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Creating a Victim-Proof Mindset: Part 1

To start the process of creating a victim-proof mindset we must begin by acknowledging that criminals exist in the world around us, and the reality is that we could be victimized. Denying either of these facts may further expose us to the potential threats that exist. The key to becoming, what we refer to in our books, as “street-smart,” is a step-by-step learning process, starting with a strong foundation of knowledge.

For example: think of the construction process used when building a structure. The foundation must be strong to completely support the structure. In this case, the foundation is your knowledge on how a criminal thinks, plans, operates when selecting/targeting their victims, and the natural human behaviors we possess that can be exploited to gain advantage over us.

Every day we must become aware of the potential dangers that may exist around us. That person standing next to us in line at the grocery store or who just passed us on the street might be a criminal looking for their next victim. This information is not meant to scare you; it’s meant to help you grasp the concept that criminals are street-smart predators, always on the lookout for their next target. They’re masters of duplicity, dishonesty, and disguise. They will use any and all tactics necessary to gain an advantage, and they can easily transform themselves into someone who appears extremely nice and helpful, or even helpless and disadvantaged, thus luring someone into their trap. They essentially use their skills to manipulate us into becoming their next victim.

In addition to acknowledging the threats that exist, we must be vigilant about recognizing the situations and conditions in which we may be targeted or ambushed—a surprise attack by people lying in wait in a concealed position. This recognition facilitates the ability to avoid becoming victimized by ensuring that we don’t walk into a trap. Using this thought process, you’ll likely begin to see people and situations in a different light. We must begin to be observant of what’s taking place around us at all times and in all situations, while considering the potential dangers that might put your safety or that of your family in jeopardy.

Remember, it’s okay to consider your safety and that of your loved ones first in all situations. When it comes to safety and security, we must first take care of ourselves and then determine if we are able to help others. One key is to always trust your intuition when you feel uncomfortable in any situation. The best way to win in the fight against crime is to avoid placing ourselves in dangerous situations altogether.

And finally, criminals can be extremely effective at committing crimes, so we must be better than they are to prevent becoming victimized.


Practical Exercise:  Develop Your Situational Awareness Skills
  • Over the next several weeks, pay attention to times when you are “trapped in the moment”, focused on one particular activity and not aware of what’s taking place around you.

Remember, when it comes to the safety and survival of you and your loved ones, you are your own first responder.

Preparing for a Time of Crisis

We will never be able to control the criminal and inhumane actions of others, or the catastrophic forces of nature. What we can control is how we prepare ourselves so that we may better act in a manner which gives us the best chance of survival when a difficult situation or crisis occurs.

When dealing with emergency or critical life situations, there are only 3 types of individuals:

  1. those who take proactive steps to avoid becoming a victim;
  2. those who haven’t safeguarded themselves and stand helpless, awaiting rescue; and,
  3. those devastated by a tragic incident asking, “How could this happen to me?”

During a crisis or emergency is not the time to make preparations. A Safer Life has been developed as a simple-to-use, step-by-step learning system to help us all prepare for a wide variety of occurrences that many will face in their future. Experts are warning that the time is now. It’s better to be prepared for an event that never happens, than to be unprepared for an event that does.

A Safer Life welcomes you to join our community of like-minded individuals, focused on “safeguarding yourself and loved ones against crime and disaster.” Working together we are all the solution for safer families, neighborhoods and communities.

Look for our upcoming blog series on creating a victim-proof mindset.


The Importance of being “Your Own First Responder”

For the perspective of the victim, public safety professionals are reactionary services during emergency situations. It is the victims who are the first to know there is an emergency requiring

professional assistance response to save lives and property. How the victims are personally prepared to handle emergencies will have a direct result of the ability to survive and recover; or

not. It is the victims who are truly the “First Responders.” Recent global killings of police officers, combat style slaying of school children and civil dis- obedience is a reminder of the importance that you must take proactive measures to ensure the safety and security of your family. Not only have these violent acts dominated all news sources reporting the details of these tragedies, the sources of these violent tragedies all have promised more to come.

No community is immune from tragic events. Whether you agree with the violent agendas or not, we are all victims in many ways. The mass gatherings for civil dis-obedience eliminate public safety response when you need fire or ambulance services among many other negative impacts on our communities and families.

Any group or individual feeling justified to commit violent crime does not care if you agree with them or not. They usually do not care how you voted or how you worship.

Here is the reminder we have been advocating with “AWARE, NOT AFRAID.”

 No form of government has ever been capable to eradicate crime or control the forces of nature.

 At best, public safety professionals are reactionary services. An emergency beyond your abilities must occur before any type of assistance is dispatched to help.

 Modern conveniences have eroded our instincts and abilities to be self-reliant to communicate, obtain food, water, clothing, shelter and entertainment without a personal communication device or a shopping mall.

 None of us have the ability to control or stop the motivations of violent criminal behavior.

“AWARE, NOT AFRAID” is not focused on motivations and causes of emergencies or disasters. Not matter your personal views, we are all potential victims of sources beyond our control. Since we cannot control violent behavior or forces of nature, “AWARE, NOT AFRAID” allows you to evaluate your personal lifestyle to identify potential risk exposures. Therefore, you can custom design corrective actions that work for you and your family.

No matter what your personal views are regarding individual violent crime or civil dis-obedience, we are all susceptible to being victims.

What are you doing to protect your family? What preventive measures have you and your family designed to survive and recover from any life threatening emergency?

You never will recover from the personal persecution experiences when you know in your heart you could have done something to prevent or have a chance to survive when a loved one is gravely injured or dies from any type of emergency.

Please stay safe,

J.C. and Melvin

Car Jacking Kidnapping Dangers/Safeguards

Woodridge man charged with hijacking, kidnapping woman and 2 kids


A Woodridge man in prison on an unrelated armed robbery charge has been charged with hijacking and kidnapping a woman and her two young children in April 2014.

John A. Smith, 18, formerly of Woodridge, is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, one count of aggravated kidnapping and one count of armed robbery. All charges are Class X felonies.

Prosecutors say the victim and her two children were sitting in their parked minivan at 11:07 a.m. on April 26, 2014, in a grocery store parking lot when Smith, armed with a large butcher knife, entered through the passenger side door.

Smith, authorities said, then ordered the woman to drive to a nearby bank to get money, which she did. Smith also allegedly stole $45 cash and roughly $100 of Canadian currency from the woman before leaving the vehicle, prosecutors said.


The importance of CarjackingStaying Alert (SA) when Driving

Too often we view news reports of victims being assaulted in their vehicles. As stated before, it is not possible for any of us to control the motivations of individuals wishing to violently attack you or take your property. It is possible for us to reduce the potential to become victimized. We begin with acknowledging the fact that crime does exist and quite possibility today is the day I may have to fight for my life. As we outline in “AWARE, NOT AFRAID,” before departing your residence for the day:

 Review with your family your schedules, coordination and communications instructions.

 Review awareness habits for observing activities surrounding you as you move through public settings.

 Reminders to not use personal communication devices while moving in traffic. Pay attention for individuals that may be focusing on your actions when you must stop your vehicle or following you.

 Where and how will you and family members reunite during emergencies with and without the use of personal communication devices?

 Review your identified travel routes and pre-selected safe locations to use if anyone feels threatened and needs help. It is an unfortunate fact that we feel completely secure when in out vehicles. We must break out of this illusion of safety. It is habitual to focus on activities in front of us and lose focus or not be concerned at all with activities behind or to our left and right.

 Our eyes are in the front of our skulls and it is natural to focus forward.

 We are in motion and the obvious traffic dangers forward of our vehicle where it is natural for us to observe.

 Personal communication devices, group conversations, radio programming, audio books, eating or music may distract our attention. Survival from attack while in your vehicle requires you to remain alert to activities around your vehicle from other vehicles and pedestrian behaviors. Alert posture eliminates being surprised from potential vehicle collision and possible attack by criminals on foot. This alert posture to activities also requires your constant recognition of a safe escape route to drive your vehicle away from any threat or impact collision point, whether moving or temporarily stopped. This constant vigilance is not possible if you voluntarily permit yourself to be distracted. In order for an ambush attack to occur, you must be trapped and mobility restricted. Uncontrolled stops always occur at road intersections, construction zones and during high volume commute traffic conditions. When forced to stop under any situation, remain alert to all activities occurring around your vehicle.

 Never stop too close to a vehicle in front of you that prevents escape mobility.

 An alert posture will reveal potential threats coming toward you from left, right or behind. Study of vehicle ambush attacks reveal the attackers trap/distract with an action forward of the vehicle while the attack comes from left, right and/or behind.

 If you feel threatened, move your vehicle. Do not remain stopped.

 Your constant alert status also provides the assurance your escape route is clear and safe to use. Always keep you vehicle moving when you are threatened.

Never stop to assist others if you are not comfortable with the setting. Call Public Safety with details you observed to send assistance. Unfortunately, criminals pretend needs for assistance to ambush anyone wishing to help. Never feel guilty about protecting your family and yourself. You will change forever if guilt and regret haunt you because you know you allowed yourself to be distracted and trapped resulting in the loss of a loved one.

J.C. and Melvin

Dangerous Dependency on Modern Technology & Conveniences

Dangerous Dependency on Modern Technology and Conveniences

We wrote Aware, Not Afraid to provide a practical guide for individuals and families to take personal responsibility to be “your own first responder.” Aware, Not Afraid offers the reader an ability to self-identify personal risk exposures in your lifestyle so that you can custom design risk reduction practices that fits your lifestyle. Only you can make yourself self-reliant.

Why is personal responsibility important? Why can’t I rely on external assistance to be there when I require emergency assistance? Simple: we have no control of personal motivations that cause violent crime or the forces of nature. In the history of mankind, no form of government or resources have been able to control or prevent life-threatening emergencies. We can control our personal lifestyles. We can identify personal risk exposures and custom design reduction to risk exposures. During this evaluation process, what can we learn about our daily dependence on modern technology and conveniences?



Consider this news story link:

Thousands Seen Dying If Terrorists Attack U.S. Power Grid


The experts all agree that our power grid infrastructure is vulnerable, being targeted and has been attacked. If a successful attack destroys our grid system, the thousands of deaths will be catastrophic. Where does that leave you when utilities are no longer supplied? We all know how inconvenient it is when a mobile phone call is dropped or when Internet access is disrupted for a few hours or a day. Imagine if utilities are not supplied for days, weeks, and months or longer? What now? How will you eat? Where will you get water you need for daily consumption and use? Where will get clothes and shoes? How will you maintain climate control of your home during the different seasons? Where will you go for help or better conditions? For the majority of the population, individual citizens will not have lifestyles that permit isolated, self-reliant survival living conditions. Remember, in the event of total power grid failure, public safety will also be affected. Communities will have to rely on one another to adjust and survive. The moment to create a stronger community begins before the emergency. The following report has been around since 2007 and we are more vulnerable than ever because very little to nothing has been done to remedy the situation.

J. C. Owens and Melvin Groves




Law Enforcement & Community Disconnect

One of the greatest problems we see today affecting safety and security in many communities is the huge disconnect between the ordinary citizen and law enforcement. If you were to look back fifty plus years ago you would find that the beat cop, as they were often referred to, typically had a good first-hand relationship with the people who lived in the neighborhood in which they patrolled.


That hands-on approach to protecting neighborhoods, along with interpersonal community relationship building is rare to non-existent. The greatest threat posed by this disconnect is that many have lost confidence and even trust in the efforts of law enforcement; this further affects the officers’ ability to effectively do their job. It would be nice if there were easy solutions to repairing this real and ever growing problem, but it does not appear to be happening soon in many communities. The end result is less effective law enforcement and the potential for violent crime to escalate. The good news; there are ways that neighborhoods and communities can be safe and secure against violent crime.

This can be accomplished by citizens taking personal responsibility to become self-reliant for their safety and security. This provides a framework to organize neighbors and become the “eyes and ears” extension for the authorities. By creating Aware, Not Afraid, we believe the value of the beat cop can never truly be replaced, but organized, self-reliant citizens enhance law enforcement and all public safety resource efforts. Together we are the solution to safer families, neighborhoods, communities and organizations.

J. C. Owens