by Niall Doherty

Been reading Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller. Lots of good stuff in there about the reality of violence and the best way to handle violent situations. This advice about home invasions is counter-intuitive:

Home invasions are crimes where a criminal or criminals deliberately choose a house they know to be occupied and enter in force to rob, rape, and/or murder. Home invasion crimes have many of the elements of a secondary crime scene. Your home is private and secure, exactly what a predatory criminal may want. In addition, threats against family members can be used as leverage to force cooperation with the predator. This cooperation will not be to the victim’s benefit.

If someone holds a gun to your child’s head and orders you to go to the garage and get duct tape and a hammer, you have two choices. (1) If you run from the garage and call the police from the neighbor’s, the invader will have to choose whether to stay or run. He may kill your child, or decide not to risk the murder charge. (2) If you cooperate and return with the duct tape and hammer, what is he going to do with them? Whatever it is, he will do it to your child and make you watch, and then he will do it to you.

In short, running away at the first opportunity gives you and your family a better chance of surviving a home invasion. In a more general sense, it’s advisable to do everything in your power to resist a threat who tries to control you physically. Because once you’re restrained or moved to a more private location, the odds that you’ll survive the ordeal are significantly lowered.