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A danger foreseen is half avoided


This is where the criminal decides if you are safe to attack.

Yes, with all violence, the assailant's safety is a critical factor in deciding whether or not to attack. If a criminal was truly mentally ill, he would feel compelled to act, even if there was no chance whatsoever of success. If someone is so emotionally outraged that he were truly "out of control" he would not hesitate to physically assault ten Hells Angels. The fact that he doesn't indicates that there is still a part of them that is calculating risk to themselves.

"Can I get away with it?" is a major motivation for what people decide to do -- or not do. Hence, the interview.

This is one interview you want to fail. If you fail, the assailant decides that he cannot successfully, or easily, attack you. Then if he is a criminal, he will proceed to seek easier prey. In the case of an emotionally upset individual, he will change tactics. For example instead of physically assaulting you he will proceed to stand back and proceed to verbally abuse you. This allows him to 'win' without putting himself at physical risk.

There are five basic types of interviews. The one a criminal uses depends more on his personal style than anything else.

       Regular - This is the most common form of interview for muggers. The criminal will approach you under the guise of normalcy, i.e., needing information or small item (e.g. matches). This is a distraction. While he is talking, he is not only getting in position to attack, but a) checking your awareness about what he is doing and b) your commitment to defending yourself.

This is why you should always be careful when someone approaches you in a fringe area and asks for something. Your answer should always be "no" and insist on him keeping his distance. Both muggers and stranger rapists often use this technique.

     Hot – Hot interviews are sudden and unexpected emotional blitzkriegs against you. They just "pop out of nowhere." You are minding your own business one minute, and the next you have a threatening, obscenity-spouting, screaming person charging down on you. The success of this strategy relies on you not being accustomed to dealing with extreme emotional violence and reacting in a stunned and confused manner. You must be willing to immediately shift into an extreme of physical violence to fail such interviews. Paradoxically, if you can immediately display this commitment, the attacker will often abort.

     Escalating - Unlike a hot interview, which starts out immediately hostile, an escalating interview starts out normally but it rapidly turns hostile. The person or people test(s) your boundaries by escalating outrageous behavior. Every time he is not slapped down (i.e., he is successful), his behavior becomes more and more extreme until finally he attacks. This is very common interview for date rapists. It is also common when you walk into the middle of a group of loitering young thugs, what "supposedly" starts out with them "jes messin' witcha" escalates into a robbery or assault. Sometimes both.

     Silent – A silent interview is when a criminal puts himself in a position to observe you. He may never speak until the attack, but he has been watching all along. He may position himself out of sight in a parking structure and follow you. Or he may make his presence known and decide to attack if you show fear of his presence

     Prolonged - An interview can take anywhere from mere moments (hot) to weeks (prolonged). Prolonged interviews are often combined with other types Being stalked is prolonged escalation. A serial rapist can silently watch a victim for days. Whereas a bunko scam would be prolonged regular interview while the con artist attempts to win your trust. With prolonged interviews, the intent is seldom obvious from the beginning, therefore having the first four levels of the Pyramid of Personal Safety in place becomes of critical importance.


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