In the next series of articles, we are going to learn how to use our mind and awareness to avoid a violent crime situation, so we hopefully don't have to resort to "self-defense" measures to protect ourselves.
To understand how to protect ourselves against violent criminals, we must first understand how violent criminals operate, and why.
Lack of Awareness: Most of society travels through each day with "blinders" on, believing that if they are not involved in certain activities or at a location where those activities commonly occur, that there is no need to worry about being the target of a violent crime.
Today's society clearly demonstrates that we can no longer afford to go through life with "blinders on."
By educating ourselves and our family on the latest crime trends and methods used by violent criminals, we automatically increase our awareness and become more alert of our surroundings and those around us.
Body Language: What I am referring to is how we visually appear to the criminal. Do we appear to be a "hard" or a "soft" target? Violent criminals are opportunists, who look for targets that can be easily taken, robbed or assaulted without resistance or an obvious ability to immediately summon help.
By "hard" target, I am not just talking about physical abilities, but more importantly, the ability to see a potential attack before it starts to happen - the ability to have or summon immediate help, or the ability to defend ourselves long enough for help to arrive.
Violent criminals want "soft" targets, those who can be easily approached, attacked or taken from an area with an easy escape route that leaves little or no trace of the incident.
Wrong Place/Wrong Time: This variable is the one that we have the least control over, as we can find ourselves being targeted by a criminal in an environment that we have visited many times - locations that create a sense of comfort, where we let our guard down due to familiarity.
While we can't control where the attack may occur, we can make sure that we know how we will respond if ever faced with a violent situation.
What we need to do is not wait for the emergency to happen before we go into action, but start right now by trying to identify what we would do if confronted.
While the men and women of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and our state and local law enforcement partners do an incredible job at protecting our citizens, you are the first line of defense against violent criminals.
While the best law enforcement officers in the country have response times in minutes, violent criminals can take our lives in seconds.
Being aware of the various crime techniques and methods used by today's criminals is a very effective way to protect yourself and those you love.
If you know how predators operate, then you know how to defend against their actions. If an event is predictable, it is preventable.
Wayne Ivey is the sheriff of Brevard County