THE NEW SUPERPOWER FOR WOMEN: TRUST YOUR INTUITION, PREDICT DANGEROUS SITUATIONS, AND DEFEND YOURSELF FROM THE UNTHINKABLE
By Steve Kardian with A. Clara Pistek
Touchstone, $16.99, 240 pages
“When I was seventeen years old, I was kidnapped from a shopping mall in broad daylight, taken to an isolated location, and sexually assaulted,” writes Angela Rose in her foreword to Steve Kardian’s “The New Superpower for Woman.”
“When I saw a man approaching me, all of my internal alarms went off. He looked menacing and walked in an odd way. The parking lot was empty. It seemed that he was following me. I had an urge to run but ignored the messages my intuition was sending me, partly because I didn’t want to cause a scene.”
Angela Rose, a survivor activist and the founder and executive director of Promoting Awareness/Victim Empowerment (PAVE), goes on to state that this event that happened 20 years ago had profoundly changed her life. She notes that when Steve Kardian heard her story, he told her that she was lucky to be alive. She learned that statistically, the chances of surviving such an ordeal was less than 5 percent.
“The New Superpower for Women” is a must-read for all women so that they will never have to hear the words “You’re lucky to be alive.” It is a must-read for all parents so that they will never have to go through what my mom and dad did,” Ms. Rose writes.
Steve Kardian, a career law enforcement officer, FBI defense tactics instructor, and contractor for the U.S. Marshals Service, specializes in crime prevention and risk reduction for women’s safety. In his book, Mr. Kardian offers a guide to assessing predatory behavior before something happens. He explains what criminals and predators look for when choosing a victim, as well as how a woman can master the cues her body language sends out.
After more than 30 years in law enforcement where he investigated thousands of crimes against women, Mr. Kardian states that he found that in almost every case a woman knew before she was attacked that something was not right. She could sense it, he explains, whether there was something about her attacker’s attitude or his expression or the way he carried himself.
“While we all need to take precautions to stay safe, the truth is that crimes against women, along with their psychological, emotional, and physical effects, differ from crimes against men,’ Mr. Kardian writes in his introduction to the book. “The playing field may look the same, but it is a different game with different rules. When a predator attacks a man, the man’s money or life, or both, are at stake. When a woman is attacked, her money or life, or both, are at stake, but there is also the real possibility for sexual violence.”
Mr. Kardian explains that the effects of a physical assault, an act that is purely about power and domination, can be devastating and may take years to overcome. While the predator should be held responsible and certainly not the victim, some women experience emotional and psychological consequences that include depression, anxiety, fear and suicide.
Trust your gut, Mr. Kardian advises. A woman is one step ahead when she uses her intuition.
“Your subconscious mind is wired for safety. It analyzes and processes your surroundings constantly without your being aware of it, and will send out an alarm when it registers that things are not as they should be,” Mr. Kardian explains.
These internal alarms can be a sense of unease, often explained as “butterflies in your stomach,” or a tingling on one’s skin. Mr. Kardian states that through practice, one can strengthen and develop one’s intuition.
“It is the most basic form of self-defense and one of the most powerful tools you have to stay out of harm’s way,” writes Mr. Kardian.
“The New Superpower for Women” explains how predators pick their victims and reveals their tactics. Mr. Kardian also offers a primer on stalking, revealing who does it, what causes it, and what a stalking victim can do about it. He offers common-sense advice on how to walk with confidence, how to be aware of one’s surroundings, and how to read a predator’s facial expressions. And much more.
In his chapter on self-defense, Mr. Kardian notes that one out of every six women has been the target of rape or an attempted rape in her lifetime. He states that a rape happens once every 98 minutes in the United States, the victim will know the rapist 70 percent of the time, and the majority of sexual assaults occur near the home.
This interesting and informative book is a good security guide for women, as well as for the men who are concerned about their safety.
• Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime, espionage and terrorism. He wrote a crime prevention column for newspapers and online publications for 15 years.