Today has been another hard day at work. All you wish to do is get onto the train, so you can go home to relax and unwind. You join the train and stand, holding the grab bar, as there are no seats.

At the next station, a group of men join the train and stand next to you. One of them puts his hand on the grab bar, right next to your face. Immediately, he looks at you and asks: “Everything all right?”

Of course it’s not, as he has just violated your personal space and was almost touching your lips with his fingers, but in that split second of your dynamic risk assessment, you don’t tell him that; you simply disengage and move away from the situation.

Knife crime is not a new threat.  It’s just that more and more people are carrying a knife these days for their own reasons. In today’s society, we have no idea, who has a knife in their pocket or up their sleeve, but we must always err on the side of caution and ask ourselves: “What if?”  We do this, because we know that what does happen when you’re on a moving train and there is a person with a knife, you become trapped. There is no exit for you until you reach the next station and the doors open. Meanwhile, that train becomes a locked box and any kind of confrontation could result in the worst outcome. The extract from a real-life event summarises the danger from a knife threat, as follows: “…following on from an argument on a train between two men, a man in his fifties was stabbed in the stomach. his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening”.

When confronted in a close proximity situation of threatening behaviour, which may start as a verbal interchange, but very quickly it can turn to physical, take the advantage of remaining calm. Simultaneously, quickly disengage from the problem with a smile or an apology and move away. In this way, you can make distance to safety and keep yourself out of sight.

This form of self defence does not mean that you are running away from a situation. Instead, it means you are demonstrating your inner survival instinct and acting upon it.

Avoid the situation firstly by not letting the moment carry you away. For example, if somebody is in a rush, then let him or her, be in a rush. Remember, we do not know what has just taken place in that person’s life, ahead of making his/her way onto the train.

Always, disengage as quickly as the situation has started.  Give a smile, say an apology, and show complete calmness. You don’t need to be an Alpha person; your safety is far more important than a bruised ego.

Move away and stand out of sight of the aggressor.  If you can do this, while letting him/her keep face, then there is a good chance, such a response will avert any reaction towards you or somebody else.

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