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Prevention Strategies

Understanding the Fundamentals of Prevention

by Randy LaHaie

Just about all self defense and police crime prevention sites contain lists of tips to reduce the risk of a violent or criminal encounter. The number of them can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? 

A more practical approach to incorporating prevention tips is to understand the principles on which they are based. If you understand the fundamentals of prevention, you will be able to improvise safety strategies "on the fly" that are relevant to your needs.

We are all different and have different concerns and needs. The degree to which you incorporate safety advice depends on your circumstances, environment, risk potential and even your personality.

In this article, I'll provide you with five categories of prevention tactics. I will then provide you with situation specific tips to help you understand how the fundamentals are applied. Don't worry about memorizing them. Try to understand how they work. Decide whether the tip makes sense and whether it is useful to you.

Prevention Strategies:

1. Detection

Offenders do not want to get caught. By increasing your visibility to witnesses or by drawing attention to an assailant, it is less likely that a confrontation will be initiated. Awareness strategies and detection devices fall into this category. 

2. Intrusion

An assailant can not assault you if he can not get to you. These tactics involve securing your environment to inhibit the assailant's access to you. Keeping unwanted persons out of your home or vehicle or even placing a barrier between you and an attacker are examples of this principle. 

3. Isolation

Offenders are far more likely to attack when you are alone. 96% of rapists check to see if the intended victim is alone prior to attacking. The greater the likelihood that an assault will be witnessed or interrupted, the less likely it is that it will be initiated. 

4. Response

Responding to avoid an encounter is far superior to reacting to it once it has been initiated. Response skills start by paying attention to your surroundings and being able to detect and recognize when you are being targeted as a potential victim. This strategy focuses on locating and identifying potential dangers and responding in ways that are likely to discourage volatile situations. 

5. Reaction

Reaction involves taking immediate physical actions when you confirm that you are being attacked or about to be. The more you know about what to do to ward off a physical assault, and the sooner you plan those actions, the more likely you will be successful at defending yourself and escaping to safety. 

Prevention tactics are based on one or more of the strategies I've listed above. These tactics are organized by situation or environment. Identify the underlying principle on which each is based and consider which ones you would be comfortable incorporating in your own life. 

Home Ssecurity Tactics

Outside Safety Tactics

Vehicle Safety Tactics

Building Safety tactics

Travel Security Tactics

When you put all of this advice into a long list it can seem complex and a bit overwhelming. Keep in mind that you might not adopt all of these suggestions all of the time. The purpose of the lists is to assist you in understanding the principles behind the tactics so you can adopt the ones you are comfortable with. 

If you have any questions or comments please click on my name to email me:

Randy LaHaie
Protective Strategies

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Randy LaHaie has been studying and teaching reality-based self-defense methods for over 35 years. As a life-long martial artist, retired police officer and personal safety consultant, Randy has trained thousands of law enforcement officers, high risk professionals and private citizens.For more extensive and current self-defense advice and resources be sure to visit his blog "The Toughen Up Self-Defense Blog." by clicking here:

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Copyright 2011 by Randy LaHiae, Protective Strategies. All rights Reserved.