We can’t always avoid danger. It would be great if we could, but unfortunately when it comes to our personal safety there are many things out of our control. For example, we can’t control the actions of other people, we can’t control the weather, and we can’t control mechanical things having issues. What we can control is our decisions leading up to potential encounters with these things we can’t control; and we can control to a degree our reactions once we are in the face of danger. This article is going to cover avoiding danger as it relates to others.
I had a long discussion with a young woman once who was a very intelligent college student. I still today am a bit disturbed by our conversation about personal responsibility for our own safety. She felt strongly that she should be able to dress however she wanted, drink as much alcohol as she wanted, and be in a young man’s room alone. She felt the boys who she was around should not be able to hurt her, have sex with her, or worse rape her. She felt that boys who would do those things should change. She said, “they shouldn’t do that.”
Avoid Danger by knowing the statistics
I agree with the girl I talked to, but it is not the reality we live in. In a study from American Association of Universities, stated that in colleges 26% girls, 7% of boys; and 23% of transgenders and LBGTQs are raped each year. These are terrible statistics, and we should hold those criminals accountable, and help the victims recover. No matter the circumstances of the crime, we should never blame the victim for someone else’s bad behavior. However, we should also recognize that there are steps we can take to make ourselves less likely to be a victim. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean we won’t still be a victim, but we can make decisions to avoid danger and be prepared in the event we face a dangerous person.
Avoid danger by staying sober
Being situationally aware includes being conscious of your surroundings. It also means being able to keep your wits about you. This means not getting so drunk or high on other drugs that you aren’t able to be aware or react to situations, but more importantly, being aware of how much others are drinking as well. In a study by the American Addiction Centers, it found 50% of student sexual assaults involved alcohol and 90% of all rapes between acquaintances involved alcohol.
Avoid danger by considering your attire
It is unfortunate, but there are several studies that show, that how a woman is dressed increases her likelihood to be a victim of sexual assault. You can avoid danger by dressing in attire that doesn’t put out a provocative sexual overtone. We all like to look good when we go out, but we need to be aware that if we dress with our cleavage hanging out, or our skirt so short that when we sit down our bum is on the seat that we are attracting attention. If we are honest, that’s partially the point of dressing to look good. We want to feel good about ourselves, and that affirmation from others that we look good can be very gratifying. However, some of that attention may result in being a victim of a crime. If you decide to wear clothing that could be viewed as provocative then be extra aware of your surroundings.
Avoid danger by staying in a group
There is safety in numbers. There are countless studies on this from reputable sources like the National Center for Education Statistics . Staying in a group greatly decreases your chances of being a victim of a crime. Avoid being drawn into a room or space alone with anyone. Predators can be charming, but are also very cunning and will use all types of tactics to lure you away from the group. They are masters at grooming their victims. Avoid being alone, even with people you know who may have the best intentions. You can avoid the chance to be a victim, just by staying with a group of people.
If you take all these steps to avoid danger from others by staying sober, considering your attire and staying in a group you will reduce your chances of being a victim. Again, it is unfortunate and sad that there are predators and criminals amongst us; and even if we do all these things or don’t there is a chance we will be a victim. If you are a victim of a crime, please get help. You can reach out to the following resources – call 9-1-1 for immediate emergencies, and reach out to the Victim Connect Resource Center.