Two Quick Personal Security Tips
People go their entire lives without experiencing or being the victims of a crime. This is how it should be. However, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen or won’t happen. Personal Security training is like car insurance; most people rarely need it but when they do they are happy they had it. Being prepared doesn’t require years of training. It requires a willingness and understanding for the need, preparation ahead of time and an awareness of what to watch out for.
Here are two quick tips that will immediately improve your personal security:
#1 – Understand the different types of awareness and how you can apply them
#2 – Control your personal space, especially when dealing with unknown people
Predatory criminals look for, choose, follow and attack specific people for specific reasons. Those reasons may include resources such as money, jewelry, an iPhone (robbery, burglary) or that resource may be you (rape, assault, kidnapping). Follow this link to see more information on violence types.
Three Types of Awareness
We break awareness into three types:
Environmental awareness is knowing the environment where you work, live, hang out, travel to or through. Do some research and find out what crimes are common in these areas and which areas should be avoided. Environmental awareness also includes looking beyond your immediate situation or conversation. Being attentive to the whole environment vs. fixating on one person, conversation, phone call, meal or activity. Good environmental awareness helps us determine what to prepare for before problems get close enough to become a threat.
What do you know about the person approaching you in the parking lot?
What are their intentions approaching you?
What are they capable of?
Where are their hands and what’s in them?
Situations become dangerous when assumptions are made about those we don’t know like this person can’t or won’t hurt me. Just because you are a good person with good intentions doesn’t mean they are. When being approached treat unknown persons as a potential threat regardless of age, gender, size or looks until they have demonstrated they mean no harm.
It’s your responsibility to defend yourself. Are you willing and capable? Will you handle a bad situation or rely on someone else to help? In today’s society it’s more likely bystanders will video tape your victimization than assist you. Be willing and capable.
Acknowledge the mistakes you make. Do you let strangers get too close to you? Do you focus on your phone at times when you should be paying attention to what’s happening around you? Pay attention to your intuition or “gut feeling”. That gut feeling has your best interests in mind and is often right.
Controlling Personal Space
Robbery, rape, kidnapping and assault all involve a threat getting close enough to commit their intended crime. So, controlling how close an unknown person gets to you is critical to personal security. Personal space can be compromised quickly, especially when caught unaware or distracted. The closer they get the more urgent things become.
Control how close an unknown gets with strong verbal and physical boundaries. Ask them to stop, tell them to stop and if they don’t stop some type of action is required. That action may include running away or it may include some use of force. If they comply with your verbal direction then consider further interaction but not until they have stopped encroaching on your space. Apologizing to someone for being a little rude is less painful than being assaulted or worse.
For more Personal Security tips and information check out the next Practical Awareness & Defense Options seminar.