SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) - On Sunday, Bradley Justin Cochran, 38, forcefully entered a vehicle and abducted three female students at Food World in Statesboro.
One student was able to escape the car, but Cochran reportedly forced the other two women to drive into Candler County where he sexually assaulted them.
Sheila Roemeling, the Founder and Executive Director of Fresh Start Healing Heart, told News 3 that most of the time, attackers either know their victims or seek out young adults who look vulnerable. She said that usually, the victims are alone or distracted.
Here are some tips for how to keep yourself safe:
- Pay attention to your surroundings
- Travel in groups
- Always tell someone where you are
- Don't run with headphones
- Don't walk while looking down at your phone
- Walk widely around corners
- Filter your social media followers
- Check inside and underneath your car
Roemeling said it's important that young people, especially those who are newly independent, take these precautions on a daily basis.
She said, "just recogni[ze] that you are out there on your own as an independent woman, but there are still many dangers out there that our families and friends have tried to keep us safe from that are still very real and even more real now that you're out there on your own."
If a situation does occur, Roemeling encourages survivors to speak out and not be ashamed to seek help.