At our workshops, we have been hearing a good deal of first-hand
experience from people having problems with their neighbors. It has ranged from minor harassment and threats, to significant
The police will tell you that in the vast majority of instances, victims of violent crimes know their
assailant. It may be a neighbor, a friend or a family member.
Because of this familiarity, the victims are
many times "blind" to the signals that are being sent their way. These signals would be taken very seriously
were they to come from a total stranger, but when they come from someone with whom we're familiar, we will many times
People just don't want to believe their neighbors, friends or family members are capable
of harming them.
We obviously don't want to walk around distrustful of the people around us. That is
no way to live. But we must not allow this closeness to cloud our judgment. We
must ALWAYS recognize that we are ultimately responsible for our own safety.
Consider the tragic circumstances
of the estranged girlfriend in Novato this past week. According to news reports, the boyfriend had a history of illegal
drug use, physical abuse against her, and she had a restraining order against him. He disregarded the order, grabbed
their baby in one hand, and bludgeoned her to death with a baseball bat held in the other.
She followed the rules.
She had previously called the police. She had obtained a restraining order. What
she failed to understand is that criminals don't care about the rules.
When the estranged boyfriend
showed up to her house - showing a clear disregard for the law - attendees of our
workshops would know that the Awareness Level should have immediately moved to Alarm
The threat is real, action must be taken - self-defense
The result of most attacks is not so traumatic. But without a well-considered Personal Safety
Plan - one that recognizes and evaluates all threats, regardless of the source - you are leaving yourself vulnerable to harm
- harm that can be avoided.
Do you practice your awareness techniques on a daily basis? Do you regularly train with and maintain your personal defense
device? When did you last mentally run through a scenario which you might be face with in the future?
Safety Tip: Some warning signs to watch for, regardless of the source -
speech or threats of violence (including online)
Stalking or lurking
Blatant disregard for the law or court orders
Next Newsletter: The
most effective use: Stun Guns.
Bison Risk Management Associates is a Northern California-based company providing Personal Safety and Emergency Preparedness training, workshops and consulting
for individuals, businesses and organizations.