Clarisse coordinates pro-life activities in my parish, as well as coordinating our children's catechism program. She is at lauds and Mass every morning, and spends many hours in the adoration chapel. She works in a large tech company downtown. With a friend, she was walking back from our Sunday rosary walk around the cathedral (which she organizes) when both women were attacked by three men. You can see the incident in this ABC clip: https://abc7news.com/woman-beaten-dragged-during-brazen-sf-robbery-after-church/10442340/.
Clarisse was back at morning Mass the next day. With her permission, here are five "learning points" she emailed us:
- Based on my subsequent conversations with folks who are in-the-know, I've learned that Asians are perceived to carry a lot of cash. That's part of the reason for why Asians have been targeted. It's not necessarily a race issue. I was wearing my Sunday church clothes and carrying a big handbag. I was an easy target. My learning is to keep valuables (keys, wallet, phone) on my person and to let the bags go.
- Put up a fight, up to the extent reasonable. This is my personal opinion: When criminals aren't met with any resistance, there will be more crimes like this. I was inspired by this 76 year old Asian woman who fought back and sent her attacker to the hospital (video). Bravo! Again, this is my own opinion; it is up to your prudential judgment whether you should fight back in this situation.
- If you see someone getting attacked, please help them. There were at least half a dozen people taking videos and photos of the crime, but doing nothing to help two women screaming and fighting their attackers. If even 2 of them had jumped in, I think this would gone differently.
- Exercise your civic responsibility. Over the past couple of days, I've run into locals who uniformly say that San Francisco has gotten much more unsafe in just the past year. I encourage everyone to exercise their civic responsibility to restore our great city of San Francisco. Vote, participate in recall campaigns, organize - whatever it takes, because enough is enough.
- Don't be afraid. I didn't feel any fear during the encounter. I believed this helped me avoid any emotional trauma after the incident and aided my physical healing. There is a strong connection between mind and body. As a Catholic Christian, I sincerely credit the daily Mass, the sacraments, prayers and daily consecrations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph for the gifts of fortitude and courage.