I have often wondered why some people seem to be natural-born victims. I think a lot of it comes down to denial. Denial is based on the trait of self-delusion. Many refuse to believe in the imminence of approaching injury or the possibility of their own death at the hands of some perpetrator. Often we look at others through our own eyes and often we cannot accept the fact that others may not see and feel the same way as ourselves. It is naïve not to realize that there are different people who think differently. Before the world was exposed to the horrors of the Holocaust there were those would refuse to believe in a network of murder factories killing Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, communists and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In training I use aggression and shock to relay the actual experience of an attack to wake my students out of their world of denial into the world of the street. Having worked security I can vouch that in an emergency any game plan is better than no game plan and adrenaline can disorientate you. There are no absolutes as to exactly how a person responds; we are all different. Some people go to town, others hyperventilate, others run for their lives whilst others freeze. This is why we need to prepare a game plan for situations where we may be grabbed, choked, threatened with a weapon or violently assaulted.
You only have to look at the Christchurch earthquake or the attacks of 911 to realize that calamity can strike suddenly and unexpectedly. The safe artificial environment that many New Zealanders have created for themselves has no relationship to the real world. Do not think that all criminals or terrorists look like shady characters; danger can exist in the most unlikely places. The Boston strangler was a good-natured repairman who gained entry into his unsuspecting victims’ homes. Many would look at Eichmann and think that he was such nice, quiet man who would not hurt a fly.
Relying on others for protection is a proven formula for disaster. Here in New Zealand in the wake of the earthquake there was looting, scams and criminals posing as officials, scoping out places to rob and burgle. In a country which is prone to natural disasters, the police, army and civil defence cannot be there to protect us. Our alertness and ability to defend ourselves are the only certainties we have.