Friday, March 23, 2012

But mum, dad - that won't happen to me!

If you're a parent of a teenager then you probably need to read this information - and so do they!

The most common statements I hear when talking to parents about assaults on teenagers are : 
  • "I tell my children just to avoid the trouble-makers!"
  • "But my teens don't get into fights - they're good kids!" 
And even when parents do try to get their teenagers to be aware of any trouble starting at a party or just walking the streets, their children often say "But mum, dad - that won't happen to me!"

So let me make one thing clear right from the start :  most attacks on teenagers have nothing to do with who started the confrontation... it's simply a matter of being the closest available victim.

It's that primal. A predator selects their victim simply because they're close, and because they look like someone who won't put up much resistance

You don't have to do anything wrong - you just have to be there!

Here's a true story that highlights that point.  It involves two sisters in their mid-teens, and a gang of young female predators :

The sisters were waiting for a train when a group of rough looking local girls arrived at the station. 

Because the two girls were wearing the uniform of the private school they attended, they caught the attention of the approaching gang... who immediately closed the distance to test the defences of their intended victims.

Unfortunately, the sisters had no idea about what was happening.  Why would they?... they were good girls... polite girls... girls who had been brought up to have a sense of community.

The ring-leader started with the usual intimidation tactic "What are you looking at?" ... to which one sister responded "We don't want any trouble. We just want to be left alone."

At this point the ring-leader was satisfied that the two girls were an easy target... and she told them that she was going to punch one of them in the face, and then the other.

Before the sisters could finish insisting that they had done nothing wrong, the first one was punched, then the other - as promised !!!

Fortunately, at that point the ring-leader decided that she had proved her primal dominance, and she led the gang away and down the platform.

One of the sisters then phoned a parent, who quickly drove to the station to take them back home

The girls were obviously traumatised, and at a loss to understand what they had done wrong to get punched like that (?)  It simply didn't occur to them that they looked like easy targets who wouldn't put up any resistance... and that's why they were singled out and attacked.


Now you may be thinking to yourself "But what could they have done?" 

Well the first line of defence is understanding the attack ritual of a street predator :
  • first they select their victim and make eye contact  
  • then they close the distance into striking range
  • they try to intimidate their victim into not resisting
  • then they launch a surprise attack.  

The important thing to understand about that ritual is that the attack has already started once the predator begins walking towards you... and at that point you're just seconds away from being assaulted... regardless of what you say to them!

So if you can, this is a good time to try and escape... just move away when you see them coming... preferably towards some station staff or male passengers.  You've only got a few seconds, but it may be enough time to put some distance between you and them.

Try not to run though. It's a predator's instinct to chase any prey that tries to run away!

If you can't escape, then open the distance as they get close to you... move around and try to create a safe distance at least 4 to 6 feet.  This will take away the predator's preferred strategy of using a close-quarter surprise attack. 

The important thing to understand is this : if you do nothing... if you just passively stand there... if you look down in an attempt to not antagonise them... it will NOT stop them from attacking you! 

Remember they have closed the distance with the intention of launching a surprise attack... and they actually prefer it if their victims are intimidated and reluctant to resist in any way.

Now we come to the physical aspect of the confrontation, which really can't be avoided... especially as the attack actually started when they first selected you as a potential victim.

At this point it's important for you to understand this : because the predator has not experienced any pain or suffering (yet), there is no reason for them to stop their attack.

You don't have to hit or kick them as they move forward to close the distance again... but a good solid push with both hands can quickly open the space between you. And once you've shoved them back away, stand side-on, chin down, point at them, and in a strong determined voice tell them to "Stay back!" or "Back-off.

This body-language tactic is called a primal threat indicator... and it expresses a serious intention to attack... even though you actually want to avoid a physical confrontation.

The important point to remember is that a sudden strong push will generally trigger an adrenalin surge in your attacker.  If that is followed by you stepping back and opening the distance, it can trigger a FLIGHT response... causing them to want to back-away.  Whereas a push followed by you stepping forward can trigger a FIGHT response... causing them to want to fight back.
It's a trick of the mind - a primal response that's hard-wired into the human brain!  So shove them hard with both hands (using your legs for extra power)... then step back away to open the distance... and adopt a primal threat indicator.

It's Primal Protection.

For more insight into using a "Primal Threat Indicator" click on the link below :

1 comment:

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