Should You Run From An Attacker?

el janabi and wilson fletcher

by Colin McNulty

In the terrible story of a 14 year old boy being abducted and raped in Manchester’s Arndale Centre toilets, there is a learning point that we can take away from it:

> the boy was told: “Come with us. Do what we say. If you try to run we’ll get you.”

There are few hard rules when it comes to personal protection, but if there is any it’s this: Never allow yourself to be taken to a secondary crime scene. If a Bad Guy tries to take you somewhere else, it’s because he has worse things in mind for you than he can do right there.

Also it taps in to one of the 3 things that a Bad Guy doesn’t want: they don’t want to get caught, and clearly they feel vulnerable in the current location.

In most circumstances then, if you hear the words “Come with us…” followed by pretty much any threat or treaty, like “… and you won’t get hurt.” that’s your cue to hear the exact opposite.

Fight, kick, bite, scratch, scream, yell, run or even just fling yourself on the floor and kick out, but do whatever it takes to not get taken to a place that the Bad Guy thinks is safer to commit the crime he has in mind.

No there are no guarantees, and if he has a knife or gun, there’s a chance you’ll get hurt. But ask yourself this: if he has a knife or gun, don’t you think you’re more likely to get more seriously hurt later anyway?

The advice above is good for a Bad Guy who has no weapon, and chancy but likely still in your favour if they do, but is predicated on the basis that most people don’t have the skills or confidence to properly take on an armed assailant. Just to be clear, the most desirable thing  you can do with an armed attacker is first Clear yourself from the immediate danger and Control the weapon, but we’re getting off track.

To reiterate then, don’t allow yourself to be taken to a place of the Bad Guy’s choosing, if there’s anything you can do about it.

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