What to do when you live in high crime area?

Being mugged.

Increase in crime levels has put all of us on the defensive.

Statements such as, “Now nobody is safe” and, “It seems that you are not safe anywhere,” are more and more common.

Parents watch over their children, afraid to let them out of their sight.

Women live in fear of being mugged and raped.

Elderly folk barricade themselves inside their homes.

From every angle, it is a sorry picture.

This brings us to our vital questions, what can we do when faced with crime?

What crime prevention steps can we take to protect ourselves?

What about self-defense?

Although the martial arts are often advocated, their use in self-defense against criminals is not endorsed as an option for most people.

The publication Violence—A Guide for the Caring Professions explains:

"There has usually been little support for the teaching of complex self-defense skills, not only because the main aim of training is seen as prevention but also because of their frequent impracticality. . . . Moreover such procedures may be limited in their applicability in settings like confined, cluttered spaces and will often involve the trainee in considerably more harm and injury during training than would be experienced in a professional lifetime of risk of attack.”

In Self Defense in Action, Robert Clark, goes further, saying:

 "Like all things learned for the first time, they [martial arts] will require a great amount of initial effort before their performance becomes second nature and can be performed without conscious thought. When you are attacked, you simply won’t have time to think about which move follows what.”

If you are unable to master martial arts, what can you do to counter violence?

Coping with muggers

The key to coping with muggers is to avoid making yourself vulnerable.

As a police inspector noted:

"Mugging is an opportunist business, that’s the thing you should remember.” 

So if circumstances compel you to be in an unsafe area, stay alert.

Don’t give muggers an opportunity.

Keep your eyes moving over the street ahead and occasionally look behind. Look ahead before entering a block—anticipate danger.

Try to avoid traveling alone after dark.

If you are at a meeting place, wait to walk home with a friend.

When driving your automobile, make sure that all doors are locked.

If they are not, a criminal can easily enter when you stop at a signal.

But what if, despite your precautions, you suddenly find yourself face-to-face with someone who has a knife or a gun?

Remember: Your life is your priority.

No possession can exceed its value.

So if your attacker wants money, give it to him.

Some people living in dangerous areas carry ‘mugger money’—a little money in a wallet or purse to satisfy a mugger.

Act calmly, speak firmly and with your normal voice.

Look the person in the eye, and try to hold his gaze.

Do not reply in kind to insults or threats.

Be ready to apologize even though there may not really be anything to apologize for.

Rape and home security

 Ray Wyre in Women, Men and Rape writes:

"Many rapists are surprised at how easy it is to rape a woman. Her terrified paralysis is interpreted as a lack of protest which commonly becomes an offender’s excuse for going ahead with the attack.”

If possible try to use any means at your disposal to avoid getting raped.

Even if you are not a strong fighter, you have a powerful weapon—your voice, to alert for help.

In most cases of rape occur indoors, quite often in the home of the woman being attacked.

An increasing number of these attacks occur during burglaries.

It makes sense, therefore, to ensure that your home is as safe as possible.

In this regard, what can you do?

You should secure all possible means of entry by using strong window latches and dead-bolt locks for the doors.

Such a lock requires the use of your key to turn the bolt when you are leaving and a turn of the bolt when you are inside.

In addition, it may be wise to obtain a door chain.

But remember, such a device is only as strong as the door frame and the bolts that secure the chain.

Another wise precaution is to check the credentials of all callers.

Ask for their ID cards.

Crime is not decreasing.

Indeed, statistics from around the world reveal that it is increasing.

Doing what we can now to protect ourselves and our loved ones is prudent.

What more you can do to fight crime?

▪ Plan your journey, especially if at night, to avoid unlit roadways and deserted streets. Remember, too, that you can run faster in flat shoes than in high-heeled ones.

▪ Never accept a lift from a stranger. Do not be lured out of your vehicle on any pretext. Any repairs are best made by somebody you know and in a safe place, not by a stranger at the side of the road.

▪ Walk near the curb, well away from the buildings where a potential attacker may be lurking in a doorway or alley.

▪ If you see a group of suspicious-looking persons ahead, cross the street to avoid them, or change direction. If you are followed, step into the street. If danger seems imminent, run or call for help.

▪ Avoid entering an elevator if you sense danger from the occupants. When in an elevator, stand next to the control panel. If a suspicious-looking person gets in, it may be wise to get out.

▪ Carry credit cards and other valuables in a separate place on your person. In this way, even if your purse is snatched, your loss will not be as great.