Aggravated assault is a serious violent crime that involves severe bodily harm with a deadly weapon or dangerous object. While overall crime rates have declined, thousands still fall victim to aggravated assault each year.
Implementing preventative safety measures can help reduce your risk of becoming a target. This article provides expert tips on situational awareness, self-defense, and deterrence to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Assess Your Surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings is key to enhancing your personal safety. Criminals often target those who seem oblivious or vulnerable.
- Keep your head up and refrain from texting or wearing headphones in public settings. Paying attention makes you less likely to be caught off guard.
Evaluate Suspicious Behavior
- Take note of people acting oddly or showing signs of intoxication or aggression. Move away from anyone who raises red flags.
Identify Escape Routes
- Scope out exits or paths to safety in buildings, parking lots, isolated areas. Think through how you would get away if confronted.
Avoid Risky Situations
- Steer clear of deserted streets, dark alleys, and high crime neighborhoods. Opt for well-lit populated places at night.
Trust Your Instincts
- If a person or place makes you uneasy, get out of there. Don’t ignore discomfort or chalk it up to paranoia.
Enhance Home Security
- Install secure locks, an alarm system, and outdoor lighting. Keep doors/windows locked and don’t open for strangers.
Avoid Vulnerable Locations
- Be especially cautious walking to your car, entering your home, at ATMs, and in enclosed parking garages.
Stay in Groups
- There is safety in numbers. Avoid isolated areas alone, especially at night.
- Don’t flaunt expensive items. Keep valuables concealed. Handbags with zippers and cross body bags deter grabs.
Self Defense Tips
If confronted by a potential assailant, self defense skills may help avoid becoming a victim.
- Yell “No!” or “Stop!” as loudly as possible to startle the attacker and draw attention.
- Stand tall with your shoulders back. Make stern eye contact. This communicates you are not an easy target.
- Position yourself at an angle with one foot forward. Extend your arm to signal “stop.”
- Act threatening and aggressive. Say you have a concealed weapon or combat skills.
- Toss keys, a purse, or your coat away from you so the assailant focuses on that object.
Target Vulnerable Areas
- If attacked, go for the eyes, throat, groin or knees to inflict pain and facilitate your escape.
Take a Class
- Consider martial arts, self-defense courses, or firearms training to boost confidence and capabilities.
Never Resist an Armed Assailant
- If the aggressor has a deadly weapon, comply with demands to preserve your safety.
Fighting back is extremely risky and should be a last resort. Your main goals are creating distance and drawing help. But passive compliance may be the smartest option against armed assailants.
Utilize Law Enforcement Resources
Police departments offer additional services to enhance public safety and prevent violence.
Request Extra Patrols
- If there’s been crime activity in your neighborhood, ask police for increased driven patrols.
Volunteer for Community Watch
- Get trained by your local police department to assist with neighborhood monitoring for suspicious activity.
Install Tracking Apps
- Smartphone apps like Find My Device and Emergency + allow real-time GPS monitoring and dialing emergency services with the push of a button.
- Contact police if you spot recurrent questionable behavior that signals impending crime danger.
- Call 911 immediately if an assault or crime is in progress. Provide as many details as possible.
Seek Restraining Orders
- Those who are victims of domestic violence or stalkers can obtain court orders restricting contact by threatening individuals.
By implementing these tips for heightened awareness, self-defense preparedness, and community engagement, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of becoming an aggravated assault victim.
But no prevention strategy is foolproof. Always have an emergency action plan and involve law enforcement promptly if trouble arises.