How to Keep Yourself Safe From Becoming the Next Criminal Victim

In 2002 alone, over 23 million Americans fell victim to criminal violations of their persons or property. 98% of these crimes were premeditated, meaning the victims were pre-selected before the crime was committed. What makes you a candidate for being a target? And how can you make yourself an undesirable choice for some criminal’s intent?

Patrick Roberts

Not everyone has had the opportunity to walk into your own home at the precise moment while it is being burglarized. It’s a frightening feeling to be coming in the back door and hear the voices and foot patters of burglars rushing down your stairs and scrambling out the front door. What did they take? Is there somebody still in the house? Are they armed? These questions rush through your mind in an instant. The adrenaline surges, while you grapple with the thought that your home has been violated. That you have been violated.

This scenario, as personally experienced by this writer, is played out many times every year in homes all across America. In fact, in 2002 alone, household burglaries occurred 3,055,720 times.

Every 2.7 seconds somebody in America becomes a victim of a serious crime. Every 3.0 seconds somebody’s property gets stolen, or home broken into. Every 5.8 minutes somebody gets raped. And every 32.9 minutes somebody in America gets murdered.

Last year over 23 million criminal offenses were committed against us Americans. That means that 8 out of every 100 Americans became a victim of some deranged, criminally bent individual. This according to the August, 2003 report on Criminal Victimization for 2002 by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Look around your neighborhood and count out 25 homes. Someone in these homes will become a victim of either a personal or property crime this year, according to the above statistics. And don’t forget to include yourself, your family and your home in this survey.

It used to be that crime was more selectively compartmented into our inner cities. This is no longer the case. Suburban counties showed an 11.7% increase in murder for 2002 over the prior year according to the FBI’s 2003 Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. While cities over one million population showed decreases.

No matter who you are. No matter what your age, your gender, your income level, your lifestyle, or where you live, you are susceptible to becoming a criminal victim.

But there is much you can do to reduce your chances of being victimized, by understanding what criminals look for in their victims, and how to make yourself an unappealing target.

The Crime Prevention Manual for Business Owners and Managers (Which also applies to anyone) lists these 10 top victim targets for criminals …

  1. Hitchhiker.
  2. Intoxicated, distressed or weeping woman.
  3. Anyone picking them up (hitchhiker, distressed woman) on the road.
  4. Anyone appearing lost in public.
  5. Anyone stranded in a disabled car.
  6. A lone woman at any time.
  7. Anyone alone in an elevator, dark parking lot, stairwell, or public restroom.
  8. Anyone wearing valuables visibly, or running newspaper ads for valuable items.
  9. Anyone working or walking alone at night.
  10. Anyone jogging in remote areas.

Simply by not putting yourself into the above ten situations you can greatly reduce your possibility of being targeted.

Criminals look for victims that they can take by surprise. Says Dr. Ignatius Piazza, Founder and Director of Front Sight Resorts, which provides extensive courses in personal safety. The element of surprise gives the criminal a distinct advantage as they create a situation where you must react to them. Your reaction time gives the criminal two seconds or more to attack and disable you before you can mount any kind of response. So be aware of your environment.

But the best method is to get trained in the skills of self defense and personal safety. Says Dr. Piazza. Understanding what every parent, homeowner and teen is up against, it just makes a lot of sense to learn how to defend yourself, so that you do not fall victim into the hands of the latest pervert or criminal just out of the brink.

You owe it to yourself and those you love to learn how to safely, but properly, defend them from threat. For the first time in our nation’s history, one out of every 32 adults is either in prison, jail, on parole or probation. One out of every 32! It is not a matter of IF you, or your children, or your husband or wife, will have a potentially lethal confrontation, but rather WHEN. If you are properly trained to defend yourself, it might not happen at all.

For more information on Front Sights Resorts and their comprehensive self-defense and personal-safety training courses for men, women and youths, call.

Patrick Roberts has written numerous articles on criminal victimization and self defense.

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