Things I’m trying to teach my family – 2

Principle #1: Avoid dangerous people and dangerous places. Avoid going out alone after dark; don’t accept rides from people you don’t know well; if someone is acting suspiciously, remove yourself from the situation.
Principle #2: Do not defend your property or your “honor”. If someone demands your wallet or your keys, throw them away and run in the opposite direction. If someone calls you names, de-escalate the situation and move on. They clearly have a problem; you don’t need to make it yours. Self-defense is not about winning fights with aggressive men who probably have less to lose than you do.
Principle #3: Respond immediately and escape. Real life fights are not like the movies or the XBox. If you are forced to be physical, do it quickly, do it violently, and get the hell out. You never know how strong or experienced they are, or if they might have friends, or a knife.
The object of a violent criminal is to control you, emotionally or physically. Anything they say – any threats, any promises, anything – is designed to contol you. The more control you give them,, the less likely you are to escape. If they are threatening you, if they are in your house, if they have produced a knife or a gun, they have already crossed the line. They have already decided to hurt you, and nothing you can say will change that. Never reason with them, never negotiate, never agree to go to a secondary location. Respond immediately and escape. Even if they have a gun, it will be harder to hit you if you are running, and they already decided to use it anyway. Don’t make it easy for them.
The odds are you will not encounter crime and violence often. When you do, it is important that you remember that your physical safety is all that matters. Property, honor and friends can all be replaced. You cannot be.
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