The Myth of Stranger Danger   

 

When endeavoring to protect ourselves we need to make sure that we are taking into account what threats we are most likely to face, not that we shouldn’t be prepared for all reasonable threats, but it would be foolish and even dangerous to only prepare for a threat that is statistically unlikely to happen.  Yet this is what most defenders do.  Most people who train in self-defense, martial arts, or defensive shooting, train to defend themselves in scenarios where they are attacked by strangers, and certainly this sort of attack does occur, but it is not as common as attacks from people known to the victim.  While the physical preparedness is the same, here are some non-physical steps you can take to protect yourself from the most likely, and least suspected attacker, someone you know.

 

  • Often attacks from friends and family involve alcohol and arguments that get out of hand. Be cautious of those that you have seen exhibit an inability to control themselves in the past when drinking, and take control of yourself by not escalating a situation.
  • Spouses and boyfriends or girlfriends can develop an unhealthy level of possessiveness, jealousy, or even a pure desire for violent domination. More often than not, this sort of thing is accompanied with all the typical warning signs.  Introduce your partner to your friends and family, take their input to heart, and be cautious of anyone that doesn’t want you to spend time or listen to people you have known and loved for years.  Get out of any violent relationship immediately, arm yourself, and involve law enforcement.  Do not take threats lightly.
  • Especially if you are woman, if you are invited to a co-worker’s for what you are told is a group gathering, ask others if they are going, show up late enough that you will not be alone, do not be the last to leave and walk out with someone else, and do not disarm.
  • Those that have children need to have some difficult conversations with their kids, especially if they leave them with sitters, including family. Children need to be warned about the potential threat that can come from loved ones just like strangers.  Children need to be made aware of what is acceptable and expected, and what nobody, no matter who they are, is allowed to do to them.  Express to your children that they should always inform you of anything that someone, including family, says or does that makes them uncomfortable, and that they are not at fault and will not be punished.

 

It is a shame that this subject needs to be addressed, but the reality is that those that you know, and sometimes even those that you trust, are more likely to attack you than a stranger, preparing for it physically and mentally will increase your chances of survival.

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