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The Psychology Of Criminal Predators.

 

Understand how criminal predators think. Why do some criminals want to harm you? For many, it's a sense of power. Often, their control over you during a rape or attack is in direct response to the shortcomings in other areas of their lives. The NRA Refuse To Be A Victim Course teaches precautions you should take to avoid criminals' predators and what steps to take should you come in contact with one.

 

Home Security.

 

1.      Consider installing a home security system. A home alarm can be an effective deterrent to criminal intruders. A variety of systems are available, ranging from inexpensive, battery operated door models to monitored, motion detecting systems costing several thousands of dollars.

 

2.      Never open your door to a stranger. Criminals can get a good look at you and your home by posing as a door-to-door salesperson, a neighbor who has lost a pet, or a floral deliverer at the wrong address.

 

3.      Install a wide-angle door viewer. These are an inexpensive aid for identifying people at your doorstep. If children are allowed to open the door under certain circumstances, install a second viewer at your child's height.

 

4.      Never tell a stranger that you are home alone. If they ask for your husband or the man of the house, tell them he is taking a nap and cannot be disturbed.

 

5.      Do not broadcast your plans in public where others can overhear. Burglars can use this information to determine whether your home might be an easy target in your absence.

 

6.      Keep your house or apartment well lit, Use exterior sensory night-lights and interior lights plugged into timers to create the illusion of an occupied home at all times.

 

7.      Do not leave windows open or uncovered. Prevent casual observers from looking directly into your home. During the day, draw drapes or position blinds to allow only enough light for plants. At night, cover your windows completely.

 

8.      Keep trees and shrubbery around your home well trimmed. Overgrown bushes and trees often provide excellent hiding places for criminals.

 

9.      Plant "defensive" shrubbery around your home, especially beneath windows. Bushes that feature thorns or stiff, spiky leaves are not good hiding places for criminals.

 

10.  When moving into a house or apartment, always change or re-key the locks or have the tumblers reset.  Otherwise, the previous resident - and anyone they supplied keys to - has unrestricted access to your home,

 

11.  Never hide an extra key under a mat, in a flowerpot, or in any other easily accessible place. Criminals know all the hiding places.

 

Phone Security

 

12.  Lock your doors when working in your yard, attic, laundry room, or any place away from your home's entry areas. While you are busy elsewhere, burglars could easily enter your home unnoticed.

 

13.  Do not give information to strangers on the telephone. Thieves often target homes using information obtained from "telephone surveys."

 

14.  If you use an answering machine, do not announce your name and number as part of the message. Avoid giving criminals any information about you. A common mistake is revealing your exact whereabouts in a message.

 

15.  Consider keeping a separate line or cellular phone as a security device. Taking one phone off the hook renders other units on that line inoperable. Using a separate line or cellular phone in your bedroom is a good precaution.

 

16.  Never give important information like travel plans or credit card numbers using a cellular phone. For under one hundred dollars, anyone can buy scanning equipment and listen in on your cellular phone conversations.

 

Automobile Security

 

17.  Always have your keys out and ready before leaving a building to approach your car. Fumbling through your purse for keys after you've reached your car provides criminals an excellent opportunity to sneak up on you.

 

18.  Look around and in your car before entering. If you are concerned for any reason, simply walk past your car instead of getting into it.

 

19.  Use a two-piece key ring with your car keys separate from your other important keys. Give parking valets or mechanics your car keys only. Supplying your entire set of keys creates an opportunity for duplicates to be made.

 

20.  If your vehicle has tinted windows, use the reflection to scan the area to either side and behind you. By being alert to your surroundings you could avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

 

21.  Lock your car door immediately after entering the vehicle. Make this your first action - even before putting the key into the ignition.

 

22.  Check your surroundings before getting out of your car. If something or someone strikes you as out of place or threatening, drive away.

 

23.  If you are involved in an accident, stay in your car until police arrive. In minor accidents where the other driver suggests you exchange insurance information, simply hold up your driver license and insurance card against the window.

 

24.  Consider acquiring a cellular phone. Using a cellular phone is an effective means of keeping help close at hand during accidents, breakdowns, or other roadside emergencies.

 

25.  If you are accosted in a parking lot, away from your own vehicle, consider rolling underneath a nearby auto. It is difficult to force anyone out from under a car.

 

26.  Make a practice of filling up your vehicle when your gas tank is about half empty. Never let it get so low that you are forced to stop for fuel, particularly at night in an area with which you are unfamiliar.

 

27.  Lock your car and take your keys when you get out to pump gas. Leaving the door unlocked and the keys in the ignition invites a carjacking.

 

28.  Never pick up hitchhikers. It is never safe to have a stranger in your car.

 

Physical Security
 

29.  Maintain your personal space. Stay alert! If a person moves inside your comfort zone, move away. If that person persists, run.

 

30.  Be alert when leaving stores or shopping malls. This is a time when criminals know you are carrying cash, checkbooks, credit cards, or valuable merchandise.

 

31.  Don't use outside ATMs at night, or in unfamiliar or unsafe surroundings. This is another time when criminals know you are carrying cash.

 

32.  Avoid filling your arms with packages. You might have to make more trips, but keep one arm and hand free whenever possible.

 

33.  Avoid stairwells in parking garages. Try walking down the auto ramp instead. As long as you watch for cars, the ramp is much safer.

 

34.  When on the street, walk facing oncoming traffic. A person walking with traffic can be followed, forced into a car, and abducted more easily than a person walking against traffic.

 

35.  If asked for directions by a driver, stay far enough away from the car that you can turn and run easily. An alternative is to simply state, "I don't know" and keep walking.

 

36.  When friends drop you off at home or work, ask them to wait until you are safely inside before leaving. Extend this courtesy to your own friends when driving them to a destination.

 

37.  If you are on an elevator and someone threatening gets on, quickly step off the elevator. Otherwise, press several buttons for upcoming floors and get off at your first opportunity. (Do not press the STOP button.)

 

38.  Approach with extreme caution any entryway where normal lighting is not functioning. Removing, unscrewing, or breaking bulbs in such places is a common tactic of criminals.

 

39.  Carry several dollar bills folded inside a ten-dollar bill. If accosted in a robbery, you can throw the "chump change" several feet away and the robber may scramble after it, allowing you a few moments to escape.

 

Self-Defense Physical Training

 

40.  Consider taking a self-defense course. A wide variety of courses are offered for self-defense and each should be considered carefully for relevance to your own personal situation. The NRA Refuse To Be A Victim Course discusses the pros and cons of many training options.

 

Personal Protection Devices

 

41.  Choose a personal protection device best suited to your situation. Personal protection devices range from sophisticated alarms for your home and car to defensive sprays and key chains you can carry in your purse. Options and the advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed in detail in the NRA Refuse To Be A Victim Course.

 

Firearms, A Personal Choice

 

42.  Make an informed choice about firearm ownership. Firearm ownership is a deeply personal and profound decision. NRA does not promote firearm ownership. We only advocate your constitutional right to choose whether to lawfully own a gun. For women who do choose to exercise that right, NRA offers information on the pros and cons of ownership, types of firearms, legal issues, and education and training for responsible use and safe storage of firearms with children in the home.

 

www.YourPersonalProtection.com offers:

 

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