Over the Holidays a friend of my house was robbed. In the decades that his family had lived there, nothing like this had happened to them. I also have known other people who became crime victims. In doing research about crime you quickly see patterns of behavior that one make a person more or less attractive for a criminal attack. On thing that you learn in discussing crime is that psychologically, most people are not even willing to accept that it may become a crime victim. They prefer to not even think about it and they don’t take proactive steps to protect their own safety and the safety of their residence and family.
Ask ten of your friends what type of personal protection they have when the time comes. Ask them if they even thought about what they would do if approached by a criminal? I know lots of gun owners, but they don’t carry them when they go shopping or walking or jogging. Some homeowners take some precautions but, don’t do many of the things I’ve recommended. They are gambling with their safety!
Researchers who spoke to crime victims say that people react in one of two ways. Many “good” people were so doubtful that anything like this could ever happen to them that they could get past the their sense of having been “wronged” to take the steps that prevent the same thing from happening again. Other victims however admitted that they created the opportunity for the time, by being distracted by something else. The people in these groups are the ones who will learn from their mistakes and make corrective changes to prevent from being a victim again. Our goal is to prevent you from having to learn from a mistake and do what you have to do now, so you want have to do what you should have done later.
So what types of people are criminals choosing as targets? What are the odds that you could be targeted? Why do they choose this person and not that one? Why was your neighbor’s house robbed and not yours? The crime victims more often than not, offer themselves up as targets by they way they behave, by being distracted, disorganized, unfocused and unprepared. As a seasoned criminal said “We don’t pick our victims, they pick themselves”
I was told never give a crook a chance because they would take it. Criminals are lookingto hit the Jackpot, They look for opportunities to score big, and there are looking for big returns with minimal amount of risk and efforts.
Unfortunately as a group, women are the more frequent crime victims. Women alone may certainly be attractive targets for robbery or other attacks simply because they are smaller and according to popular myth weaker than men offer the path of least resistance.
Below are the statistical numbers based on crime data provided by various studies that indicate your odds of being a victim of sexual crime.
In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. (These figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger.) Here’s the math. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey — the country’s largest and most reliable crime study — there were 248,300 sexual assaults in 2007 (the most recent data available). There are 525,600 minutes in a non-leap year. That makes 31,536,000 seconds/year. So, 31,536,000 divided by 248,300 comes out to 1 sexual assault every 127 seconds, or about 1 every 2 minutes. This figure has remained consistent for over a decade.
1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).
17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.
9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by age 18 (Finkelhor, David, et al. “Sexual Abuse in a National Survey of Adult Men and Women: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Risk Factors.” 1990.)
About half of all rape victims are in the lowest third of income distribution; half are in the upper two-thirds. (Violence against Women, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1994.)
While about 80% of all victims are white, minorities are somewhat more likely to be attacked.
Lifetime rate of rape /attempted rape for women by race:
- All women: 17.6%
- White women: 17.7%
- Black women: 18.8%
- Asian Pacific Islander women: 6.8%
- American Indian/Alaskan women: 34.1%
- Mixed race women: 24.4%
- One in six men will experience a sexual assault in his lifetime.
- More than half of all rapes of women occur before age 18; 22% occur before age 12. (Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000)
- Females ages 12 to 24 are at the greatest risk for experiencing a rape or sexual assault (DOJ 2001).
- 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.
- 29% are age 12-17
- 44% are under age 18.3
- 80% are under age 30.3
- 12-34 are the highest risk years.
- Girls ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
- 7% of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.4
- 3% of boys grades 5-8 and 5% of boys in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.
In 1995, local child protection service agencies identified 126,000 children who were victims of either substantiated or indicated sexual abuse.
- Of these, 75% were girls.
- Nearly 30% of child victims were between the age of 4 and 7.
93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.
- 34.2% of attackers were family members.
- 58.7% were acquaintances.
- Only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victim.
If you think your safe because the probability of your being a victim is low, don’t use this as an excuse to walk through life with a false sense of security. You should still be vigilant about your security. Remember that adage ”never give a cr0k a chance”. My friend lives in a nice subdivision, and never had this issue before. None the less he did become a crime victim.
Current statistical reports indicate that over the past decade and a half, the crime rates in most major cities have declined, considering that two-thirds of national crime rate occurs in the ten largest cities in the U.S.
Professor Wesley G. Skogan from Northwestern University spoke at UIC’s SSB last yeary, regarding the issue of the declining crime rate in the city of Chicago.
Skogan explained that when crime rate is down in one big city, it can be up in another, or in other area like the suburbs.
“Crime is local, one third increase of property rate contributes to crime in New York, City” said Skogan.
According to Skogan, it is the community factors that have strengthened in cities like Chicago in 15 years, which leaves reason to believe that citizens taking precautions, educating, and arming themselves are contributing to help lower the crime rate.
So if you want to reduce your chances of being a crime victim, do what you have to do now, so that you want regret it later.
By Victor Swindell, owner of PepperEyes.com, a division of Swindell Enterprises. PepperEyes.com is dedicated to assist those people who are unwilling to become a victim and are taking personal responsibility to protect themselves, and their families with our pepper spray, stun guns, and other personal security products. In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.