Posts Tagged ‘personal safety’

The one place that everyone should feel safe is at home.

Sometimes, we forget that when we’re in the safety of our home to keep vigilant and alert, especially when we are coming or going.

Ladies, here are some important safety precautions to remember at home.  However, everyone should be aware of these tips too.

  • Always have your key ready before you get to your front door and pay attention to what’s around you.
  • Keep ALL windows and doors locked at all times when you’re away from your residence no matter what the temperature is outside.
  • Keep your front entrance area well lit, replace light bulbs regularly, and make sure that fixtures are in good working order.  If possible, have motion lights installed in addition to the regular outside lights.
  • If you arrive home and find your front door open: DO NOT GO INSIDE, call the police immediately from your cell phone, neighbor’s house, or pay phone.
  • If you live in an apartment, list only your last name and first initial on your mailbox.
  • Don’t buzz someone in to your building or apartment complex unless you know them.
  • The same goes for holding the door open for someone that you don’t know that has been waiting.  Don’t let anyone into your building or apartment complex that you don’t know.
  • If a stranger needs to use your phone in an emergency, keep them out, and offer to make the call for them.
  • If you ever have ANY doubt or feel threatened in any way, call the police.  Report anything that seems suspicious to the police immediately.

These are just a few important safety precautions to remember when you’re at home, especially when you’re alone.  Everyone should always feel safe and secure inside their own home.

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Emily Stone is definitely a woman who would stand up and fight no matter what she encountered.  However, in real life each person must decide on their own how they would react to a potentially dangerous situation. 

What would you do?

It has been stated from various representatives of law enforcement that victims are often hurt by the “startle factor”.  Victims were not paying attention to their surroundings or they were engrossed in a phone call when they were approached by the criminal element.  Those individuals who responded well remained calm, collected, and logical.  They basically kept a cool head and weighed their options.  Some individuals are feistier than others and have averted a potentially dangerous situation that could have gone either way.

To stay calm and logical during a potentially dangerous situation, there are several things to keep in mind.  Here’s a helpful list of the face-to-face factors to consider:

1.                  Your Wariness

How are you presenting yourself in a situation alone?  Don’t be a target because you’re daydreaming, using your phone, or being timid and unsure.  Use your self-confidence and alertness.

2.                  Your Willingness

What are you willing to do in a dangerous situation?  Would you truly fight for your life and never give up?

3.                  Your Abilities

Ask yourself what your strategy would be if you were in a dangerous situation.  Run some scenarios through your mind.

4.                  Your Personality

Everyone is different.  Are you more of a passive or aggressive person?  If you’re more of a passive person, can you step up and “fake” being assertive?

5.                  Type of Assailant

Quickly study the type of assailant that has approached you.  Is this persona scared, confident, a lunatic, or somewhere in between?

6.                  The Location

Location is important.  Is it an area that you know well and frequent?  Familiarity and populated areas generally intimidate any potential assailant. 

7.                  Presence of Weapon or Accomplice    

You might not see any weapon or accomplice at first, or the assailant might use his weapon immediately.  Weigh the situation carefully, but quickly before you react.


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Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

Emily Stone has some interesting ways that she fights back against crime and injustice in Compulsion and Dead Game.  She has been known to fight with punches and kicks, but she also has an uncanny ability to infer subtle clues in order to track child pedophiles and killers.

What are victim’s options when suddenly confronted or threatened by a criminal predator? 

Interestingly, there are guidelines that the FBI suggests if you are confronted in a crime situation along with a couple of other options that I’d like to share.  I think Emily has exhibited all but one of these guidelines. 

1.                  Posturing

If you show that you’re confident and would be a possible tough target, predators will generally wait for an easier target.  Be aware of your surroundings and know where you are going.  Never look unsure about your next move. This can be a signal to a predator.  Stand up straight and look ahead and subtly around you.  Confidence can carry you a long way to safety. 

2.                  Outsmarting

Sometimes it may be possible to verbally diffuse a situation and maneuver yourself to an escape route.  This requires a cool head and the ability to surmise a situation.  This may not be the best technique for everyone, but it definitely has its place in some situations.   

3.                  Fleeing

This technique falls under our primal reaction to danger as the “fight or flight” mechanism.  It may seem obvious that you should run away from danger, but it might not be possible under certain conditions.

4.                  Surrendering

This technique may be implemented if you see an opportunity to escape at a later moment or fight.

5.                  Fighting

This has been referred to as “stun and run”.  Basically you fight with everything you have in order to escape the situation. 

It’s not always easy to know what you’re going to do in any given situation, but you should be vigilante, aware, and confident.

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Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

Emily Stone is the heroine in my novels Compulsion, Dead Game, and soon to be released this year Dark Mind. She expertly tracks down pedophiles and serial killers and then anonymously emails her entire investigation to the police detective in charge of the case. She’s definitely one high-tech super sleuth that gets the job done as more criminals are taken off the streets. Her compulsion is to make sure that children, neighbors, and communities are safe from crime.
It’s important not to become a target for a potential crime and there are a few basic tips that will help to keep you safe when traveling from one destination to the next.

Try and remember these three basic tips when you’re out in public areas:

1. Alert – be prepared and alert to where you are going and what you’re going to be doing next. Don’t get distracted by searching through your purse for keys or dialing your cell phone as you leave work or a shopping area. This makes you unaware of what’s going on around you and who could be watching you. It could potentially make you a crime target. If you are walking out to a parking lot have your key or alarm release ready. Get inside your vehicle and lock your doors before you do anything that takes your mind off the immediate surroundings.

2. Confidence – move and walk with confidence. That means make eye contact and carry your body straight with your shoulders back and down looking straight ahead. Confidence can be a valuable defense tactic and it can go a long way to help deter being a potential crime victim.

3. Observe – take a few seconds to observe your surroundings. It can be just a quick glance in several directions or studying something in more detail. If something doesn’t look or seem right to you, then retreat back into a public area for assistance. Also, if you notice something that seems out of place remember simple things, such as the exact location, description of all people involved, cars or objects, and exactly what you observed. This can be extremely important information to police investigations.

I actually carry a small spiral notebook, something that I can slip into a pocket or purse, to record anything that I feel looks out of place in public locations. That way I can refer to my notes if something ever transpires from the observed situation.

If you ever feel that you are in any danger or witness any type of crime, don’t hesitate to call the police immediately.


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Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

It’s important to keep daily life in perspective and to be vigilant and alert to all of your surroundings.  It is not only for your own personal safety, but also for your family, neighborhood, and community.  Common sense goes a long way to being safe and secure.   This blog is dedicated to posting safety tips and useful websites. 

In profiling, a victimology report is used as an important investigative tool to help find out the perpetrator responsible for the crime.  It’s a thorough study of all available information in regard to a specific victim and it can help to answer the who, what, how, and why they were targeted as a victim of a crime.

Categorizing victim risk to crime is divided into three basic groups: low, medium, and high risk levels.  This refers to an individual with little or no risk in their social and work lives to being exposed to the high risk of danger or suffering harm or loss due to their lifestyle.  

Early in my profiling studies, students were asked to assess themselves and someone close to them to find out who would be more at risk in becoming a crime victim.  There were some assumptions made in class before we really took an analytical look at ourselves, for example, like women were more at risk than men, and single rather than married individuals were more of a risk as well.  The assumptions aren’t necessarily true in all cases.   

These are 21 basic characteristics to take into consideration for possibly being a target of a crime.  This is actually the foundation for beginning a victimology assessment report in a crime scene investigation.  It’s interesting to take these basic aspects into consideration and to figure out if you are more at risk from becoming a potential crime victim than friends or family members.  And why?     

1.      Age

2.      Gender

3.      Race

4.      Physical Characteristics and Strength

5.      Single or Married

6.      Work History – Income Level – Type of Work Performed

7.      Education Level

8.      Personality Characteristics – Positive & Negative

9.      Energy Level

10.  Type of Home Location – Rural or City?

11.  Types of Close Relationships – How many?

12.  How do you spend your work time?

13.  How do you spend your home time?

14.  Medical History

15.  Fears

16.  Exercise Routines & Activities

17.  Shopping, Entertainment, and Miscellaneous Activities

18.  Alcohol Consumption

19.  Hobbies

20.  Friends, Neighbors, Co-Workers, and Family Members

21.  Criminal History

What are your potential risk factors? 

Please remember, be safe and always vigilant in your routine.  If you ever feel threatened in any way or witness a crime, please REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY to law enforcement.  

Jennifer Chase
Award Winning Author & Criminologist

Book & Crime Talk:
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting