Being a victim is the last thing on our list of things to do on any given day. It's true, it does happen every day, around the clock, to thousands of people, and at some point in our lives, to us or family and friends. The criminal mind is not rare, we likely all have thoughts at some point that say "what if..." for some people, that idea is directly connected with their impulses. Some people are as equally prone to violence, or theft as you are prone to opening your fridge absent mindedly to see what's inside. For a crime to occur, their are only a few components. The first is a victim. The second is a perpetrator, then add in some time, and opportunity and you have a crime. These basic ingredients form everything from liqour store robberies or muggings, to even the most complex and sophisticated of crimes. Victim(s), perpetrator(s) , time, and opportunity. Being a victim or not comes down to mindset the majority of the time. Being too friendly, too willing to help, or too naive is how you kick off the combat boots, slip on the victim loafers and take a pounding. This is called victimology. And to simplify things, it's basically what you were doing or how you were behaving before someone came along with pantyhose on their heads and took your lexus. Situational awareness, is a buzzword, but more often then not, like nearly anything related to a buzzword, no one says anything useful about it. Watch out for people who are physically larger or more athletic. You are not likely to be attacked by midgets if you are a 6'6" bodybuilder. Keep a good distance around yourself, don't allow people to get close enough to reach you. I call this "combat geometry". And it is intuitive. Most dangerous physical altercations begin with a word, or sentence to stop your momentum. I may turn, and continue to walk backwards. "Sorry, I'm busy. "Or late, for an event, or i am picking up my kids. Etc etc. Anything to create a time constraint that is concrete. You can very quickly discover if their intentions are honorable if they disregard the social cue that is a conversation ender. If they continue to press, it's time to be ready. The "geometry" part. Points in relation to eachother have certain angles. A person who isn't in a physical relationship with you will occupy a different distance than the rest of the world. Its how we make assumptions about relationships with people to other people occupying the same space. If you are in "intimate" distance, you are either about to kiss, or fight depending on who you are near (maybe both, who knows) This distance typically results in grappling, biting, elbows, and knees. Unless a separation occurs like a push, and you begin the fight in... "Handshake" distance is the equivalent to boxing/kicking range, and can also be associated with most melee attacks from knives, and other short weapons. "Salute" distance is that distance on the street when you finally look up at a passerby walking the opposite direction. Usually using a polite head nod, eye contact and smile, etc. This is the distance most typically associated with handguns, or longer impact weapons like base ball bats, machetes and so on. To maintain situational awareness, you need to maintain 360 degrees of security around your body, with as much distance as possible. Having your back to the wall immediately gives you 180 degrees as a freebie, a corner, while it limits your mobility some, gives you only 90 degrees to be concerned with. I knew a brawler who would go to the corner of the bar anytime a barfight began,(usually initiated by him) a solid plan for hand to hand and melee, the corner's geometry makes being surrounded, or taken to the ground nearly impossible. While also making it difficult to be struck with pool cues when swung (but not thrusted). Essentially, it was a "fist funnel" for anyone attempting to get to him, he could knock out each angry patron one at a time. It was successful enough of a tactic that a nightclub lost it's liquor liscense as the result of one night in particular. Another story for another time. Speed. Speed reduces the window of opportunity a person has to victimize you. The longer you stay in one place, especially a public space, the greater your chances of confrontation. Have a plan for how long you will stay, what you need, and where it is, accomplish getting the things you need as rapidly as possible and leave. Posture. Its important not to let your body language reflect weakness, my own body language often conveys agression, the way i lean forward with my chin tucked. It is a difficult habit to break, and you should break bad habits with posture. Maintaining an upright position allows you to use more of your eyeballs, especially threats at elevations above you. Leaning forward with your head down actually reduces your balance, and can make you look either under confident or agressive. Besides reducing your visual range in the upper 1/3 of your eye socket. If approached, have an understanding of kinetic linking. This means in order for a person to hurt you, they must move closer, or into a position to do so. That means they will move their feet first, unless they are a very proficient martial artist. I don't recommend staring at their feet, although. Instead look past them. Its a soft vision technique, where you are intent on what is near, but you are looking past them, just over their shoulder. It is a non agressive, non confrontational technique, but you will notice that the person's entire body, and all of your immediate surroundings come into focus. Allowing you to key in on any movement from the tip of their toe, to every hair on their head. It's worth the practice.