Women are feeling increasingly unsafe in Rockford.

Last week we shared a couple of incidents of teen girls being followed at Five Below and Michaels in the Forest City Plaza.

Another report happened yesterday morning, August 21st, of a teen being followed all the way to her high school (See Facebook post below).

Wow! That is very scary and concerning that this incident happened on Alpine Road near Lutheran High School. This is a well-traveled area and for something like this to occur makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

We're not advocating that this by any means was a situation of abduction, human trafficking, or worse. Our intentions are not to stir up mass panic. What does seem clear, however, is that many women in our city are being made to feel uncomfortable in public places, and that is not OK.

What we are stressing is the need for everyone (men, women, and children) to be aware of their surroundings.

As Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana stated to WREX.

encouraging everyone to always pay attention to your surroundings, and to be on the lookout for suspicious persons or activities. In a news release, he says people are becoming easily distracted with smartphones and other technology, which puts them at greater risk of being a victim of a crime.

 

If you see something that doesn't look right and makes you feel unsafe there are a couple of numbers to call and give the authorities the information of "who or what you saw, when you saw it, where it occurred and why it is suspicious."

"The non-emergency line outside of the city of Rockford is 815-282-2600. 
The non-emergency line inside the city of Rockford is 815-966-2900."

Also, for many iPhone users, you can use the SOS function on your phone if you find yourself in a precarious situation. Click here to find out how to use this function.

If you're an Android user here is the link about how to create an SOS feature on your phone.

The lesson here is paying attention to what is happening around you. "If you see something, say something" don't dismiss it or sit idle for fear of criticism because you can never be too safe.