THE RAW EMOTION
"I'm constantly looking over my shoulder, even in the middle of the day."
"When women call for help, they don't get the attention that they need...people don't respond to calls for help. We need to teach people how to be human again."
"It's made me realize not to take life for granted...nobody is safe, it can happen at any moment."
Her biggest safety concern? "Getting kidnapped, murdered, or raped."
A harsh reality for 27 year old Anneliese. She's a dog walker, a nanny, a bartender, a student. She likes to camp, hike, cook, read, and spend time with her dogs. Probably a lot like your daughter, cousin, niece, or friend.
She grew up in the Midwest, spent some time in Los Angeles, and now calls Atlanta home. But right now, her world is in turmoil. And she's sounding the alarm, an alarm that she hopes will empower and improve the safety of those in her community.
Atlanta is the capital of Georgia, it's been that way since 1868. The city was founded to meet the needs of railroads. The city played a prominent role in the Civil War, and has been the scene of protests against racial segregation led by Martin Luther King Jr.
The city hosted the 1996 Olympic games, and Atlanta continues to be a sports hub for college and professional teams. For Anneliese, who is a Cubs fan, the opportunities Atlanta offers is what drew her in. She's called Atlanta home for six years, living in various neighborhoods throughout the city.
She says things have dramatically changed this summer, and the recent murders of two women, one of whom she knew personally, have put all women on edge.
Anneliese is concerned for her personal safety, and for the safety of others. One of the victims was walking her dog near a popular park when she was killed. The other victim was a popular bartender. The personal connection to the bartender hits home emotionally for Anneliese, and since she walks dogs as well, that case also makes it that much harder for her to feel safe. She's always looking over her shoulder, even in the daylight. At times she says she gets overcome with emotion just thinking about the women who were killed. She wants the violence to stop. She wants to empower others and do what she can to help.
HER EMPOWERMENT PLAN
Anneliese reached out via email to several personal safety companies, asking for help, including us at Mace Security International. You know us as the company that produces MACE® pepper spray and a full line of non-lethal personal defense products.
Annelise says a few companies have sent her items to help, other companies have responded but are not able to help right now, and some personal safety companies haven't responded to her at all.
Our mission is to provide community and family safety through individual empowerment, so it was natural for us to reach back to Anneliese and ask her what she needs. Her empowerment plan includes distributing items that fellow bartenders, dog walkers, and college students need for personal safety. She's interested in small, compact products that "do what they're supposed to do."
One of her favorite personal safety products so far is an escape bracelet that she now wears all the time. We're providing a link to that escape bracelet, even though it's not made by Mace® Brand, because we believe safety is what matters most.
Anneliese says the MACE® pepper spray and water trainer kits are ideal for her and other women in Atlanta, along with the personal alarms. She's most interested in non-lethal personal defense items that can fit on a keychain or small handbag - the kind of protection she says many women just like her in Atlanta would find extremely beneficial right now.
Mace® Brand is making a donation to Anneliese, in her quest to empower those in her community. She plans to distribute the non-lethal personal defense products to fellow bartenders, dog walkers, friends, and those she meets on public transportation.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Anneliese has this suggestion for helping women in Atlanta or whatever city you call home. "Be there for them, and actually listen to women when they have concerns. The women in Atlanta should all have the freedom to feel safe," Anneliese says.
One of her friends says this about Anneliese, "If you want something done, put Anneliese in charge, she always finds a way to do things that make sense."
If you would like to donate to Anneliese so she can redistribute to those who need help, send us an email detailing how you'd like to help, and we'll make sure your donation gets to her.
We also suggest empowering all of your loved ones with a personal safety device. You just never know.
Another story you would enjoy: Survivor Story - Personal Size Pepper Spray Thwarts San Francisco Atta (mace.com)