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Anatomy of a Confrontation
Certain things are common to most any confrontation. These commonalities include:
Participants. Every confrontation must have two or more participants. As related to participants, most confrontations have some things in common:
- Victims and offenders are usually young males from blue-collar families.
- Participants usually know each other except in areas where there is a high transient population, especially on weekend evenings.
- Most victims, as well as perpetrators, come from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Whereas in most homicides the participants used a firearm, in non-fatal assaults, firearms are rarely used.
- Multiple assailants are common. Many incidents have others who are present and not directly involved, but who could easily become involved, therefore, any situation where there are others present could easily become a multiple assailant situation.
- Verbal and body language are important: What is said and especially how it is said combined with body language may escalate or deescalate a confrontation.
- The fight stage of a confrontation is usually chaotic, especially where there are more than two participants. Environmental factors, such as furniture or a confined space, coupled with a high emotional state and mental confusion contribute to the chaos and confusion.
- The advantage is usually with the aggressors since they probably would not have initiated the confrontation if they thought they might get beat.