Coping with After Attacks on Women in Tyler

Three weeks ago a knock at the door never would have scared Brunshae. But since two South Tyler women were attacked just down the street from Brunshae's apartment, knocks bring a wave of fear.

"Every little thing scares me," says Brunshae McHenry. "I thought about moving back to where I am from. It is just out of control."

East Texas Medical Center Adult therapist Althea Roeland confirms Brunshae and other Tyler women's fears are normal, especially when someone you know or in your neighborhood is victimized.  What's not realistic is continuing to live in fear.

"Look at what's real and be able to know what's not," says Althea Roeland, E.T.M.C. Adult Therapist. "When you begin to see that your thinking about it obsessively, you can't sleep, you are depressed and you have more worry and anxiety and can't go outside your home, those are clues you need to deal with the issues."

Roeland says you start by confronting your fears.  Avoidance only intensifies anxiety.  After a few sleepless nights dwelling on the attack, Wendy who also lives in South Tyler did just that.

"I'm not going to be a prisoner at my own house," says Wendy Vanderwater.  "So I have made it a point to get out of the house today."

Then it's time to take control.  That begins with taking precautions and already having a safety plan of action in place.  Therapists say that's crucial because when you're not in charge of your fears, you stay a victim.