How to Avoid Hate Crimes

This is not to scare you, but if you’re a member of the LGBT community or an ethnic community in the United States, then watch your back. You’re a likely target of hate crimes. Okay, this warning is a bit exaggerated, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.  

Biased-based offenses or hate crimes are heinous acts. While they can’t always be prevented, you can take some precautions to help reduce your chances of becoming a helpless target.

Avoid isolated or dark places

Perpetrators of hate crimes can creep around anywhere, but they commonly attack in empty streets and quiet places. Avoid parking structures and dark places like alleys as fewer people can assist you in case someone attacks you. Such places give a potential attacker a strategic place to hide and you’re at a disadvantage since you don’t see who or what is around you.

Don’t travel alone

Hate crime perpetrators only attack when they know your alone or helpless. So ask a friend or someone you really trust to commute or travel with you when going to unfamiliar places or walking at night. Remember, safety comes in numbers.

Familiarize yourself with your surroundings

Attackers like the element of surprise. They’re like crocodiles lurking in the shallows, ready to attack. You can avoid such surprises by knowing who or what’s around you all the time. Check if the community you’re visiting have an anti-Hispanic, anti-gay, or anti-you reputation. Check if the bar you’re going to welcomes patrons like you? Be aware.

Try to remember the location, landmarks, intersections, and street names. This will help you get to safety in case you need to. Also, this will help the authorities locate you when you call for help. Familiarizing yourself with your location could save valuable seconds.

Always say no to strangers

Criminals will try to gain your trust. Don’t fall for their deadly trap. Always trust your instincts. Say no when a stranger offers you a ride or asks you to help him/her get something. If you’re stranded, call family members or friends to help you. You should wait for them in a busy and well-lit area.

Keep your cell phone ready

We’ve seen it in movies all too often. A serial killer chases a blonde girl. The girl screams and runs for her life. The killer is slowly catching up. The girl takes out her cell phone and dials emergency numbers in haste. The criminal is only feet away. The girl drops her cell phone. The killer slashes her neck.

You don’t want that to happen to you, do you? Many cell phones feature programmable codes or speed dialing for quick and easy access to numbers. So program 911 or your local police station on your cell phone.