Of course we sometimes scare the big old hairy men, too. If you spend enough time on social media, some well intentioned person will either send you directly or post in a public forum some kind of “tip” to help you prevent some terrible fate.
At least 90% of these seem to be totally worthless, of the remainder, about half have half truths and somewhat helpful facts and the remainder actually offer advice that can make the situation worse!
The two most important things to remember are:
1) most violent attacks on women are made by people they know.
2) all kinds of violent crime is in a long fairly steep decline, with occasional bumps up.
So, beyond exercising reasonable caution, not going to an ATM in an isolated spot in the middle of the night by yourself, especially when somewhat intoxicated. Not getting in your car without glancing in the back seat as you walk past, not leaving your car unlocked or leaving the doors open or the windows down. Paying attention as you walk through a deserted parking lot or parking garage, terrifying yourself or others about the possibility of being attacked is probably a bigger problem than the likelihood of the actual attack!
NOTE: between 2011 and 2012, most categories of crime went up about 1%, though the trend over the previous five years was about a 10-20% decrease, depending on category. And the trend downwards over the last 30 years has been even bigger.
In 2012, an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes occurred nationwide, an increase of 0.7 percent from the 2011 estimate.
When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2012 estimated violent crime total was 12.9 percent below the 2008 level and 12.2 below the 2003 level.
There were an estimated 386.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, a rate that remained virtually unchanged when compared to the 2011 estimated rate.
Aggravated assaults accounted for 62.6 percent of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2012. Robbery offenses accounted for 29.2 percent of violent crime offenses; rape accounted for 6.9 percent; and murder accounted for 1.2 percent.
Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 69.3 percent of the nation’s murders, 41.0 percent of robberies, and 21.8 percent of aggravated assaults. (Weapons data are not collected for forcible rape.)
He’s Your Relative!
- From 1995 to 2010, the estimated annual rate of female rape or sexual assault victimizations declined 58%, from 5.0 victimizations per 1,000 females age 12 or older to 2.1 per 1,000.
- In 2005-10, females who were age 34 or younger, who lived in lower income households, and who lived in rural areas experienced some of the highest rates of sexual violence.
- In 2005-10, the offender was armed with a gun, knife, or other weapon in 11% of rape or sexual assault victimizations.
- In 2005-10, 78% of sexual violence involved an offender who was a family member, intimate partner, friend, or acquaintance.
There are tables and charts and reports linked to these sites, if you want to wade through them.
So if you want to stay safe, avoid rural areas and family members, oh, and whatever you do, stay away from the vicinity of a firearm, especially your own!
Remember, if you want to learn self defense, that might be a good idea, but don’t do it out of fear, and most especially, don’t live in fear and not learn self defense. Violent crimes of all types in America average about 1 in 1000, which means if you live a 1000 years, you will likely be the victim of a violent crime….
Now, there are 300,000 real victims every year, and even though over 200,000 of those victims are attacked by family members, they are real victims, and they pain and loss is real, and we need to continue supporting law enforcement and public education programs to reduce that number, and it is true, there are certain areas where you are more likely to be attacked, so that it is possible that some people are likely to be attacked 1 or more times in their life.
But we would do better to think of it like an auto accident. We all know we should drive safely, we should watch out for the other guy, who may be drunk, texting, sleepy, or shaving or putting on makeup while driving. We should use reasonable caution, but generally, we should not be terrified at the prospect of driving a car.
Take control of your life. You do not need to live in fear, and if you are watching Scare TV or reading internet postings that cause you to live in fear,
If someone you think you trust posts something about how to prevent something terrible from happening to you, DO NOT repost it. Go to somewhere like snopes.com and check it out. If it is true, pass it on. If it isn’t, post the link to the fact checking site you prefer regarding the falseness of the posting. Don’t be rude, but help stop the fear, don’t spread it! No one is putting needles in the handles of gas pumps, there are no deadly spiders biting bottoms on toilets, and by and large there are not millions of bad guys and gangs and terrorists waiting to kill, rape, or rob you.
While I don’t advise either, by accident, a few years ago, I left the front door of my house wide open for three days while I was camping on an island. Nothing was touched. Last week I somehow left my car door standing wide open in a suburban supermarket parking lot, with several valuables in plain site. I was in the store for about 45 minutes, when I returned nothing had been touched. (This is in a community with a substantial mix of rich and poor and white black and brown folks, some here legally and some not, lots of seniors, and lots of teens) the same week, my friend did the same thing, only she was in a theater for two hours, again, nothing touched. These were mistakes, and someone could have taken our vehicles, or stripped them, we were lucky but the point is, America is not one big crime scene as the media would have you believe.
Be careful out there, but not so careful as to miss out on life. That would be a real crime!