Johana’s Story

My name is Johana Kawelmacher; I’m the daughter of Vicki Kawelmacher. My mom has always taught me to be aware of my surroundings. This advice helped me seven years ago when I was ten years old. In an instant, I was the target of child abduction; fortunately I got away before they could throw me into a moving vehicle. I was aware of the vehicle and the two men sitting inside as soon as I went outside, it felt strange to me, this car was out of place and I’d never seen it before. Looking back I should have gone back into my house, but remember, I was only ten years old at the time.

I am now seventeen years old; I’ve taken my safety to the next level with Charles Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I’m currently a blue belt and working to get my black belt. Training in martial arts helps prepare me if I ever find myself in a situation where I must fight to survive.

Watching horrible stories unfold on the news about rape, or someone being beaten and or killed hurts me and my mom because sometimes it seems to take a tragic life event for women to get training or make the decision to carry some form of protection. Something as simple as a pepper spray or a little knife might just make the difference between life and death. Choose safety because you are worth it and so am I.

Kim’s Story

I just read your post about your daughter almost being abducted when she was 10 and I have to say I can totally relate… the 10 year old myself.

This was back in 1979 or 1980 and I was about 10.  My grandparents lived only a few miles away from our home and I went there often….but it was in the country on a country road and somewhat isolated.   One of my classmates actually lived about 1/4 mile down the street from my grandparents and it was nothing strange for me to walk over to their farm and hang out and play in the afternoon.  The only problem is that there were lots of trees and bushes so nobody could see directly from one house to the other.

Back then, nobody really talked about abductions and therefore, as a kid, I never even thought about it….until that one day.   I was walking along the road to my friend’s house and thankfully on the same side of my friend’s house.  An old, huge boat sized car stopped and a middle aged man got out and hollered over the roof of the car asking if I wanted some candy. I was smart and instinctual and knew that was bad and ran through the peach orchard which was the front yard to my friend’s house.  Had I been on the other side of the road… may not have turned out like it did. What gets me to this day is…. Why was I “embarrassed” or “ashamed” to say anything? It’s like I totally lost my voice at that moment and was so scared, that I just wanted to forget it ever happened.  I never said a word about it to my friend’s mom or even my grandma that day! I just played like normal as soon as I got to the door!  Crazy, isn’t it?!   I finally told my mom about it a day later when it was too late for law enforcement to get involved.

My point is that even though my story isn’t tragic, as far as having a tragic ending, it’s tragic in the sense that there are children I’m sure today that feel the same way when confronted with a situation as this and sadly, their ending IS tragic.  I pray that everyone…women and children will get the courage they need to stand up for themselves and learn how to protect themselves from situations like this.  By the grace of God, I was saved from that situation and thankfully have not had any close encounters since.  But, I can tell you now…..there is no way on this earth I will ever go down easy.  I will fight to my very last breath God allows me to have and by having my concealed license and learning how to carry responsibly, I will have the courage to handle myself if a bad situation arises again.

Thank you for all you do!


Send your stories!

As the week comes to an end I just want to say: You folks are awesome. Your encouragement and support is refreshing. I am so TIRED of the wrong messages being circulated in the media and other platforms regarding how and why we choose to defend ourselves.

When my daughter was 10 years old two men attempted to abduct her. Had she been kidnapped that day the police would have been here within minutes and the news media would have probably grabbed hold of the story. My daughter escaped her attackers so the police did not come and the media was not interested in the story. I’ll tell you about how I almost lost my son another time.

Ladies and gents, I am ready for your personal stories. Has something tragic happened to you or someone you love. Did you have the means to defend yourself or were you defenseless?

All submissions become the property of HMHH. Send your letters via email to: Be sure to include a contact phone number. A photo is optional. All stories must be true.