After the May 1990 living room face-off, Baty, a former real estate agent, now 41, vowed to protect herself—and others. She testified in favor of a bill to make stalking a felony ii California and began appearing on TV talk shows to share her ordeal. At on station a set technician dubbed her "The Safety Chick," a nickname she came to wear like a superhero's cloak.
Now comes A Girl's Gotta Do What a Girl's Gotta Do: The Ultimate Guide to Living Safe & Smart, the centerpiece of Baty's burgeoning self-defense business that includes seminars and a Safety Chick kit (see box). Among the book's tips: Be wary if a suspiciously behaving stranger smells of ammonia—many rape victims recall the scent given off by their attacker's pumping adrenaline. Also in the Guide are chapters on protecting online privacy (change passwords often), avoiding credit card fraud (write "SEE I.D." in the card's signature space, thereby forcing store clerks to check your photo), and traveling alone (never accept a ground-floor hotel room).
Married since 1990 to 6'6" former Miami Dolphins tight end Greg Baty, 38 (he was in training camp at the time of the break-in), Baty says, "I don't rely on anyone else to protect me." Now she's raising the couple's three young sons to always think about safety. "They know never to walk past a parked car if someone is inside; I make them run past," says Baty. "And they would never stop to give a stranger directions."
Although the idea of having to exercise such ultracautious behavior might make some women worry more, Baty says her goal is to give them power, not scare them with dark scenarios. To that end, her Safety Chick products reflect her vigilance and her sense of humor: Her pepper spray comes in a case that reads, "Back Off Bucko!"
Baty insists that being streetwise need not compromise any woman's femininity. It certainly hasn't diminished hers. "I'd love to do a Safety Chick weekend," she says. "We'd learn self-defense and get massages and manicures. Wouldn't that be fabulous?"
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