While no victim of a crime chooses to be a victim and the only real way to prevent becoming a victim is to prevent the criminal act to begin with —which is entirely up to the criminal— there are things that you can do to increase your personal protection and help prevent becoming a victim. Be it assault, robbery, identity theft, or an act of terrorism, there are steps you can take to help avoid finding yourself in dangerous situations that put yourself at risk. Our goal with this blog is to help you become a little more aware of threats and what you can do to help mitigate them.

Pay attention, stay alert.

All too often, people tend to mind their own business and keep to themselves, and while this is polite, it does not mean that you can’t also remain vigilant. Take note of what is happening around you, your surroundings, and the people near you. If a criminal is looking for the ideal target, they will search for someone who seems oblivious that they can easily catch off guard —the element of surprise. If you are alert and paying attention, you don’t appear to be an easy target, will easily see an attack coming, and can better describe an event if something does happen. To help, don’t play music on your earbuds at full blast while you stare at your phone, this makes you both blind and deaf, without a clue as to what is going on around you — the ideal target.

Trust your gut.

You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach that screams “something isn’t right here!”? Never try to talk yourself down or convince yourself that you are just being paranoid or hypervigilant. Those gut feelings are our spider senses warning us of danger; don’t ignore it. If a person or a place seems sketchy to you, it is best to just avoid it. If you cannot avoid a situation, make sure to stay alert and pay close attention to everything and everyone. Note details, look for potential escapes, and if possible, don’t go it alone.

Don’t play nice.

It is okay to stand your ground; don’t worry about what someone thinks or how it makes you look. Remember Ted Bundy, who pretended to be injured to lure nice women into helping him, before forcing them into his van and violently raping them? Or Kenneth Bianchi who posed as an undercover policeman to lure polite women into his “cop car” which he used to drive them to his torture chamber? These men “caught” their victims by exploiting people’s natural desire to be kind and help. While it is a great thing to offer your help, it is also okay to er on the side of personal safety. If you are alone, do not feel obligated to help someone who is stranded, and it is always okay to ask for credentials before trusting what someone has to say. Anyone who is legitimate will be able to prove themselves. If you feel the overwhelming desire to help, it is always okay to call 911 to get someone assistance instead of helping yourself. If someone directly approaches you, it is always okay to stand your ground and say “no” to anything, anytime.

Protect yourself.

When all else fails, be prepared to defend yourself. Whether this means practicing the art of self-defense or carrying a weapon for personal protection, never leave yourself in a situation where you have no way to fight back. While carrying a firearm is known as the “great equalizer,” which allows a small person to defend themselves against the largest attacker or several attackers, if you are not able to carry a firearm, at least consider mace, a taser, or taking some martial arts classes to better physically prepare yourself for an attack. We recommend taking firearm training and obtaining your conceal carry license, which allows you to carry a firearm for personal protection.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to prepare for an attack. Simply being aware of the potential and preparing to defend yourself is often enough to thwart malicious acts. Carrying yourself as though you are aware and ready to fight back will discourage perpetrators from picking you as a target. While you cannot prevent every bad intention, you can help avoid becoming a victim. For more information about personal safety or to obtain your concealed carry permit, contact us at Optimal Security today!