Issue 7

No Victims Here!  What's in a Personal Safety Plan?

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In virtually all of our Personal Safety Workshops, we discuss Personal Safety Plans.  What are these plans, and why do we need them?

Personal Safety Plans are pre-considered actions that cover multiple threatening situations.  Without even the most simple plan, you leave yourself open to becoming a victim.

Remember:  Attackers have a plan.  It may be as basic as them hiding in the bushes near a jogging track, waiting for an unsuspecting person to run by. 

It can be as elaborate as "casing" your home to learn the in-and-out patterns of your family to determine the best time for the home to be empty - or when just one person will be left alone inside.

As we discussed in our last two newsletters (Issue 5, Issue 6), Awareness is the starting point for your plan.  It is recognizing what is happening around you and knowing how to "read" a situation.  As the situation appears increasingly threatening, the second part of the plan - Actions - kicks into gear.

Generally speaking, a Personal Safety Plan has 6 actions you can take:
  1. Freeze - You are surprised and find yourself caught in a bad situation - unsure of what to do - and you become a victim.
  2. Submit - You make the conscious decision to submit to the demands of your attacker.
  3. Flight/Evade - You have the skills and knowledge on how and when to take yourself out of a potentially threatening situation before it escalates.
  4. Posture - You have the skills and knowledge to de-escalate a threatening situation.
  5. Report - You have the skills and knowledge to bring attention to your threating situation (not just by calling the police).
  6. Fight - You have the skills and knowledge to defend yourself or your family when all other options have been exhausted.
Almost without exception, you will use multiple actions in every threatening situation.  Without a plan, you leave yourself only two choices - Freeze or Submit - and they aren't the kind of choices we want to make.

Make a plan - it can save your life.

For Consideration:  If you are forced to Fight, what skills do you have?  Martial arts?  Defensive tactics?  Sprays or stun guns?  Your plan should incorporate all of the "tools" at your disposal.

Next Issue:  There is a phrase used in the military:  No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.  The implication is that any good plan will be flexible enough to adjust to the situation. 

In our next issue, we'll discuss the philosophy of PACE - Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency plans.
 
Bison Risk Management Associates is a Northern California-based company that provides training, workshops and consulting for individuals, businesses and organizations interested in developing or enhancing Personal Safety and Emergency Preparedness action plans.

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