I usually write about funny and interesting observations I make but I think it’s time for a more serious topic; especially after reading about what happened on New Year’s Eve. It’s about safety, ladies. Yes, ladies, I’m talking to you.

If you haven’t read about this tragic story yet. Here’s a gist of it. A 29-year-old teaching assistant and camp counselor named Esmeralda “Esme” Barrera was found dead in her home on King Street around 3 a.m. on the night of New Year’s Eve. According to the reports, she went out to celebrate like a lot of us did that night and walked home by herself, literally a few blocks from where she was partying. She was supposed to walk home with a friend but ended walking back alone. She had been working with special needs children for years. She volunteered at Girls Rock Austin, a camp for young female musicans. She also used to work at Waterloo Records a while back. I didn’t know her but she seems like a great soul and now she’s gone. Her friends started a blog, For.Our.Esme.B, where people can make donations to help her family for the funeral services and expenses.

That night, 2 others attacks were reported in the same area. One was on the street around 2:18am but the attacker fled when the victim started scream. The other incident occurred at a woman’s home but the male subject fled after injuring the woman. The area in which all these occurred is around 31st street and King street. The police have yet to find the perpertrator. He was described as:

  • Black male
  • Aged 30 to 40
  • Approximately 6-feet tall, muscular build
  • Large, dark brown eyes
  • Last seen wearing a grey hooded jacket over dark-colored t-shirt and blue jeans

If you have any information regarding these incidents, please call the Homicide Tip Line at 477-3588. Many news organizations have reported these incidents, here’s one with video from KXAN.

So ladies, please be careful out there. DON’T WALK ALONE AND DON’T LET YOUR (GIRL)FRIENDS WALK ALONE LATE AT NIGHT! You never know when bad things can happen.

There are plenty of ways to avoid such terrible incidents:

  • Walk with at least 1 other person. Preferably a close friend.
  • Have a friend drive you to your car and take a cab to your car if you need to. Even if you’re in a hurry, wait for your friend. He/she may save you.
  • Park close to where you plan on going to avoid long walks after 2am.
  • Only use streets that are well-lit or have somewhat of a crowd around.
  • Guys, walk or drive your female friends back to their car. Don’t leave until they do or just take them home.
  • Don’t wander around the streets once they start clearing up way after 2am.

If you have other pieces of advice, feel free to post them in your comments. More importantly, share this story with your friends.

Thank you for reading and R.I.P. Esme.