Crimes such as assaults, rape, and robbery happen on a daily basis all over the world. We are living in a day where violence against innocent life are common place. In America, being a victim of violent crime is lower than in Sao Paulo, Brasil, but no one is immune from such attacks. This is why being aware of your surroundings is so vital for your own survival.
Being aware of your surroundings, or situational awareness, is more than just looking around, and seeing what or who is around you. A violent criminal can look just like any other joe on the street. To be alert of your surroundings, you should be aware of more than just your environment. Look at these following clues:
- rough estimate of people in the general area you are located.
- what people are doing, how they are acting/behaving
- the proximity you are from the people or potential threats locations
- clothing or attire individuals are wearing, how the present themselves
- The type of environment you are located
- What individuals may be carrying, what is in their hands
You are in a gas station, waiting to pay for gas. As you scan your surroundings, you notice a man in a business suit behind you and a woman in a dress behind him. Over by the magazine rack a few feet away, you see a male around twenty years of age with a magazine open, but you can see he is not reading it because his eyes are attending to the woman in line. This should raise some eyebrows. What are his intentions? How long has he been looking, and what does he choose to do next? This is an example of being aware.
Everything in the list can be done in only a few seconds and should not need to take very long. This is what you would do in a yellow state of alert. If things start to escalate, you have already eliminated the element of surprise just by following the list above. If the situation does escalate, you will need to know how to descalate the situation by leaving the area or confrontation if the situation insists.
Statistically, women and children are more vulnerable to these attacks. They need to be especially aware, not paranoid, about where they are and who they associate with. Always listen to your gut. Most of the time, it is accurate. God created that instinct for our benefit. Continue using these tips and learning how to defend yourself, so you may not become the next victim.
We need to know why being situationally aware is so important. Criminals are looking for easy targets. They do not want any confrontation, they are cowards. The element of surprise is important because it gives them the advantage over who they are targeting. When you are aware of your surroundings, it takes the element of surprise completely out. If the criminal is not desperate, they will move on.