This is a guest post from a local mom. She wanted to share her story to help other woman be more aware of who is allowed into their homes and how to best ensure that they remain safe. This is her story….
I’m just your normal Scottsdale mom. I have two young children, I’m always wearing yoga pants and my hair in a ponytail as I shuttle my kids to school, soccer practice and dance studios. I guess I should say, I was a normal mom. You see, a year ago I became the victim of a crime committed inside my home by a construction worker. This crime was unexpected and unforeseen in every single way, and severely traumatized me.
Summers here in Arizona can be brutal, and we were into the third and final week of construction taking place inside our home. I was happy it was almost done and we could get back to normal.
On the final day, it was just one subcontractor worker finishing up last minute repairs. The general contractor’s superintendent who normally supervised subcontractors was absent that day, so I felt a little awkward being alone with him. However, I just wanted everything to get done, so I didn’t say anything or tell my husband. I should have spoken up. I know that now.
This worker was friendly, and talked to me about his own family. On this final day, while I was out running errands, this man committed a serious sexual crime against me and violated me in the worst way possible. He went through my most personal things in my drawer, and committed a sexual act. I’m not going to go into details, but every woman reading this knows what happened.
The past year of my life has been an absolute nightmare. It has been filled with police and detectives, crime scene specialists, DNA results, criminal court proceedings, and immigration and customs enforcement (ICE). I remained strong, and my husband and I fought every step of the way to receive justice. The man plead guilty to his crime, and now is a registered sexual offender. He is currently out on bail until his immigration court hearing. We also had to move, and my children had to change schools.
This past year has been one of the hardest of my life, and I don’t want any other moms here in Scottsdale to experience what I did.
Below are some tips on what to do before having construction performed inside your home:
- DO NOT ever leave workers alone in your home, and do not stay home alone with them. If this is not a possibility, get security cameras for every room and let it be known you have them.
- Ask if the company’s (and subcontractor) employees are direct employees or contract employees. There is a BIG difference as far as liability is concerned.
- Maintain a safe distance from workers. Do not speak to them. Criminals and sexual predators first step is to find a topic to get closer to you. Mine was my children.
- If you feel unsafe or nervous about being alone with workers in your home, speak up and say something.
- Familiarize yourself with the AZ employment verification laws (E-verify) and illegal immigrant employment laws. https://www.azag.gov/legal-az-workers-act/employers
- Ask the company performing the work if their employees are screened and E-verified. You can check if the company is registered here: https://www.uscis.gov/e-verify/about-program/e-verify-employers-search-tool
- Ask questions about every subcontractor hired to perform work in your home. Are they E-verified, background checked, and licensed?
- Verify contractor licenses here: https://roc.az.gov
- If a contractor refuses to answer your questions, this should be your first red flag.
- TRUST YOUR GUT. If something does not feel right, it usually is not.