It’s a sad reality, but seniors are just as vulnerable to crime as the rest of us— but on one terrifying night last year, 88-year-old Helen Reynolds refused to be a victim.
Last March, Reynolds had just returned from the store when a young man knocked on her front door and pushed his way into her home.
The senior was petrified as she watched him scour the house for valuables. After finding $40 in cash, he proceeded to duct tape the woman’s hands, head, and mouth. In an interview with CBS Philly, Reynolds recalled:
“I said, ‘Would you do this to your mother to bother her like you are doing me?'”
“Shhh,” the intruder replied.
The man didn’t leave her house for three long hours.
At one point, things got particularly scary when he removed the Reynolds’ clothing and thew her face first onto the bed.
Reynolds wasn’t going to give up without a fight though, and she proceeded to kick the man in the groin.
“Maybe I really hurt him. I don’t know, and I really don’t care,” she said.
Even though she was willing to use her strength, it was her quick thinking that really saved the day.
She told the man she had HIV.
“That’s when I told him that I had HIV, and my husband died of it— which is a lie,” said Reynolds.
“He didn’t bother me. That’s when he got out his piece of wire that he had in his pocket with the tape and everything and tied my ankles together. “
After Reynolds scared away the attacker, she was able to chew through the duct tape and alert a neighbor.
Reynolds got a ton of publicity for her brave actions and quick thinking. But, she tells CBS Philly, she also gives credit to God for playing a hand:
“It was all about me and my God, and he helped me out.”
Reynolds then used her time in the spotlight to encourage women her age to never stop fighting.
It would have been easy to simply accept the “inevitable”— but, in this potentially deadly situation, her fighting spirit got her through.
At the time of the reporting, no one had been identified or arrested for the attack. It doesn’t look like any updates have been made, so it’s possible we’ll never know who was behind the horrendous act.
Reynold’s bravery is a testament to the power of mature women everywhere. In the end, it just goes to show age is only a number!
As mentioned, it’s a sad reality that there are sickos out there preying on seniors. In fact, The Office for Victims of Crime says researchers estimate 10% of adults aged 60+ have experienced some sort of elder abuse in the past year alone.
The organization cites factors like state of health, access to financial resources and isolation as contributing to these statistics. It’s also worth noting that less than half of all violent acts against seniors are reported to police.
With this in mind, we’re inclined to think about ways seniors can protect themselves from harm. In cases like Reynolds’, it would be wise to avoid opening the door for strangers without confirmation of who they really are. And, God forbid anything happens, please don’t be afraid to report it to the police.
Hear Helen’s inspiring story below.
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