No one ever hopes to experience something like that. Not while you’re at home but certainly not while your enjoying your holiday!
While traveling you’re in a place you don’t know your surroundings that well and you’re not totally familiar with the common standards of that country. But when something happens like this make sure you’re consious of your actions in that situation.
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I wrote down some tips for you
What to do when you get robbed?
Train your brain for situations (Visualise)
If you have thought about your reaction in certain situations you will remain more calm and are able to take actions. You can train yourself and be prepared for certain situations without ever really having encountered something like that. Imagine yourself being in situations and think about the possibilities. For instance, actions you can take.
You can prepare yourself to take action.
If this happens….I will do this. You can do this with as much situations you can think of. It seems so simple but this is how our brain works. It sees a situation and will go back to look for memories, if you have made one by visualising it will take that and take actions according to your memory. Becauses of that you will stay calmer and are able to think clearer in such a hectical situation.
– Stay Calm
If one thing is important in such a situations it’s being able to think and act. It appears that often people aren’t able to act in such situations because they get a black out or are nailed to the ground. You can prefend this from happening by visualising. By thinking over these kind of situations and having thought about how to react when this happens.
Make sure you keep breathing and try to control this. By breathing good and calmly you keep your body under control. The best way to breath is through your nose in and out through your mouth.
Stand firm and be confident of yourself, this is what you project onto another. You know what you are going to do, you do what you wanted to do. You do what you thought of while you were clear and able to think straight and what seemed to be the best plan at that time.
– Scream as hard as you can!
Make a scene so everybody will look at you. The person that wants to rob you wants money or other valuables. He probably doesn’t want to hurt you but most of the time only threatens you. It is a way of convincing you to listen to him and giving him want he wants.
A robber or attacker doesn’t want any attention of other people, and doesn’t want to be seen by many at all. The chance of him getting caught will grow significantly. So making a scene might let him deside to stop attacking you and to go away.
– Safety First
You need to have some courage to do this, I know. The person that attacks you wants you to be quiet and calm, maybe he will strengthen his threat with a knife or even a gun. So when you deside to scream and not listen you need to feel his intentions. Is he only threatening or is he really going to use it against you?
– When you do need to give your valuables
People that are under the influence of drugs or in need of money to buy drugs can act unpredictable. Don’t hesitate and give them what they want. Most drug users are to be recognized by their appearance, such as badly kept hygiene.
Your safety and well being is alway MORE important that loosing your mobile, money or jewerly.
– Attention of bystanders
Do you deside not to cooperate immediatly make sure that people are watching you. Make sure those bystanders know what is going on. Most of the time people don’t know what was going on untill after the attack has taken place. It seems that you had a fight, maybe domestic and we are raised not to bother eachother. To have respect to another ones life and space. Make sure that people know it is not private and you need help.
Talk to people on a personall level by saying; ‘the man in the red shirt’ or ‘the woman with the blue coat’. Tell hem to call the emergency number. Make sure you’re not alone anymore. Make sure that the attacker becomes the minority.
So, Make sure it is Clear to everyone that you are being Attacked or Robbed. Scream as Hard as you can. Get people to come and help you so you become the majority.
– Use ‘Pepperspray’
If the attacker doesn’t want your money or jewerly but wants you, your body? That needs a different approach.
Take deodorant or hairspray with you and use it as if it was pepperspray. It is illegal to have pepperspray in most countries but you can have deo or hairspray with you and act like it is pepperspray. Spray your attacker in his face with it. Instinctively he will protect his face/eyes from getting infected by the spray. He will probably think it is pepperspray. The seconds you create by doing this can be crucial for you to get away from your attacker and also to get attention or help from others.
– Remember as much features as possible
Try to remember as much specific features as possible from your robber / attacker. I learned myself to speak out loud what I see. What kind of clothes, colour of hair / eyes, posture of the person. Does he talk with an accent. Are there any tattoos or moles/birthmarks that you see.
To get a suspect before a court of law there has to be a recognition so the police can arrest that person. Specific features are crucial to recognize someone later on. A police officer can have his suspicion and if features you say combine the two? That can be enough to get him arrested. Often a person will operate in the same area and have the same way (Modus Operandi) of robbing or attacking people.
– Leave Traces
If your attacker is that close and you are in a physical fight try to scratch or wound the attacker or try to get a hold of some hairs. A wound will show for weeks after the attack and to track down a suspect this is a good and specific feature. It’s also possible to get DNA from the hair, your hands or underneath your nails if you have wounded him. If it is a person that has been convicted earlier the DNA will be listed in the DNA bank and a match is easily made.
– Alarm Number
You need to know the alarmnumer of the country your visiting. In most European countries it is 112 but it’s not a rule. Make sure that you have the number listed in your phone or keep it in your last dialed numbers list. I don’t call that much when I’m abroad so it will keep its place high in that list.
– Where are you?
Try to remember where you are in case police need to find you. Streetnames are too difficult most of the time but remember names from tourist attractions or cafe/hotels in the neighbourhood
– Be Prepared
Of course we all hope these situation won’t happen to us. And most of us won’t experience this but unfortunately it can happen and if it does be prepared!!
Hope you can use one or two of these tips in time of need…
Which I don’t hope you get into…
Do you want to read some more tips on Safe Travel?
5 Tips to Increase your Safety during the Dark Hours – Delhi
5 Tips to Drive Safely in a Foreign Country
Scam in the Souks of Marrakesh
How to Travel Safely by Bus & Train
Hitchhiking on a Shabbat – Israel
Or did you read what I experienced on the Camino?
Love on the Camino
Jacomijn is a police officer from The Netherlands who loves to show you how to travel the world Safe, Healthy and Active!! Safe and Healthy Travel is a MUST!