Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Unpredictable Nature of Assaults: An Overview

There are instances when we can sense an impending threat.  Escalating abuse in relationships of various kinds, for instance, give us many indicators - if we choose to acknowledge them.  Sometimes, a "predicable assault" offers mere seconds to avoid, escape, or try to calm a situation (e.g. road rage).

Assaults, however, are generally unpredictable.  We simply don't see them coming. 

Here are 4 aspects of the unpredictable nature of assaults.

When?  Crimes happen at night when darkness helps to conceal.  Many assaults, however, occur during daylight hours including early mornings. Last year, for instance, a man posing as a sales person entered a Toronto home at around 9am and assaulted two women.  Likely, he reasoned that people are less guarded during the day.  If he knocked on their door at 9pm would they have let him in?

Where? Some people might assume that assaults happen only in "rough neighbourhoods"or in areas where an assailant can isolate an individual - walking paths, quiet side streets, underground parking lots etc....   Assaults, however, can occur anywhere including very public places such as subways, malls, bars, busy streets....
Who?  The assailant stereotype is that of an unkempt wild eyed man, yelling...  History tells us that assailants can be well groomed, hail from various backgrounds, and be very presentable and charismatic. 

Why?  “Motive” is often discernible, particular after an assault has taken place - a jealous partner, a stalker, someone with a personal vendetta.........   Motive is often less visible beforehand and in many cases there is no premeditation - acts of rage, crimes of opportunity...etc. You might simply be a random target.  

Prevention is sometimes possible if we are aware and the assailant offers visible signs of aggressive intent.  In most of these cases our decision-making window is small.   Self defense training must prepare you for situations that defy our traditional notions of how assaults take place and to prepare you for the unexpected.  

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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