Monday, July 25, 2005

Resisting Crime IS a Good Idea

There was a Press Release about a week ago that discussed a study on the effects of resisting a criminal attack. I was unable, however to discover a copy of the report in minimal searching (have I mentioned that dial-up really sucks?) so I did not write about it. No Quarters was more determined and did follow up.

Resistance is Not Futile; Rather It is Highly Effective.
(PRWEB) July 16, 2005 -- Recently the Florida State University department of Criminology released a study indicating that people who employed self protection strategies reduced their likelihood of injury when compared to nonresistance.

Old research seemed to indicate that resistance to confrontational crime contributed to victim injury. New information reveals the old assumptions were found to be largely attributable to confusion concerning the sequence of self protective actions and injury. In crimes where both occurred, injury followed self protection in only 10 percent of the incidents. Combined with the fact that injuries following resistance are almost always relatively minor, victim resistance appears to be generally a wise course of action.
Does this really surprise anyone? I suppose it does. But are you seriously going to tell women not to resist if confronted by a rapist, or tell a gay man not resist if confronted by a gay-basher? What do you tell the Jew confronted by a Nazi? I don't know about you, but I think all of these people are going to better off if they resist to fullest extent they can.

The full report is available (as 7.9 Meg PDF file) - Resisting Crime: The effects of victim action on the outcome of crimes Jonhgeon Tark and Gary Kleck of Florida State University. (Thanks to Justin Buist for making the PDF file available).
It is in this light that we offer tentative advice to victims. While there are exceptional situations, victims resistance is usually either successful or inconsequential, and on the rare occasion that it is harmful, it is rarely seriously so. There fore unless there are circumstances that clearly indicate resistance will lead to significant harm, the evidence reported in this paper indicates that some form of resistance should be the path generally taken.
[Hat tip KABA and No Quarters]

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