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Violence Prevention

Violent crime can occur anywhere and affect anyone. Crime levels are on the rise in cities all over America. While it may be impossible to put a stop to this type of crime, there are steps every citizen can take to try and avoid being a victim of violent behavior.

 

Criminals are opportunists. The are looking for someone who appears weak and unsuspecting. They are far less likely to prey on an individual who may be able to fight back and defend against an attack. Your personal behavior may help determine whether a criminal chooses you, or leaves you alone.

Preventing Violence Before it Happens

The best way to fight against violent crime is to take steps to prevent it. There are many things you can do to try and protect yourself, your family and your

neighborhood. Crime comes in many forms. Four types of crime that often result in violence are assault, carjacking, mugging and robbery. Here are some steps you can take to safeguard against these crimes.

Assault

An assault is most likely to happen when you are alone and vulnerable. If you are going to be out late at night, do not be alone if you can avoid it. A criminal is less likely to attack a group of people than an individual. If you are alone, always be alert. Move quickly and walk with determination as if you have specific business to attend to and are in a hurry to get somewhere. Try not to look meek, lost or scared. You don't want to appear to be an easy target. Be aware of what is going on around you - watch for any nearby people, dark alleys or any other dangerous locations or scenarios.

If you are approached by a stranger and fear the possibility of being assaulted, do everything you can to keep the upper hand. Make a lot of noise to distract your potential attacker and to attract the attention of anyone nearby. Let others know you might be in danger and in need of help.

Use any weapon you have on your person if a criminal is intent on attacking you. Pepper spray is an effective and non-lethal weapon that can stop an attack. Keep a potential weapon such as pepper spray or a Taser gun in a spot where you can easily grab it quickly. Having a weapon will do you no good if you can't find it right away when you need it. Make sure the criminal realizes you have a weapon and are willing to use it. Most often this will cause the attacker to leave you alone.

Carjacking

Cars are a valuable prize to criminals. A carjacker will attack a driver, take their vehicle and drive away all within a very short period of time. Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings. When you come to a stop, take a look around for any potential dangers. Criminals thrive on surprise attacks, and are therefore less likely to approach someone who may have seen them already.

Always keep your doors locked. Never give a criminal an opportunity to just walk up to your car and open the door. If possible, keep your windows rolled up as well. A carjacker will likely be looking for an easy target such as a car with open windows. Keep your vehicle as secure and locked up as possible at all times.

Park your car in a public place with good lighting. Try to park in an area with other vehicles; never seclude or isolate yourself. When you have parked your car, make sure you do not have any valuables that can be seen from outside the automobile. Never leave packages, personal item or anything else that someone might want in view. When you return to your car, have your keys in hand as you approach the vehicle so that you are ready to get inside and drive away quickly. Always take a look into your car before you get open the door to make sure someone is not hiding inside.

A carjacking can be a very violent crime. Take every precaution to avoid it, but if someone does try to take your car, don't try to stop them. It is better to be safe and lose your vehicle than to be hurt or killed trying to keep it.