Survive Violent Crime

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Solution

Increasing the odds of surviving violent crimes

The description for "Violent crime" can be found under "Why be prepared"

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Prelude

Surviving the array of potential violent crimes often begins with implementing measures of prevention. This requires a degree of action which may at times appear excessive to those unfamiliar with the consequences of violent crimes. Prevention can typically be supported with education and awareness however without the implementation of action and a no tolerance demeanor the intent of prevention may not succeed beyond the concept. Societal communities and humanity as a whole would greatly benefit from joining in on the common goal of detouring criminal violence. Such events occur daily as humanity continues to grow thicker skin and become less responsive to the acts of violence. Until such a time when we all join together to prevent and stop violent crimes the best we can hope for is to protect ourselves and those we care for to the fullest extent. This in itself can be a controversial subject between citizens. The concept of protection for many people simply means to stay armed and brandish that confidence as a deterrent while others hope that implementing new laws will change the statistics. Either way, .... personal protection and awareness is ultimately the responsibility of each person and is beneficial and conducive for surviving such an event.

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The following information has been provided with the aim of assisting those seeking to survive violent crimes.

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»»»  Hotline information for victims of violent crimes  «««

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Awareness & preventative measures

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Awareness is the ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something. In biological psychology, awareness is defined as a human's or an animal's perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event. [Source]  Prevention against becoming a victim of violent crime has a lot to do with observation, instinct and intuition. These are aspects and building blocks associated with enhancing awareness. To reduce the chances of becoming a victim of violent crime it is important to observe everyone at all times who may be within our safe zone of comfort.

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While walking or riding a bicycle » 

Developing a safe zone simply means to understand our own reaction time and how fast we can run away from an assailant. Being observant also means to make mental notes for avenues of escape while traversing through an area, ... especially if we are in an unfamiliar territory or region. Intuition and instinct also play a roll in becoming more aware of our surroundings. The instinct used for awareness and prevention is the same as what alerts us when being starred at for extended periods of time. It is that feeling we get that provokes a heightened degree of self preservation and inquiry. It is that encouraging sense to investigate the cause. Making eye contact with idle people or perhaps those who may be loitering for no apparent reason is advantageous when confirming this feeling. It is also important to avoid starring too long so to prevent provoking people who are already teetering on criminal action. Always be in a position of redness while walking or riding in areas of suspected risk.

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While riding in a vehicle »

It is important to pay close attention to everything around us. Violent crimes can occur to people riding in their vehicles during times of travel so it is important to reduced vulnerability and risk to a bare minimum. Locking the doors while traversing through city limit areas can be a benefit in preventing access from those who may attempt to get inside the vehicle. Be attentive while at stop lights, stop signs and other areas on the road requiring slowing down. These are the most vulnerable places to be caught off guard while riding in a vehicle.

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While at home » 

It is certainly easier to get comfortable while at home. Violent criminal acts such as with home invasions are accomplished much easier when the occupants in the home are not expecting it. To expect a home invasion may seem a little paranoid to some people but it does initiate a heavier degree of preparedness.  Expectation raises heightened levels of awareness as to what is going on in our neighborhood. Preventative measures include installing alarm systems and yard proximity sensors. Habitually locking the doors after entering is advantageous. Having a large dog or other intimidating pet is also a deterrent for  most criminals. Other deterrents include applying stickers on the windows of the home indicating the premises is defended with the use of fire arms.

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While at work » 

Now days violent crimes occurring in the work place are a subject for making the headlines in the news. Unfortunately the situations occurring these days are far more lethal than a fist fight in the back parking lot.  Severe and extensive criminal violence typically involves situations where disruption has encompassed or effected every employee at a facility or building. Such violent events are carried out with immediate and brutal force with the use of deadly weapons. These are often refereed to as mass shootings. It is important to raise our levels of awareness while at the work place for a number of factors that can save many lives Be attentive to abnormal sounds either mechanical or human in nature. Understand what variations of gun fire sounds like. Know where the exits are with the intent to escape harm. Be aware of strange or abnormal behavior from potentially disgruntled employees or visitors. Go here for more on "Surviving a work place shooting" or scroll to the bottom.

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Avoiding risk

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Vulnerable behavior

Walking alone »

Walking home alone late at night, ... especially while under suppressing influence of alcohol and drugs is risky. These are times when we make ourselves vulnerable to the criminally minded who's aim may be to take what they can can from easy victims.

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Coming or going from a parked vehicle  »

This is another location that requires careful consideration while parking a vehicle. Carjacking's as well as other violent crimes occur in these locations due to the aspects associated with vulnerability. Many such parking garages have camera systems but those only tell the story after a crime has occurred. Criminals can hide out behind support pillars, inside other vehicles or create distractions from across the structure with the aim of causing deception and opportunity for their associates.

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Loose grips on a purse, wallet or items of value »

Grab-n-run type of crimes happen all the time to victims who display their personal belongings loosely. Purses, knapsacks, backpacks and wallets are less likely to be taken when better secured or strapped. Holding them tightly and making an obvious statement as such will separate the thieves from the violent criminals. Violent criminals may decide to make an attempt an take it to the next level by using force. This can quickly become an altercation or an act of submission on the part of the victim. Resistance is a choice that needs to made instantly and with an added component of fury. Fight or flight or give in and let go. Unless we are prepared to fight back and have been trained to do so giving up our personal belongings may be conducive for surviving the moment. Heightened levels of awareness may add to the clues when we are getting that feeling of being targeted. Be ready, .... even if that means excessive counter measures are required.

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Flashing heavy amounts of cash in public »

People always seem to be drawn to the display of cash rolls and heavy amounts of currency. Especially if they don't have any. It is typically safer to refrain from flashing cash in areas suspected of inducing heightened levels of concern, ... simply meaning that this is a scenario where intuition plays an important roll in prevention. Refraining from making ourselves a target is certainly a proactive measure in reducing the chances of becoming a victim.

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Keeping a routine schedule »

Advanced levels of criminal activity include scoping out people who are display routine behavior patterns. This is especially true for those who work typical hours at their place of employment. It may be advantageous to consider upsetting that routine from time to time just in case our intuition is telling us that someone has been watching. Examples include staying in our vehicle for a few more minutes while arriving at work or hanging out for a little while longer before departing the workplace. Take a different route home from time to time but not too far off the normal path. It is also a good practice to inform someone when we are implementing evasive behavior and why. Just in case.

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Considering proactive behavior

Stay focused »

Increase awareness by practicing some advantageous drills with the aim of enhancing cognizant abilities and intuition. Play a game of sorts to be more attentive to what people are wearing as we traverse through an area. Notice those vehicles that seem to coincidentally be following us down the road. Make a few evasive and abnormal turns to validate that feeling. Pay attention to those who meander about without purpose such as with people who loiter near liquor stores, street corners etc. Performing a self test to discover what we recall and remember is one sure way of developing memory retention.  [Improving memory]

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Keep the head up while scanning left to right »

Walk with intention and confidence. These are awareness inhibitors and known to reduce becoming a victim of most all violent crimes. It is also indicative for announcing our firm stance and reluctance for becoming a victim to others. Be strong and present a challenge with an outward appearance. Let it be known that we are heavily resistant to the aggressive behavior of others. These are deterrents and are intended to thin out potential assailants.

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Have a buddy system »

Violent crimes are less likely to occur when two or more friends or associates are accompanying the walk through areas of suspected risk. Power in numbers is advantageous and a huge deterrent.

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Be cautious of the company we keep »

It is advantageous to know who our time is being shared with and what their character makeup consists of. It is important to understand that many such predators of violent crime can pass themselves off as genuine regular people or even a friend. Understanding that going home from a bar with a stranger adds tremendous risk to becoming a victim, ..... despite how nice they may appear. Deception is an art and has no limits as to it levels of intellect. Always question the drug or alcohol induced decisions of friends and associates. "A" type or persistent personalities can be wrong in their perception yet do a fantastic job in convincing us that all is well. Use that intuition and instinct. It is important to remember that drugs and alcohol derail and suppress the elements of awareness. During those times of being under the influence it is always a good idea to get the support or opinion of someone we trust who is not been subjected to those influences.

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Wearing appropriate clothing »

It is also advantageous to wear several layers of loose clothing when it is suspected that we may traverse through areas of potential risk. This can allow an opportunity to slip out of a layer of clothing with the intent to escape accordingly. For those who enjoy wearing high heels, ... it may be a good idea to remove them prior to walking to a park vehicle with keys in hand. Heels can certainly cause a considerable amount of damage to an assailant and it allows a better chance of escaping on foot afterwards.

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Training

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Gaining additional training in self defense is advantageous and is also beneficial for those around us who may require assistance. It also tends to sharpen awareness as we stay engaged in reasons for why we engage in training. Defensive measures often consist of hand to hand combat as well as fire arms training. Try not to be frightened of fire arms. Guns typically don't jump up and out of their hiding place to attack innocent bystanders. "People do that"!!!  In other words, Guns don't kill people any more than knives, vehicles, or sporting events for that matter. People with guns attack people without guns. That will always happen so being prepared as a counter measure is conducive for surviving such attacks.  Fire arms training starts and should always emphasize safety first.  Other advantageous training might include elements associated with the art of conversation and how to articulate in such a way so as to defuse a violent intruder or someone on the edge of criminal action.

[Krav Maga] , [Fire arms training] , [Criminal psychology]

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Compliance

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If surviving a violent attack means to get away with our lives than it may be necessary to consider giving in to our assailants demands. If they don't have immediate demands than suggest a few, .... such as money or something else of value. Compliance is just one option that may need to be considered when all other options are not realistic. The art of compliance has also been used as a deterrent to pursued an assailant to be off guard for just a moment. It is then when an opportunity may arise to engage with counter measures such as to escape or strike out hard against them. Giving in to some degree has been known to avoid becoming a statistic.

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Escaping

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Avoid being taken to an alternate location at all costs. There are moments during a struggle where the upper hand has not yet been determined. Not by the intended victim or by the assailant. This is the time to fight for our lives like never before. This is often harder for those with less training or acclimation to what hurts a human body but that is certainly no reason for not trying. Half the battle in defending ourselves is in our demeanor and determination. It is in our body language and our voice. How loud and viscous we can be has huge impact. Law enforcement officers are taught to utilize the same commanding voice in the aim of causing another to stop and desist from further action. IT WORKS!!!

Wearing lose clothing also aids in the attempt and success of escaping. As mentioned earlier in this content the use of high heels can be used as a weapon if needed during an escape.

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After an event

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Being a victim of a crime can be a very difficult and a stressful experience. While most people are naturally resilient and over time will find ways to cope and adjust, there can be a wide range of after effects to a trauma victim. A person may experience many of the effects or none at all. Not everyone has the same reaction. With some people, ... the reaction may be delayed by days, weeks, or even months. Some victims may think they are “going crazy,” when they are having a normal reaction to an abnormal and previous event.

Getting back to normal can be a difficult process after a personal experience of this nature, ... especially for victims of violent crime and families of murder victims. Learning to understand and feel more at ease with the intense feelings can help victims better cope with what happened.

Victims may need to seek help from friends, family, a members of their church or religion,  counselors, or a victim assistance professional.

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Potential effects of trauma

People who have been victims of crime may experience some of the following symptoms. Seek medical advice if the symptoms persist. 

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Physical


Nausea
Tremors
Chills or sweating
Lack of coordination
Heart palpitations or chest pains
High blood pressure
Headaches
Sleep disturbances
Upset stomach
Dizziness
Loss of appetite

Startled responses

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Emotional


Anxiety
Fear
Guilt
Grief
Depression
Sadness
Anger
Irritability
Numbness
Feeling lost, abandoned, and isolated

Wanting to withdraw or hide

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Mental


Slowed thinking
Confusion
Disorientation
Memory problems
Intrusive memories or flashbacks
Nightmares
Inability to concentrate
Difficulty in making decisions 

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Tips for coping

These are some ideas that may help victims cope with trauma or loss.

»  Keep a journal.

»  Allow yourself to feel the pain. It will not last forever.

»  Spend time with others, but make time to spend time alone.

»  Take care of your mind and body. Rest, sleep, and eat regular, healthy meals.

»  Re-establish a normal routine as soon as possible, but don’t over-do.

»  Make daily decisions, which will help to bring back a feeling of control over your life.

»  Exercise, though not excessively and alternate with periods of relaxation.

»  Undertake daily tasks with care. Accidents are more likely to happen after severe stress.

»  Recall the things that helped you cope during trying times and loss in the past and think about the things that give you hope. Turn to them on bad days.

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These are things to avoid

»  Don’t blame yourself—it wasn’t your fault.

»  Your emotions need to be expressed. Try not to bottle them up.

»  Make daily decisions, but avoid making life changing decisions in the immediate aftermath, since judgment may be temporarily impaired.

For some victims as well as their families members, life will be forever changed. It may feel empty and hollow. Life doesn’t “mean” what it used to. Part of coping and adjusting is redefining the future. What seemed important before may not be important now. Many victims find new meaning in their lives as a result of their experience. It is important to remember that emotional pain is not endless and that it will eventually ease. It is impossible to undo what has happened but life can be good again in time. 

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For family and friends of a victim of crime

»  Listen carefully.

»  Give them private time.

»  Spend time with the victim.

»  Don’t take their anger or other feelings personally.

»  Offer your assistance, even if they haven’t asked for help.

»  Help with everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking, caring for the family, minding the children.

»  Don’t tell them they are “lucky it wasn’t worse”—traumatized people are not consoled by such statements.

»  Tell them that you are sorry such an event has occurred to them and you want to understand and help them.

[Source]

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Additional Resources

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The FBI has a number of brochures and pamphlets for victims of crime.

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Help for Victims of crime (pdf) (html)
Children Affected by Crime (pdf) (html)
Financial Crime and You. (pdf) (html)
Help for Victims of Trafficking in Persons and Forced Labor (HLS)

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National resources and hotlines for crime victims

The website for the Office for Victims of Crime in the Department of Justice includes an online directory of victim assistance programs.

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Anti-Defamation League
www.adl.org

Battered Women’s Justice Project
(800) 903-0111
www.bwjp.org

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Indian Country Child Abuse Hotline

(800) 633-5155

Child-help USA/Forrester National Child Abuse Hotline
(800) 422-4453 | (800) 222-4453, TDD
www.childhelpusa.org

Futures Without Violence
(415) 678-5500
www.futureswithoutviolence.org/

Mothers Against Drunk Driving
(800) 438-6233

www.madd.org

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
(800) 843-5678
(800) 826-7653, TDD

www.missingkids.com

National Center for Victims of Crime
(800) 394-2255

www.ncvc.org

National Children’s Alliance
(800) 239-9950

www.nca-online.org

National Fraud Information Hotline
(800) 876-7060

www.fraud.org

National Organization for Victim Assistance
(800) 879-6682

www.trynova.org

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
(800) 537-2238
(800) 553-2508, TDD

www.nrcdv.org

National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children
(888) 818-7662

www.pomc.com

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
(800) 656-4673

www.rainn.org

Stalking Resource Center
www.ncvc.org/src

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Surviving a Workplace Shooting

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5 Tips from a Safety Expert

The recent shooting in San Bernadino has brought the threat of a workplace shooting to the front of many people’s minds.

For most of us, our office or workplace has never been a place where we feel unsafe. A workplace shooting is an unlikely scenario, but it’s still one you need to be prepared for. The worst can happen when and where you least expect it.

In the following video, a safety expert explains several steps you can take to survive in case of a shooting like the one in San Bernadino. Here are a few of his tips.

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»  Build a barricade around the door

»  Set off fire alarms and sprinklers — anything to cause commotion and bring attention to the situation

»  Tie a belt around the door hinge to keep it form being opened

»  If a gunman breaks through the door, fight back

»  Use anything you can get your hands on as a weapon (such as a fire extinguisher or scissors)

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Watch the video below, and share your own shooting survival tips in the comments.

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Videos

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Strategies for self-defense against violent encounters with criminals

How to Stop Violent Crime

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Resources

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https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/victim_assistance/coping

http://www.ncpc.org/topics/violent-crime-and-personal-safety

http://shankman.com/how-to-avoid-being-a-victim-anywhere-any-time/

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/jun/30/24-ways-to-reduce-in-the-worlds-most-violent-cities

Violent Crime