What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘Home Invasion’? When I hear the words ‘Home Invasion’ I think of Primetime television sensationalizing scenarios in order to boost ratings, that blockbuster, Panic Room, with Jodie Foster, and the rare story you hear about on the evening news. It is something that happens in Hollywood scripts and to other people, not me. That is until I came across some startling statistics that rocked my naïve world.
Did you know…
- An estimated 3.7 million household burglaries occurred each year on average.
- Around 60 percent of burglars used forcible entry to gain access to a home.
- 33 percent of intruders enter a home through the front door. (Hollow doors are exceptionally easy to kick in).
- Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report states that a household member was home in approximately 28 percent of burglaries. Alarmingly, a household member suffered some form of violence in seven percent of burglaries. (source)
- Drugs – both illegal and prescription – are a driving force behind many of today’s burglaries and home invasions.
- As reported by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), “drug use and criminality are closely linked.” According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), of the inmates housed in U.S. jails and prisons: Over 80% have a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse. Approximately 50% are addicted to some form of drug. Approximately 60% of suspects arrested for a crime test positive for illegal drugs. Upon release, up to 80% of drug abusers commit another drug-driven crime. Approximately 95% of inmates that get released from jail or prison resume their drug use. (source)
- An estimated 10,000 people in the NW Ohio region are addicted to heroin and other opioids. (source)
These statistics shook me to my core!! What if we did have a home invasion, how would I handle it? How would I protect not just myself, but my children too? I have to be honest; this momma bear was ill equipped for protecting her cubs in the case of a home invasion. That is until I attended this month’s Ladies Night Out’s Personal Safety Awareness Training!!
A basic synopsis of the class offered at Cleland’s Outdoor World ….
Personal Safety Awareness Training
Discuss how to take a pro-active approach to personal safety. The class begins by focusing on planning for known and unknown surroundings, situational awareness, and non-violent and non-physical methods to protect yourself. The class then explores how to deal with conflicts and confrontations, including techniques and products available to safely remove yourself from a dangerous situation.
Topics that are covered include:
Self-defense products including sprays/gels; stun guns; Tasers; flashlights.
And other options to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
This class is dedicated to teaching individuals of all ages and genders how to avoid being a victim in the home, at work, at school or in every day travels.
The class was a great refresher for some scenarios and very informative in others, particularly home invasion. I liked the fact that the instructor wasn’t trying to instill fear in us but rather to educate and build our confidence so that we would be prepared for any situation. She really ran home the idea of having a PLAN! Do you have a plan? Here is a scenario she gave us…it is late Sunday night, you just put kiddos to bed, you’re sitting down on the couch watching television, and suddenly someone starts kicking in your front door what would you do? This one stumped all of us moms because quite honestly we all let our guards down once we are inside the comforts of our homes. What evolved was a great discussion.
We addressed the fact that we spend so much time talking about fire safety with our children, in school, in scouts, we have a plan if there is ever a fire in our home, etc. And we talk to our children about stranger danger and run scenarios about what they should do if they ever get lost. But we never discuss the possibility of a home invasion, why? Well, because, quite honestly, we don’t want to scare the crap out of them! We just got them all sleeping in their own beds and we would like to keep it that way, right!? At least that was my thinking and then I realized I was doing them a disservice. I am their parent and I am responsible for keeping them safe, safe from everything, and sometimes that means not sheltering them as much, and educating them on some of the realities of life (in an age appropriate manner).
The day after I attended the training I sat my kiddos down and we had a discussion. I am happy to announce that we now have a plan! We decided on a safe room, an alert word, and I even have a safety tool (the instructor made it clear that they are tools for maintaining safety…the various tools she educated us on included…pepper spray, stun gun, & Taser).
Thanks to the training and our plan I am sleeping better than ever at night. If you don’t have a plan I highly recommend you have a family meeting and come up with a plan because your family’s safety is the most important thing in this world!
Here are some great resources I came across….