More than 39 million crimes were committed in the United States in 2020! Most of these offenses were perpetrated against everyday citizens like you and me. These crimes ranged from homicide and rape, all the way to larceny and automobile thefts.
One of the most alarming statistics is one out of six females will be sexually assaulted in the U.S. in 2022 — that’s one sexual assault every 68 seconds! In addition, females between the ages of 18-34, are being assaulted twice as often as the rest of the population, according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). In reality, RAINN admits this second number may be much higher, considering a majority of sexual assaults on college campuses go unreported because of guilt associated with alcohol induced events and/or date rapes.
Simply stated, we are in danger in our everyday lives with our most vulnerable (young females) facing the greatest threats! Now, what can we do about it?
First of all, we must understand and be convinced that it’s the threat of being attacked or assaulted that we must be concerned with, and not necessarily the risk or probability that it will occur. What does that mean?
If we think we are not at risk because of our location, environment or past experiences, then we generally will let our guard down and simply be unprepared for the unexpected. In other words, we will find ourselves not vigilant and easy prey for that assailant or criminal (threat) who is looking for that “lamb” to attack!
When can this happen? See if these scenarios “ring a bell”.
- As you sit in the comfort of your home, someone unexpectedly knocks at your door and you routinely open it like you have a thousand times before without knowing who is on the other side.
- You are working in your back yard on a Saturday morning and leave the garage door open or the front door unlocked, inviting anyone to come inside undetected.
- You pull into a gas station, like you have done many times before, and someone approaches you claiming you dropped a ten dollar bill even though you just used your credit card to pay at the pump.
- A college coed is socializing with roommates at a bar or party and needs to use the bathroom. She leaves her purse and drink unattended.
Do any of these scenarios seem like threats or do you consider each low risk because nothing has happened to you before in similar circumstances?
The key to staying safe is simply how you respond when you detect the earliest warnings that something is “not quite right.”
At The Vigilance Group, we know we cannot control the motives of a terrorist, sexual predator or a drug crazed person looking for his next score. But we can control the opportunity for that person (criminal) to do something to us!
In order to deny or mitigate these threats, we must think through these various scenarios and use “skillful observation & response” to deny these opportunities. Staying vigilant is really a mindset!
Never assume you are safe until you have taken a minute or two to analyze your surroundings and to consider how you would respond if the unthinkable was to occur.
As soldiers or law enforcement officers, we spend our professional lives thinking how we will fight the next fight. As civilians (moms, business people, college students, teens, etc), we must consider what is abnormal or unusual, and know that we have a choice in how we respond to that particular situation. Vigilance reduces vulnerabilities!