Abduction attempt jalan ara
These are her exact words:
“Dear KL friends,
I wanted to share with you something that happened to me recently, in the hope that talking about what happened to me can make you all more aware and vigilant and may be able to prevent this from happening to any of you.
Last Monday I went to Bangsar Village after work to do some grocery shopping on my way home. I left Bangsar Village at around 7.30pm via the exit outside Village Grocer and walked across the car park to the taxi stand/bus stop at the other side of the carpark on Jalan Ara. There was one taxi waiting already, and I also noticed one man sitting at the bus stop. I got in the taxi, asked the driver if he could open the boot so I could put my groceries in there as I had a lot of bags, to which he responded that there was an oil leak in the boot, and so I piled my shopping bags onto the seat behind the driver and got in. The taxi slowly started to pull out of the stand and as it did so, a second man (who in hindsight I now realize was almost certainly the man who had been seated at the bus stop as I approached and whom I had paid no attention to) opened my door, pushed me over and got it also, at which point the taxi sped up.
What happened next is all a bit of a blur, but essentially I put up a fight and screamed as loudly as I could. The fact that my grocery bags were piled up on the seat next to me actually worked to my advantage because the second man was unable to push me all the way over to the other side and I managed to keep my feet out of the door and use them to keep the door ajar as he was trying to close it. I can’t say that there was any conscious decision making involved in my reaction, everything I did was entirely instinctive, but I think that on some level I knew that I had to stop them from closing the door and that I had to make as much noise as I could while I still had the chance of attracting some attention. As the taxi approached the traffic lights going onto Jalan Marrof it was forced to slow down as the lights were either still red or had just turned green and traffic was still backed up. Fortunately for me this was near to the Mosque and my screaming must have attracted attention from people who were starting to gather there for evening prayers. All I know is that suddenly the taxi driver shouted something at the second man and he then pushed me out of the taxi before it sped off, turning left onto Jalan Marof. A small crowd of men seemed to suddenly appear (from the Mosque I assume) and two of them escorted me to the police station.
Physically, I was extremely lucky to get away with only minor cuts and bruises – what might have happened if they had managed to close the taxi door is something that I am trying to think about too much at the moment. Needless to say psychologically I’m extremely shaken and I think it’s only just begun to sink in that this is going to take a long time for me to move on from.
The people who have been aware of this since it happened have encouraged me to tell people about my experience because people need to be aware of the risks. I know that they’re right and this is why I wanted to share with all of you what happened. This message is not intended to try and frighten you all or to elicit sympathy. I’m sure like me you’ve all read and heard about similar stories in KL, but sometimes I think the risks are not really brought home to you until something like this happens to someone you know personally.
The only advice I can give is all common sense stuff – try to share taxi’s where possible, try to use a reliable driver/taxi company where possible (My Teksi is great as it sends you the driver details and you – and a friend – can track your journey), text or call a friend with your taxi details, pay attention to your surroundings (avoid getting in a taxi if there is only one or two other men standing around nearby), pay careful attention to the taxi and the driver in case you need that information later and don’t get complacent – I’m always very cautious when taking taxi’s home late at night by myself, but in all honesty, this was Bangsar Village at 7.30pm on a Monday night. I have taken taxi’s from there hundreds of times and it felt like a safe and familiar place. The reality is that my guard was down. While it seems that women are the primary targets of these sorts of attacks, I certainly know of men also who have been the victims of attacks in KL so guys please be aware also.
Please be careful out there – it seems that there has been a sharp increase recently in violent crimes around the city. While we all need to get on with day to day life, make sure you’re alert and vigilant.”
I congratulate this brave lady on her reaction – thank goodness she managed to get away.
It is absolutely shocking that we have to worry about this kind of thing in what should be a civilized capital city – but the simple fact is we obviously do.
Her advice is excellent –
– Call/SMS a taxi using My Teksi (you can download the app) or call a regular (Public/Sunshine etc) cab or a Blue Cab so even if you have to wait an extra 10 minutes they come to get you rather that just taking one off the street – that way the company knows who is picking you up and there is traceability.
– If you can, don’t take a taxi on your own – but this is often impossible – and someone always has to be dropped of last…if you are the last one make sure you friends know the taxi company and number that you are traveling in.
– make sure someone knows your plans and when to expect you home – even now obviously if you are just doing the groceries.
– Be aware of your surroundings and the people close by (single, pairs of men?) regardless of how familiar you are with the area of the time of day.
– If you are grabbed – immediately start fighting, scream, kick, hit, bite, scratch, try to keep the door open and try to get away as fast as you can – they won’t want a trouble maker…
– get a pepper spray and keep it in your bag. Perhaps if you have no choice but to get in random cab have it in your hand before you get into the vehicle- do a self defense course.
– I need to investigate this idea but it’s possible that there now might be some kind of “tracer” or “emergency” apps available for phones? if you hit them they may give of automatic signals to designated received phones (ie those that you have nominated) to message SOS…? Does anyone know of any?
Again, it’s just so upsetting that this kind of thing is happening……
Please stay safe everyone.