Ponca City, OK

Be A Tough Target

Tips on how not to be the victim.


  1. Crime can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. it can happen to you! The bad guy says, “I won’t get caught” and the victim says, “It won’t happen to me.” They’re both wrong.
  2. Bad guys don’t look like Charles Manson, Freddie Krueger or Bluto. The bad guys look like fathers and uncles and neighbors — because they are fathers and uncles and neighbors. You can’t tell the bad guys from the good guys by their looks.
  3. t’s not how tough you are; it’s how tough the bad guy thinks you are. It’s all in your attitude and body language, Always walk and carry yourself in a confident manner, Keep your head up. Predators are always looking at other things. The prey look at the ground. So if you don’t want to look like a prey, look like a predator. Walking down the street, how does the predator select his victim? He picks the weak-looking one — and that can’t be you! There are three things that the bad guy does not want to have happen:
    He doesn’t want to be physically defeated by his victim.
    He doesn’t want to be identified.
    He doesn’t want to be caught by the police.The only one that the bad guy has control over is the first one. He picks people he perceives to be the easy victim. He identifies targets by the way they look. Lowering your head or eyes is the body language trademark for subservience. If you look vulnerable and weak, you will be selected.
  4. You are responsible for yourself. You’ve got to be prepared because the bad guy is prepared. When this guy steps into the arena, he knows what he’s going to say, what he’s going to do, what he’s going to take and where he’s going to run. What does the victim know? Nothing. That’s why the bad guys win. As with any two competitors —armies, corporations, individuals or sports teams—when one is prepared and one isn’t, you know who’s going to win.


  1. Have a Plan and keep it simple. You need to know what your options are and how you will react to a dangerous situation. Once the crime occurs, it’s too late. It happens too fast to figure it out “on the fly.” A purse snatch takes two seconds; some confrontational robberies take ten seconds. If you’re averaging four to six seconds to respond, and he’s ready and you’re not, you know who is going to win. You have to have a plan. Have a plan and keep it simple.
  2. Deny privacy. Don’t get in the car! Remembering that can save your life, What do you do if you’re approached by some guy with a weapon and he says, “Get into the car and you won’t get hurt” Do you believe him? Do you go with him? What if it’s your child? The answer is No! No! No! Never go with the offender. Deny him the opportunity to get you to a private place.
  3. Attract attention. What can you do to scare off an attacker? Yell, “Firel Fire! Fire!” at the top of your lungs and run like hell. Don’t be embarrassed —this is your life we’re talking about. Others will hear your cries and come to your rescue.
  4. Take action. Do something to this guy. No matter how well prepared you are, there are times when the bad guy will be in your face and you have no other choice but to fight back. Remember, if fleeing is an option, it is always your best option.


National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offers many good resources:

  • NetSmartz Workshop—teaches children ages 5-17 about online safety
  • Kidsmartz — child safety program to educate families about preventing abduction and teaches K-5 children safe behaviors
  • Child ID — be sure you have an up-to-date kit on hand for each of your children/grandchildren
  • NetSmartz411 — answers to adults questions concerning Internet safety, computers and the Web
    Go to www.missingkids.org/Safety


Think like the bad guys think. They pick their victims on a vulnerability scale; it’s all about targets of opportunity. If he sees an opportunity to steal your car, to grab your purse or to threaten you into giving him your money, he’ll take that opportunity. He may “bump” you; he may come up to you and ask you a question; he wants to see fear in your eyes or hear fear in your voice when you answer. He might get right in your face — invading your space. What should you do when a shady person approaches? Yell “No!” and get out of there. No hesitation. It’s “No!” and get your knees in the breeze. Remember, if fleeing is an option, it’s the best option. Maybe he is Iegit and maybe you’ll feel embarrassed; that’s okay, too. You’ll get over it and so will he. You’re safe and that’s what counts. There’s no way for you to know who’s legit and who isn’t, and you shouldn’t be guessing out on the street.

Having a plan means being smart about your everyday business. Take women’s purses, for example. Women tend to keep everything in their purse, so if the bad guy snatches the purse, he gets it all: credit cards, money, keys. Guys tend to spread stuff around: keys In one pocket, wallet in another and a money clip elsewhere. If you carry a purse, try to hold it snug against your body, keep it properly closed, keep your wallet at the bottom of your purse. Never hang your purse on the back of a chair in a public place; be sure it is in front of you when you go through revolving doors, boarding trains, etc. Never leave it in a shopping cart or baby stroller.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. You need time to react. That’s being prepared. If you think you are being followed, cross the street and get to a place where there are people. Tell somebody, “Call the police!” Remember, if you aren’t the victim, someone else will be. This bad guy is going to hit someone. If he thinks you are prepared, because you look prepared and look tough, you won’t be picked.


• In any confrontation with a bad guy, there’s one thing you can count on: the bad guys always lie! If he tells you he won’thurt you if you do what he says, don’t believe him — give him the stuff and get out of there as fast as you can!

  • Scream! Fight back! Holler “Fire! Help Fire I” (People are more apt to respond to “Fire!” than they are to just “Help!”)
  • If you’re knocked down, swivel around on your back side and kick for all you’re worth. Go for the groin, shins, eyes or throat—those are his most vulnerable areas.
  • NO MATTER WHAT: don’t get in the car! Don’t go with him! Stay in public places.
  • Travel with a companion—never alone! You’re a tougher target in the company of someone else.
  • Always have a cell phone; use it to call police.
  • If you’re stranded on a roadside, write, “Help! Call Police!” on a sign and put it in your back window. Carry a container of pepper spray in your glove box and on your key ring where it’s visible; don’t hesitate to use it if you are threatened.
  • In Public Transportation: Cabs—check driver’s picture ID; comment on the registration number. Trains/Buses —sit by the driver or conductor.
  • If you see or hear someone else in trouble, do something! Call for help; create a distraction.

Trust your instincts. If the hair on the back of your neck stands up. get out of there!


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