere, someone might try to steal that from us. Nope, not only am I not going to let that happen for myself, but I will not let my children grow up in fear of the what if’s.


Let’s start with the basics here – your health. As women we have a list a MILE long of why we don’t have time to take care of ourselves. If general overall health and well-being hasn’t been enough to work you towards beginning to take care of yourself then maybe this will.

Two things happen when you take care of your health:

  1. You become more confident. When you take care of your health you stand with your shoulders a little more square, you keep your head lifted and you have found the way to manage daily stressors a little easier. So do you think that by the way of carrying yourself and holding your head up to actually see your surroundings that you may no longer be the target for someone as an “easy target”? Girl, hear me when I say when you take care of you – EVERYONE else notices. If you manage stress better, you react better and smarter.  
  2. You become stronger. You lose some excess weight and you add in some lean muscle and girl you’re one strong mama. That endurance and strength is part of the confidence boost in knowing that even though we may not be as strong as some of our male counterparts but by no means are we less smart and able to find a way to still protect ourselves. Which leads me into the next basic:

Protecting ourselves:

When I attended a local concealed carry course I learned about a great company called Damsel in Defense. They understand that not every woman feels comfortable carrying a firearm and feeling confident to use it when needed. But I will tell you the education in the class about general protection of ourselves was invaluable.No matter your stance on concealed carry or open carry for your respective states, please research a nearby class to just LEARN. When you hit up that class and if you don’t agree with open or concealed carry, please don’t attend as “Judgy Judy” while you are there – you will MISS every bit of information that is of use to you. Judy, leave that at home. But I digress, Damsel in Defense offers a slue of options for women and children safety for whatever your range of comfortability.

Because I travel in a lot of bigger cities in the Midwest and am by myself a lot I took it upon myself to get a keychain pepper spray for my work car and then a kubotan (a self-defense keychain weapon) for my personal vehicle to start. But while these may have the allure to better self-protection, if I don’t learn to use them properly I will still freeze in the moment of an incident. Que the world of YouTube. There is a video for everything, seriously.

Maybe you don’t feel comfortable carrying anything, that’s fine but research how to protect yourself in different scenarios. IE: approached from behind, grabbed by the arm, etc. Did you decide that getting a can of pepper spray or a kubotan was for you? Great, now research how to use that too. Firearm? Girl, take another course and learn to use that 1:1 with an instructor. And let’s just take this one step farther with what you saw on YouTube – enroll your spouse or a friend and PRACTICE with them. I promise you, both of you will benefit. It is not silly, it is not awkward, it is not a waste of time. This is your life, feel strong in protecting it.

If you’re interested in learning more about Damsel in Defense, just put a post on your social media and ask who amongst your friends has purchased or is a vendor? These are the ladies who can speak power into you and help guide you in what works best in your life. Maybe you want to tie your health and your confidence in protecting yourself into one. Research local karate or personal defense classes. Get the drift here….research, research, research? This is how you become more confident.

Lastly, this leads into our last section:

Bring awareness:

THESE are the things we need to be sharing on our social media. Share knowledge – not fear.

Family Quote

I know your very most important goal in life is protect your family right? Then START your conversation there. My daughter is 4 and I’ve had the discussion with her MULTIPLE times about if someone bad tries to take you, what do we do? We talk about it often. Not because I want her to be afraid, I want her to know what she is capable of. Equip your age appropriate children with tools and equipment to keep them safe. Damself in Defense even has items that are an alarm for when a child feels scared. Talk about how to use them. Practice with the older children. And then SHARE those stories on your social media. Share when your daughter can proudly say “mommy, I kick, I hit, I bite, I scream, I run if a bad guy grabs me.” Share when your teenager can take you down with a pressure point that you taught them.

Share your stories of feeling more confident in your abilities because of what you’ve learned. If you see a post about an incident – don’t just share to cause fear. Take that chance to remind women on your feed of how strong they are, how smart they are and how they don’t have to live in trepidation. Don’t just “tag” someone and say “watch out” – no girl, you are better than that. You can speak LIFE into your friends and family. And because I know women… let me just remind you of this:

This is NOT a “to do” list item. This is a get this stuff scheduled and get the conversation started now. Text your spouse – tell them you want to talk about it. Text your friend and offer to learn together or go to a class together. This is important.

You are important and you are so valuable to the world.

Nicki Signature

If you loved this week’s message and want to speak life into your social media feed please do your friends and family the favor of sharing this post. Start the conversation, they will be forever grateful you did.

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