Program Offers "Street Smarts" to Topeka Women

TOPEKA, Kan. - Women are stepping out of the role of victim and learning to be "street smart" thanks to a safety program.

Tuesday, women gathered in Topeka for a program aimed at teaching females crime prevention and personal safety awareness.

The Street Smart for Women Safety Program focused on how a criminal thinks and picks his target to keep these women from becoming one.

Lt. Thommy Halfen with the National Crime Prevention-Public Safety Coalition Task Force, travels the country to speak to women about keeping themselves, and their community safe.

"They need to find out what's going on inside their community instead of just putting their head in the sand and thinking nothing actually goes on here," Halfen said. "They need to come together and realize what goes on. Get the children involved in something besides gang activity. Get them involved in ball. Get them involved in church. Get them involved in the community. Get them involved in something besides gangs."

Halfen said people also need to abandon the idea that every neighborhood is susceptible to crime, whether it be gangs, drug problems, sexual predators or abuse. "Crime is not just what you see on T.V.," said Halfen. "It's your next door neighbor that could be havin' a meth lab or it could be the next door neighbor that's the pedophile. If you're going out to get your groceries at 2 o'clock in the afternoon you have more chance of becoming a victim of a crime than 8 o'clock this evening."

Women's United sponsored Lt. Halfen's two, one-hour sessions in Topeka Tuesday.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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