How to Avoid Being Assaulted in the Streets of LA
Los Angeles is a pretty good place to live. It has a couple of sandy beaches accentuated by a warm, sunny climate and a vibrant cultural scene. Unfortunately, like most cities in California, the crime rate in LA is quite alarming, with an estimated rate of 732 per 100,000 people.
While the crime rate might seem intimidating, there are various measures you can take to ensure your safety, including mapping danger zones in Los Angeles. In doing this, you can be cautious when moving around or avoid them altogether.
Besides that, here’s what else to do to protect yourself when walking down the streets of LA:
Trust Your Instincts
This might seem pretty menial, but trusting your instinct might mean the difference between getting home safe and waking up in a hospital bed. One of the most common things people say after being assaulted is, “I had a feeling, but chose to ignore it.”
So the next time you’re walking down the streets of LA and something suddenly doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t as safe as it looks. Trusting your instincts means taking precautionary measures immediately. There are several things you can do in this situation. For instance, you can change your route or call a friend who lives nearby so they can escort you.
Be a Hard Target
The military has a very effective doctrine called target denial. Essentially, the goal is to make it prohibitively difficult for an opponent to achieve a military objective. The outcome of a battle is often determined long before the first blow is struck.
This also applies to everyday life. Don’t make yourself an easy target. Avoid potentially dangerous areas and take every opportunity to escape a situation before it turns bad.
For instance, you see a person creepily walking towards you. In that case, walk to the other side of the street. Similarly, if you’re about to step into a building or elevator with suspiciously-looking individuals inside, it’s best to walk away or take the next one. It might seem cowardly, but it’s a rather effective way to avert danger.
Set Strong Verbal Boundaries
Not all aspects of self-defense are physical. Sometimes, having strong verbal boundaries can serve as an effective deterrent to potential attackers.
The reason behind this is simple: Most attackers will try to intimidate you with words to scare you into submitting. Simply standing your ground and responding confidently and assertively can demonstrate to your attackers that they’ve picked the wrong victim, prompting them to leave you alone and seek an easier target.
Keep a Safe Distance
The ideal personal space is about an arm’s length, and that applies only when you’re talking to friends or interacting with associates. Any stranger intruding on that space would make you uncomfortable, especially when it’s an aggressor.
When dealing with an aggressor, you need some space between you so you have ample time to react in case they become aggressive. Ideally, you should maintain at least an arm-and-a-half’s length between you and the aggressor. If they start closing that space, you can use verbal boundaries or attack first if they don’t back off.
Stick to Well-Lit and Populated Areas
Most criminals hang around dark, secluded areas. It’s where you’re most vulnerable since there’s nobody around to help if you raise an alarm. Therefore, whenever you’re walking around LA at night, try sticking to well-lit areas, preferably under street lights. You should also manage your route so it goes through populated areas.
Use a Buddy System
Overpowering one person is much easier than trying to take on two or more people. Criminals understand that besides the possibility of losing control or getting overpowered themselves, they can also get identified, and that’s not good for business. Therefore, try walking in groups of two or three. The higher the number, the safer you are.
Don’t Look Like a Tourist
This might sound difficult for someone new to the area. After all, you’re trying to explore the city, and you’ll probably be looking around a lot. All this makes you look like a tourist, automatically making you a target for muggers and pickpockets who may want to take advantage of you.
Therefore, try looking as if you belong and command a presence by exuding confidence in your behavior.
The Bottom Line
As a tax-paying citizen, it is your right to move around safely without fear of attack. While the police try to guarantee this, they can’t always be around. Sometimes, it’s up to you to protect yourself. Take comfort in the fact that you don’t need to be strong or know how to fight. By employing the tips mentioned above, you can remain safe as you enjoy the city.