Recently, a TikTok user named Lauren Bell shared safety tips for women that her Secret Service agent father taught her over the years.
The boutique owner in Pennsylvania said that those tips once saved her life. Lauren shared a video about a stalking incident she faced that went viral. The TikTok clip contained suggestions on how to spot if someone is following you, among many others.
She revealed that her father taught her to "question everything, question everybody," which led her to be alert at all times. She noticed a man following her around in a store. She then spotted him three different times at the same shop. "I just turn around and just start staring him down.
"I make eye contact with him. And one of the things that my dad taught me was (that) clothes can be removed, hair can be changed, but birthmarks and tattoos are always permanent."
Lauren initially tried to buy time, but the man followed her when she entered the parking area.
"He's like, 'Hey, I have an opportunity for you where you can make a tonne of money, why don't you come to my car, I have a flyer in my car right now."
However, Lauren got concerned when she noticed that there were not many people in the parking lot. And, as she had been taught, if she moved to her own car while the man was following her, it would allow him to track down her address from the licence plate.
As she was preparing to make a scene and alert people around her, she noticed another car parking up. Lauren then explained how she moved to the driver to ask for help, which intimidated the alleged stalker who "bolted away like a maniac".
"It just goes to show, guys, this kind of stuff can happen anywhere, any place, any time of day. This was a Sunday, 4.45pm, super close to home, and thank god that I was aware."
Lauren also took part in one popular TikTok trend where users post quotes from their loved ones, so she posted one containing wise words from her father. One of the quotes she shared was, "Never turn your back towards the door".
Another helpful tip was that pepper spray "is meant to be kept in your hand, not your purse, as it would be totally useless if it can't be reached quickly enough.
Other quotes from her father say that "No one in Miami is your friend", "Nothing good comes after 11pm", and "Never take a jog before 8am".
In another video, one tip suggested that if you suspect a car is following you, take four right turns.
"When you take four right turns, you essentially just walked or drove in a complete circle. So, if someone is actually going to a destination and not following you, they wouldn't be making circles."
"When I was growing up my dad always drilled into my head – 'know where you are at all times, know your surroundings,'" she said.
Sage advice from her dad. For sure. Stay safe out there folks, you never know what could be lurking in the shadows!