In my years of teaching self defense the one topic I hear or read about that might bring out people's greatest fear, is the topic of home invasions. The one place most people feel safe is in their home, their sanctuary. Families may have their guard and awareness to potential trouble heightened outside of the home, but most often they drop it when they are behind their closed doors. So to become a victim of a home invasion leaves psychological trauma for the rest of many people's lives. Here are some examples of home invasions and how they were targeted their victims.
What is the most common decoy that these attackers will use? Here is a quick 21 second clip that tells you. Can you guess before watching it?
Why is this such an effective way to break into a home? Who are you going to trust more? A man claiming he needs assistance or a woman with her child or either of them on their own? Most people automatically open the door out of assumption that it must be legitimate. Am I saying to never help then? No, but there are precautions you can take. First, stop and evaluate the situation before opening the door. Can you see out your front door without opening it or do you have to open the door? Can you look out a window and see who is there? What are they saying they need from you? Do the people at the door look nervous which may raise your suspicion? I can't think of any reason that you HAVE to open the door. If they are in need of medical assistance the most important thing you can do for them may be to call 911. I always teach that if they are insisting they make the 911 call, you should be very suspicious because you would be in a much better state of mind to do that for them. But, appearing like they are in need of medical assistance is a very very effective way to gain entry into someone's home because it plays on our politeness and the need to help others. But again, unless you are in the health care profession, the best thing you can do is to call for help. If you decide to help them, that is a decision you have to make because I can say that if I was in need of real help, I would like to think someone might help me, but sadly it also plays into the strategy of many attackers. During our SAFE International self defense seminars people will often ask me if they can hand the phone out to the person? You could, but have you given them the second they need to force their way in the front door, or have you just given up your one communication device to 911? I will also ask why someone thinks giving the phone to the person is more helpful than placing the call for them. After we discuss it, most agree that is not as helpful as making the 911 call themselves, but something about giving the person what they want is more helpful at first thought, but IT IS NOT! All these things should be discussed with your family before an incident ever happens because the time to think about it is not when it happens with your adrenaline rushing and your ability to think being limited. Many will tell me they have a chain on their door which can also give you a false sense of security. A chain on a door will not stop a motivated attacker. You may simply tell them that you can't help. They should move on and if they do not, have a plan to call 911 yourself. There are also many many things you can do to fortify your home to begin with that often will discourage attackers from choosing your home. This following video is a horrific example of the what can happen if someone gains access to your home because now they have the isolation they want and time to carry out their sick motives.
WARNING: THIS VIDEO DISPLAYS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE
In another blog I will discuss precautions you might take in your home, but I wanted to shock you into realizing that there are BAD people out there and thinking that you will never become a victim to violence is to put yourself into a state of denial. Learning how to prevent violence is not being paranoid, but rather smart and gives one a sense of control and empowerment. The focus of this blog was to make you aware of a common strategy people use to gain access to their victim's homes.
So in closing, don't deny reality, but educate yourself to deal with the potential of it happening.