Why you need to make yourself a "hard target."
Here are some relevant FBI Crime Statistics for 2013:
- More than 1.4 million residential burglaries ~ with residents home during nearly 350,000 of those burglaries
- One murder every 37 minutes
- One rape every 6.6 minutes
Women today are accomplished, independent, and strong. We are hard working executives, professionals, adventurers, travelers, athletes, students, singles, wives, mothers, and grandmothers. Despite these strengths, however, women (and children) are still vulnerable and often the targets of violent crime. To maintain our safety, we are taught to avoid dark and deserted alleys, parking areas, hiking, and running paths. We are taught to travel in the security of groups or with men. How many times have you chosen to not go somewhere, not take a trip by yourself, or not go for a walk, hike, or run after work because you fear for your safety? What about feeling secure in our own homes? What about the security of your children when asleep in their beds or playing in their own yards?
During my 23 year career as an FBI Special Agent, I investigated some of the most violent and heinous robbers, drug lords, sexual predators, kidnappers, and serial murderers. I was involved in investigations in which children and adult women were taken from the safety of their bedrooms, plucked from their front yards, pulled from the hands of friends, and ultimately sexually abused and even murdered. In so many of these cases, I thought, "If only they had a dog, perhaps they would still be alive."
Certainly, awareness of surroundings and good judgement are first lines of defense. But, what are other options for personal safety? Mace, tasers, and/or self defense techniques can be effective, but all require close contact with the potential aggressor. A body guard may be able to keep you safe, but is costly, usually not 24/7, and infringes on your privacy. Making your home a fortress essentially makes you a prisoner. A handgun (assuming you can even access it in time AND have proper training and mental preparation) can be turned against you. Or, if you do shoot someone, are you prepared to face the mental anguish and legal aftermath of taking a life?
Personally, as a Concealed Firearms Permit instructor, Pistol instructor, someone who has years of defensive tactics training, and someone who carried a firearm 24/7 for 23 years, I feel most secure when in the company of my protection trained dogs for the following reasons:
A dog can alert you to danger before you even realize it exists.
- A dog can function on its own allowing you the opportunity to make distance and escape the immediate threat.
- A dog can wake you during the night and scare off an intruder.
- A dog can check the security of your home, hotel room, car, or surroundings before you even enter.
- A dog can travel with you domestically and internationally to provide security where you are not permitted to have weapons in your possession.
- A dog can be ready when you are not or when you don't have time to reach or access to a weapon.
- A dog can inflict injury, impeding an aggressor's attack, without likely causing death.
- A dog can face an aggressor immediately and without hesitation or fear for its own safety.
- A dog can deter a threat just by its presence.
Perhaps most importantly, a dog can become a wonderful companion; a loyal and trusted member of your family. So, the next time you feel vulnerable, consider a personal/executive protection dog from Heimdallr K9 Services to give you security, peace, trusted and loyal companionship while also making you a "hard target."