Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Violence Dynamics (learning lessons about real world violence from the news)

The three attempted sexual assualts happened on Friday and Saturday, police said.
Last update: October 25, 2010 - 8:48 PM
Minneapolis police warned on Monday of three attempted sexual assaults against women in south Minneapolis since Friday, saying that in each case the women were walking or jogging alone when a man approached them.

One incident happened early Friday, the other two on Saturday. The department urged people to stay alert, avoid traveling alone and call 911 to report any cries for help.

Police gave these accounts:
A woman said she was near the 2100 block of E. 37th Street at 4:30 a.m. Friday when a man grabbed her from behind and molested her. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his early 20s with a slender build, inch-long black hair spiked up in front and a faint moustache.

Another woman said she was near the 1700 block of E. 33rd Street at 2:30 a.m. Saturday when a man made "lewd comments" and then grabbed at her body.
The women in both of these attacks fought the suspect until he fled, according to police.

A third incident took place at 9:25 p.m. Saturday when a woman jogging past the intersection of E. 51st Street and Woodlawn Boulevard was grabbed from behind. When a vehicle drove past, the man ran away.

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call Sex Crimes Unit officers Sgt. Brian Carlson at 612-673-3064 or Lt. Nancy Dunlap at 612-673-3790.

Before we disect the news article let me state I am not second guessing the victims.  They survived.  Their tactics worked what more can you ask?  Second I am not blaming the victims.  Blame and responsibility are two very different things.  These events can serve educational purposes - learning from how violence actually happened in the past to prevent it from happening in the future.

- Violence happens in places -
2100 block of E. 37th Street at 4:30 a.m.
1700 block of E. 33rd Street at 2:30 a.m.
Do you really need to be out from 2:30 - 4:30 in the morning?  If so, you need to understand that is dangerous and raise your level of awarness.

These color codes help recognize, evaluate, and avoid potential threats. They are used to measure rising threat and make most situations avoidable. The following are the colors in ascending order of awareness of danger: white, yellow, orange, and red.

Code White

  • You feel secure, whether or not you are actually safe.
  • Awareness is switched off.
  • You are unaware of your environment, its inhabitants, and their rituals of attack.
  • All attackers look for victims in this state.

Code Yellow

  • You are cautious. You should spend most of the time in this state.
  • Awareness is switched on.
  • State of threat awareness and relaxed alertness.
  • You have a 360-degree peripheral awareness of such environmental danger spots as secluded doorways, entries, and alleys, as well as such psychological triggers as adrenal dump and attacker ruses. Be aware of people, vehicles, behind large objects, dark areas, etc.

Code Orange

  • You are in danger. You are aware of a potential threat.
  • State of threat evaluation.
  • Specific alert. A possible target has been identified. A particular situation that has drawn your attention and could present a major problem. Someone may be giving oral indicators such as direct threats or using suspicious language. Focus on the potential attacker.
  • Check to see if there is an avenue of escape, potential weapons available, and if others around you are friend or foe.
  • Decision is made to take action.

Code Red

  • You are in conflict.
  • State of threat avoidance.
  • Fight or flight. Flee, defend, or attack. You have evaluated the situation, and if there is a threat, you prepare to fight or run.
  • Never stand or fight if there is a possibility of fleeing.
  • Carry out decision to act made in Code Orange. You don't have to think; no indecision on the course of action; you are prepared.
  • If use of physical self-defense techniques is necessary, use the level of force appropriate to the threat. E.g., don't treat someone who pushes you because he is rude like someone who is trying to stab you with a knife.
- Asocial violence -
Asocial violence does not see the victim as a person but rather a resource (a different species to be hunted). By the time you face a predator attack you must understand that the predator has decided what ever you
have (or the attack itself) is more important than you.
When a vehicle drove past, the man ran away.
One of the biggest paradoxes about de-escalation and violence prevention is the willingness to commit sincere violence often means you don’t have to.
If you convey to him that you know what the stakes are and you’re willing to go there (physical violence) just as fast as he is, then it is NOT safe for him to attack.
A predator will use tactics he has developed to get what he wants from you in the safest surest manor.
The women in both of these attacks fought the suspect until he fled, according to police.

Are you training to deal with real violence?


  1. "commit sincere violence" I've never heard it put that way. Great turn of phrase, must remember that. Great blog!

  2. Its rephrased from a conversation with Marc MacYoung. Marc said lethal violence. I think sincere can get it done if sincere = total commitment up to and including lethal force