T Nation

Situational Awareness


That's the point: drawing conclusions. Serial killers, rapists, murderers, kidnappers, etc., don't wear signs. They don't have a look. I'm not talking about going on a date with your best friend's sister or something. If the only knowledge a woman has of a guy is what he has supplied then she should be cautious.


I absolutely agree that no decent male would harm or exploit a female.

However, surveys conducted on college campuses report that 1 in 4 women have been the victims of rape or attempted rape by the time they reach college age. 85% of those women knew their attackers and over half of the were on a date when the attack occurred.

1 in 12 men ADMITTED to having committed acts that legally constituted rape. 1 in 3 men said they would commit rape if they could avoid detection. 1 in 4 men said rape was acceptable if the woman asks the man out, the man pays for the date and/or the woman voluntarily goes back to the man's room after the date.

These numbers, anecdotally at least, are consistent with the experiences of women I know.

So, while I agree that a decent man would not harm a woman it appears that there is a significant number of men out there who aren't decent. Assuming a guy is decent until he proves otherwise by attacking you isn't the most proactive of solutions.



I don't know what study's your citing, but I can't really examine them without sources. Respect is a two way street. And with that I'm done discussing anything other than situational awareness in this thread.


Agreed. I have no desire to derail this thread.

However, for your own edification there's this from the Centre for Disease Control: the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey that was just recently released. It's one of the more current and comprehensive items I could find. It's fairly consistent with most of the other information I've come across.


It's based on self-reporting data via telephone survey from 9086 women and 7421 men from all 50 states. It found 18.3% of women reported being victims of attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, thankfully somewhat lower than the 25% I was citing, but still plenty high. I suspect that if you confined the study to women/girls currently attending high school and college the numbers would be higher, but that's just a guess.

51.1% of those women were victimized by an intimate partner or spouse and 40.8 were attacked by male acquaintances. Almost 79.6% were attacked before age 25 and over 42.2% were attacked before age 18. 16.2% reported having been victims of stalking and 66.2% of those were stalked by a current or former intimate partner.

If those aren't valid situational awareness concerns and thus relevant to this discussion, I don't know what is. If I had an 18.3% chance of getting shot/stabbed in my lifetime, I'd take it pretty fucking seriously and I'd want to take some significant steps to reduce that risk. For those of us who help teach women/girls how to protect themselves it is something that we have a moral duty to acknowledge and address.

I get that you're offended to be associated with these guys by virtue of our gender. It offends the shit out of me too, but it's a fact of life. Respect IS a two way street. However, like trust it must be earned, not simply demanded.

Edited (clarity)


Thanks! :slight_smile:

But I agree with this post and your subsequent ones: to each their own.

I err on the side of precaution in these manners, but please don't think it's because I regard ALL men as rapist. I regard everyone as being potentially dangerous, but until proven otherwise, I respect them as who they show themselves to be. I try not to judge anyone negatively until proven otherwise, and then I try to find out why (background, etc).

I think a big underlying theme of this whole thread is just be mindful and pay attention to your surroundings. As my dad constantly tells me: Trust no one, have a good time.


CaptainO, I agree that most men are decent people & wouldn't harm a female for pleasure, but the bad guys look usually look just like the good guys & the only way to tell the difference is time. It doesn't mean I assume a man is bad whe I meet him. But I immediately start looking for clues as to what kind of person I'm dealing with. If I wanted to harm someone I'd definitely pretend I was a sweetie pie to get close & put them at ease, but most people have tells.

Strongly agree on watching your drink. Some years ago I was at an week long event & went to lunch with a couple of cops I'd partnered with in training. I went to the ladies room, came back to the table & picked up my water glass to take a sip & one of them said, "Don't drink that." "???" "You barely know us. I could have put something in your drink. Have the waitress bring you a new drink." He insisted I make it a habit, starting now. Love that guy.

On eye contact, as a female, I do it quickly, & find something else interesting to pretend to look at, but I'm really scanning, looking at hand placement, posture, clothing, and in particular whether they seem to have too much focus on me. Holding eye contact with a strange man too long looks like an invitation.


Yeah, totally different dynamic between male and female eye contact than male to male eye contact.

Like others said, while we as individual men know whether we are decent or not and would or would not commit sexual assault (including date rape) on a woman; there is no way that any woman can know that upon beginning to date you (unless maybe you've been friends for a long long time and are deciding to turn the relationship into a romantic one, which is not the scenario people are discussing) which side of the fence you are on. Serial date rapists are often times charming, charismatic, intelligent, and seemingly trustworthy; until they are not, but by that time it may be too late to do anything about it. To feel offended because a woman is trying to protect herself in a society where rape is a very real and sadly common reality/danger is pretty immature or simply naive.


Good post and great advise about watching what you drink. I am no means an expert on kidnapping, but, I have been on two cases involving human trafficking and narcotics were "used" when a "rich client" wanted a special type of woman.


i like your point on eye contact... it's something that people who deal with people in a rough environment do automatically. i've been "made" a lot when i'm off duty shopping as a cop because of this. i started noticing that people that work at gas stations in tough areas, pawn shops, etc look at people entirely different than in other retail stores.

i get annoyed when people refer to soldiers that do this as having PTSD or hyper-vigilance... of course, i also get annoyed watching today's zombies walking around with their smart phones like it's a horse leading a cart.


If you want to get a feel for situational awareness. Play a game of assassins with your friends for a month of so. I did this back in the 90's before they outlawed it in my local. Man that will keep your head on a swivel all day. Play for some meaningful cash amount. limit it to 10 people.


Hahaha. That's a fun game. I don't think it translates very well to the real practice needed with serious situations, but it can be an eye-opener. Often times the purpose of any drill or practice pattern isn't to actually mimic the real thing but just open your eyes to how much you don't know yet.

Do agree though, if you're going to play it make the stakes high enough you're invested in winning. Otherwise it's pointless. Split the winnings between all survivors evenly.


Aragorn- to this day I still do double takes on anyone wearing sun glasses/ disguise items. Also the game convinced me to get my CPL.


OK, what game is this?


You used to be able to play on craigslist , and there had been a few billboards in the beginning ( 1980's). You would sign up and receive detailed target instructions your job was to hunt them down and put a paint ball center mass on them. Realize someone else had your number and was actively hunting you.

This was done in your normal life ( maybe take lunch off to go observe someone for a while). Guys started getting more creative ( the idea was to do it in a at least plausible manner) and got carried away with theatrics. Which brought unwanted attention to the game. There where a few incidences where people where either murdered or injured during the course of the game . This was running nationwide in every major city when the plug was pulled and everyone just disappeared. A few groups continue to play (at the risk of legal action) today around the country. As I said matches played with trusted group members for cash; usually in the 200.00 entry range are great for sharpening your situational awareness skills. The last members standing share the cash.


People actually got murdered? The fuck?


Well, think about it: if you were a sick fuck serial killer, what better way to get away with a crime than blame it on a game like that gone wrong? Hell, if you're a jilted lover/postal employee/insert crazy fuck then you're going to be doing it anyway and it makes a great cover to blame the people involved with the game. I mean, if you have people killing each other over Xboxes and turkey legs (yes really, Thanksgiving turkey), then it's really not too much of a stretch to consider some person using the Assassins game as a scapegoat/cover for a real reason to murder.

It wasn't a part of the game, obviously.

More to the point though, is injuries sustained by paintballs to bystanders or faces. That's much more likely than a serious killer. Hello litigation, hello bad press, hello "it's dangerous! we have to stop it for the children! You could shoot someone's eye out!"


Yep. Usually there's a time limit for the game as well.

Also, I played (much more recently than the 80s or 90s) with water balloons and others water-soluble paint (not paintball guns). Obvious risks with unprotected faces and paintballs.


Man Sounds like fun. I was too young and sheltered in the 80s and most of the 90's I was out in other countries


Ranzo I also received my education abroad courtesy of my uncle. 86-98


Pavel wrote a masterpiece of poetic truth a couple of months ago about this topic. Seriously, I hadn't read something so poignant in a very long time. He mentioned the deteriorating human condition and how we view ourselves as we age and mentioned a story of a guy who was assassinated. A hitman follows him for 5 mins straight without the guys awareness, literally right behind him, all caught on cctv..... The whole time, the victim is fingerling away on his phone..... I'll dig up the article