Some of the things that people do to avoid crime – may put them in even MORE danger and increase their odds of becoming a victim. So here’s what to do if you’re ever in a bad situation. These tips come from Dale Yeager, a criminal analyst and federal law-enforcement trainer. We found his advice in the Bottom Line Personal.

  • Let’s start with muggings. You may have heard to throw your handbag and run, because the mugger will reach for the bag and not chase you. Well, Yeager says throwing your valuable at the mugger may be perceived as disrespect – and shockingly, street criminals value respect above all else. If they feel disrespected, they may escalate their attack. Instead, politely hand over your money, say nothing and avoid eye contact. The only exception to that rule? If the mugger keeps giving you instructions, like “Get down on the ground.” Yeager says if they don’t just take your money and take off, they’re more likely to commit another crime, like sexual assault. So if they give more instructions, run!
  • Then, you may have heard the best way to fight back against a male assailant is to kick him in the groin. Yeager says that almost always fails. Men experience an adrenaline rush when committing crimes – and that makes their privates retract, so they’re hard to hit with a kick. Plus, they’re expecting it. A better bet is to aim for the kidneys – which are on the side, right above the waist. Where someone would rest their hands on their hips. They’re extremely sensitive – so aim a punch, kick or stab a pen or keys in that area.
  • Finally, you may have heard to act confidently and you’ll be less likely to be targeted by criminals. Criminal analyst Yeager says criminals may take that confidence for arrogance and decide to take you down a peg. A male criminal may target a cocky guy to prove he’s top dog. Instead, feel confident, but don’t act unnaturally. That makes you stand out and attract unwanted attention.
  • Here’s a tip for 20-somethings. Nightclubs are notorious for crime – more so than supposedly “bad neighborhoods.” Almost all crimes are committed when someone is leaving after midnight.