The family defense strategy uses tactics that the family, as a group or as individuals, may use as they carry out their daily routine.
Family members may use the following defensive techniques while they are away from home either on foot or in a vehicle.
An attacker can come up from behind and pull a purse from underneath a woman's arm very easily. Most women are concerned when they see someone in front of them and they clutch their purse tightly under their arm and grip it in the front with their hand. This does little to prevent an attacker from yanking the purse from under her arm from behind. The purse should be held in front of the body. This will cause an attacker to have to get closer to the woman and be in front to grab the purse.
A purse on a strap or in a shoulder bag gives many women a false sense of security. They tend to forget about the purse being there and are not as conscious of what is happening to it. The strap can be easily cut with snips or a razor with little or no feeling of the cutting being perceived by the woman. Suddenly she realizes the bag is gone. If she realizes this almost immediately, even then it will be too late. At most, all she will see is the backs of the attacker as he/she is running away. Again, if the purse is held in front of the body, there is less opportunity for the attacker, and the strap may make it more difficult for an attacker to grab the purse. Also, this causes the woman to be aware of the purse, instead of it just hanging at her side.
With a shoulder bag, the top should be clasped shut by the hand at all times. This prevents the contents from being lifted out. Even an amateur thief can lift a purse or wallet from the bag very easily without the woman knowing it occurred. When she does realize the purse is gone, many times she is not aware it was taken and may think she merely lost it. Keep the purse or wallet at the bottom of the bag. This may make it more difficult for you to get to the purse, but it also makes it difficult for the thief to get to it. This same advice also applies to a checkbook.
Walking on a sidewalk
Stay within brightly lit areas. Swing wide around corners so you may see around them. If you see a suspicious group of people, move the other side of the street or even turn around and go another direction.
Be courteous to nice people but do not feel obligated to be courteous. If you do not feel right about a person or a situation, then leave. You do not have to be courteous about leaving, just leave.
Depending on the situation, where you walk on a sidewalk may be critical. If there are tightly parked vehicles on the street side of the sidewalk, stay away from that side. Attackers may hide between the vehicles or they may be inside a vehicle and, as you walk past, they may jump out and attack you or drag you into a vehicle. If there are alleys and dark nooks and crannies on the inside of the sidewalk, stay away from that side for the same reason listed above. If there are store windows on the inside of the sidewalk, you may use the windows as mirrors to checkout suspicious people without them knowing you are looking at them. If you are suspicious of someone behind you, you may stop act like you forgot something, turn, and reverse your direction of movement. This will allow you to get a good look at the person, let them know that you have gotten a good look at them, and will allow you to see just how serious the person is about following you. If they turn and keep following you, you must take further action.
- Walk at a steady pace.
- Look like you know where you are going even if you are lost.
- Do not pass through groups of strangers.
- Do not walk alone if you are depressed or exhausted.
- Scream if you are in danger. Instead of screaming "Help," yell "Fire!" it will get more attention.
- Keep arms free and be ready to drop bundles and run.
- If you are waiting for a ride, stand balanced and keep hands free.
- Plan your route. Avoid dark places.
- Keep away from doorways, alleys, and unlit parking lots.
- If you are followed, go into theaters, restaurants, stores, or other public places.
- Carry and use a whistle if needed.
- Do not accept rides from strangers. Walk facing traffic.
- If someone in a vehicle asks directions, do not get too close to the vehicle when talking.
- If someone in a vehicle tries to pick you up, turn and walk the other direction, so the vehicle will have to be turned around.
Many people are not aware of coat snatching. If you wear a valuable coat in public, you are vulnerable. A thief will come up behind you and smash a raw egg on top of your head. As you instinctively raise your arms to feel what happened to your head, the thief will grab the bottom of the coat and suddenly pull it up and over your head. When do quickly and unexpectedly, this may be done rather easily. When you look around, all you see is the back of the person running away.
Taekwondo training will help you not to act instinctively. Instead of reaching up, you should suddenly move forward at an angle while turning into a defensive position. This may be done quickly and smoothly so it is effective while not appearing too strange if you were reactive to an innocent action.
Always be careful when using an ATM. Use it in daylight during a time when people are normally in the area. Take a quick look around for anyone that looks suspicious. Be aware of where people are and what they are doing. Be aware of people who are looking around for other who may witness their crime. Be aware of people who are standing around but approach the machine after you have approached it. If people get too close, leave the machine.
Hide the keyboard when entering your PIN; people may be watching with binoculars from a distance. If anything is out of the ordinary about the machine, do not use it. One ploy is for the thief to put a sticky substance in the card slot so your card will not come back out. A note attached to the machine may say that if you card hangs up to reenter your PIN a few times. After a few tries, you will probably leave and contact the bank the next day. Meanwhile, the thief has watched you enter you your PIN. When you leave. he/she uses needle nose pliers to pull you card out of the slot. Then he/she goes to another ATM and uses the card and your PIN to clean out all your accounts.
Another ploy is for an out of order sigh to be hung on the machine with instructions to leave any deposits with the bank guard. A very clean-cut, polite, and courteous person wearing an official looking police type uniform will be standing next to the machine with an official looking drop box for you to drop you deposit into. As you will later discover, the "guard" was a thief and now has your money.
Mugger Choke Hold
You may feel you could repel a weaponless mugger, but if the muggers are professional you will have little resistance available to you and you will not see their faces. You will be walking on a sidewalk, maybe even with a friend or a group of friends. Suddenly a mugger will reach around your neck from behind with his/her forearm across your throat and will grab the cloth on your opposite shoulder with the same hand and quickly pull you backward.. The pressure on your throat will stop any outcry. You will be leaning backward off balance and unable to kick or throw the attacker. The attacker will be perpendicular to your body so you may be hit him or her with your elbow on the attacking side. You could use you other elbow to strike backward, so the attacker will grab that elbow with his/her other hand. An accomplice will reach around and quickly remove everything from your pockets and take your purse/briefcase. The attacker will then drop you on your butt. While he/she and the accomplice runs away. By the time you may look around, they will be gone. The entire procedure happens so quickly that your friends will turn and see you on the ground, think you have fallen, and rush to help you. They will probably not even be aware of what has happened.
If you are able to react quick enough, which will be doubtful, you should grab the attacking arm and pull down while quickly thrusting one leg backward into a deep front stance. If you do this quickly enough, you may regain enough balance to throw your attacker. More than likely, you will not know what happened to you until it is all over.
When a person attacks you, he/she is usually more dressed for running than you, not counting probably being in better physical condition for running than you. You will probably be dressed in a suit/dress shoes or tight dress/high heels and the attacker will dressed in loose clothes and running shoes. The attacker will have a jump on you from the start will already be running before you may decide to give chase. The attacker will the know the area and have an escape route planned, probably over fences and through uneven terrain that is unfamiliar to you, so even if you are a runner, you will not be able to catch the attacker, so don't waste your time.
Do not leave check books unattended. If they are left unattended, immediately check to insure all the checks are still in the book. To give him or her more time to use the checks without the fear of being discovered, a perpetrator may only take a few checks from deep inside the checkbook. You will not notice this has happened until you get to that point in the book or until you get your monthly statement. Remember the checks usually list your name address and phone number. Even if the perpetrator does not use the checks, he or she may use the information on them for other means. They know from observing you, the way you dress, and the car you drive what salary level you are probably in. From the check, they can usually tell if you are single and probably living alone. They can immediately go to your address and take what they need since they know where you are at the time. They may even leave a lookout to watch you and report back your location.
Feeling for Wallet
When in a tense or stressful situation, such as in a crowd or around suspicious people, people will usually feel or check for their wallet, purse, or other valuable to insure they are still there. This is a waste of time since, if it is not there, it is too late to check. The only person it does help is the thief, who now knows where you are keeping your valuables. It saves them having to guess where you keep your wallet and lessens their chance of being discovered or captured when they make their move. Before you enter a situation where you may be concerned about your valuables, move them to a safer location, such as a man moving his wallet to a front pants pocket, and then do not keep feeling to see if it is there.