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Factors related to your attacker
- Acquaintance or stranger?
- How many?
- Demeanor. His Outward behavior. Watch for both verbal and nonverbal clues. For example, is he shaking, or is he calm and collected? Are his shoulders hunched or relaxed? Are his hands clenched? Is his neck taut? Is he clenching his teeth? Is he breathing hard? Does he seem angry, frustrated, or confused? Does he seem high on drugs? Is he mentally ill or simply intoxicated? What is he saying? How is he saying it? Is he making sense? Is his speech slurred? What is his tone of voice? Is he talking rapidly or methodically? Is he cursing and angry? Remember that all of these verbal and nonverbal cues are essential in accurately assessing the assailant's overall demeanor and adjusting your tactical response accordingly.
- Intent. Why is this person confronting you? Does he intend to rob or kill you? Is he trying to harass you? Is he seeking vengeance for something you have done? Or is he a troublemaker looking to pick a fight with you? Determining the assailant's intent is perhaps the most important assessment factors, but it also can be the most difficult.
- Range. Range is the distance between you and your attacker. In unarmed combat, for example, there are three possible ranges from which your attacker can launch his attack: kicking, punching, and grappling. Immediately assess the range and its implications. For example, is he close enough to land a punch effectively? Is he at a distance from which he could kick you? Is he in a range that would allow him to grab hold of you and take you to the ground? Is he within range to slash you with a knife or strike you with a bludgeon? Is the assailant moving closer to you? If so, how fast? Does the person continue to move forward when you step back?