Social Question

DWW25921's avatar

Can personal coordination play a role in being a victim of a crime?

Asked by DWW25921 (6124 points ) January 11th, 2014

I found an article on the BBC and I’m a little skeptical. I always figured that crimes were based mostly on opportunity and luck (or lack thereof). Does it really matter how you carry yourself if you’re alone in a dark alley in a bad part of town? Can you really improve your chances of not being mugged if you walk differently? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20131104-how-muggers-size-up-your-walk

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9 Answers

cookieman's avatar

I have spent time over the years in certain undesirable locations and situations with certain undesirable people and never had a major problem or unfavorable outcome.

I have been threatened, furniture tossed, sweared at, had a knife pulled on me (by a student), and had a gun pulled on me (in China). In all instances, I talked my way through it and evaded injury.

Could be that I’m a big, scary looking dude (think mobster), or maybe I’m a fast talker. Either way, I generally present myself with confidence and (my wife tells me) look pretty intense.

So, could be.

DWW25921's avatar

@cookieman Interesting input. It’s good to get feedback from a big scarey fellow. It just may make a difference… My brother works in China at an international university. He’s kind of big so I thought of him when you said all that.

hearkat's avatar

I don’t know how true it is, but in women’s crime prevention seminars, they tell us to walk confidently and purposefully, and look alert. They claim that muggers and rapists tend to choose victims who look preoccupied, or lacking confidence.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Here is the best way to muggers to AVOID you !

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Thank god the Q is on Social.

ibstubro's avatar

Since the first time I visited New York City I’ve always held that the way you comport yourself makes all the difference. A spent a week in NYC, twice: once when I was 18 and again at 19. Large unchaperoned. I remember my friend and I walking down Park Avenue at 1:00 a.m. and a van full of stoners pulled over. Asked us directions and we were, of course, of no help. We all laughed and joked and they went on. If my friend and i had cowered or run, the outcome could have been 100% different.

I always remember a family I met face on: Dad on the inside, tightly holding the daughter’s hand, who was tightly holdong on to little brother, who was clutching mom. I remember looking at them and thinking, ”Easy mark!” If you look and act like a local that has every business being there, you’re normally ignored or cut some slack. In my experience.

Oh, and I never saw a hint of trouble in NYC…mine or anyone else’.

Seek's avatar

Well, a hobbling antelope is an easy target for a mother lion…
...but then, if there were no lions, the antelope wouldn’t have much to worry about.

I don’t like to engage in victim-blaming, but I personally don’t travel anywhere unfamiliar alone after dark.

Anecdotal story: Once, during a parade day in my city, I found myself stuck at the mall with no ride for a number of reasons I won’t get into. My my husband had been drinking at a neighborhood picnic and couldn’t drive, and I couldn’t get a cab to save my life because of the parade.

I ended up walking about six miles through one of the worst neighborhoods of Tampa on a weekend night, in a flowy dress and sandals, in order to get to the Mug (my Cheers). In an odd turn of events, people actually crossed the 4-lane street so as not to walk past me directly. I thought this was strange, until one of my friends at the bar said they probably thought I either had a gun or was bait in a police sting.

DWW25921's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr A good point you brought up… I don’t want this to be a victim blaming thing… I want it to be a no victim at all thing. Bottom line, it’s always the bad guy’s fault.

Juels's avatar

I don’t believe in victim blaming either. However, I’m always on the lookout for situations that could turn ugly. The best defense is a good offense. From a bad guy stand point, who would you decide to victimize? I image they would be looking for the easier score; the person less likely to fight them off or cause trouble.

From just a coordination point of view, I work with a man who has cerebral palsy. He has a very unsteady gait. If we were chased by a bad guy, I’d have a better chance of getting away. All of us keep an eye out for him because it is too easy for someone to take advantage of him.

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