Monday, February 14, 2011

Awareness and Assertiveness

It was Saturday night around midnight and a friend had just dropped me off at my house.
I live in a corner coach house so there’s only one way to get into my house, through
a locked gate into the yard (my front yard/the three flat’s back yard). As I heard my
friend’s car take off, I turned the knob on the gate and as soon as I opened it a guy
stumbled out from between the three flat and the next door neighbor’s fence. I stayed
outside, lowered my voice a bit and said “Who are you?” He replied “a friend of Paula’s”
and walked right past me out the gate. I quickly locked the gate behind me, ran into
my house and locked the door. I hadn’t really thought too much of him or even paid
attention to where he went because Paula is one of my neighbors who lives in the three
flat. As I thought about it I realized that he popped out of a spot where he must have
hopped a fence and he must have been peeking into Paula’s window at the side of her

I let Paula know about the incident the next day and she immediately came over to talk
about it. No one had contacted her the night before or knocked on her door and she
was home around that time. She had an idea of who it might be but I wasn’t very helpful
when she later brought a picture to me. I emailed the rest of the condo association to be
alert, keep the gates locked, and to let Paula know if they see anyone suspicious.

Thankfully this was not more than, what seemed like, a drunk intruder who was pretty
easy to get rid of, but thanks to my IMPACT training, I was able to stand my ground and
use my verbal boundary setting skills. Now, more than ever, I’m making sure to scan the
premises whenever I walk in and I make sure to ask people who are dropping me off to
wait until I get in and turn on the lights.

Colleen Norton,
IMPACT graduate
Publicity Committee

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