Already 15 years ago friends and family said to pack the pepper-spray before leaving the house since we can never know what will happen. And today? Nothing changed at all. Our own statistic shows every third respondent is equipped with some product to protect and defend themselves in any case of emergency. But is it necessary to have self-protection gear in Europe?
First, we have to admit the European Union has some of the most safe and secure countries in the world.
Everyone knows the news and reporting from US metropoles dealing with gang-related crime, shootings, corruption, and violence especially in poorer neighborhoods. Even worse? Countries of the “third world”. Public transportation is recommended to be avoided as they are considered unsafe. Leaving the house after sunset is generally advised against. This seems like the definition of unsecure compared to the circumstances in Europe.
Off course there are also hot spots in Europe. We as well have to deal with problem causing neighborhoods. And off course does “living safe” not exclude touching points with crime and violence. Wherever people meet and interact crime will exist. It has always been and will always be this way. For example, we have taken a look at official stats provided by the German federal crime office in 2019.
In 2019 more than 5 mio crimes have been reported in Germany. Since not every crime is useful to answer the leading question, we will focus on crime related to violence in any way. More than 170,000 cases are reported. Around 130,000 cases deal with mayhem, 36,000 reported crimes are related to theft or robbery and 9,000 are sexual offense charges like rape, sexual harassment. 2,000 reported cases consist of murder or violence leading to death. More than 380,000 non mentioned cases are minor bodily harms and crimes but are worth to be thought about.
There are two ways to analyze these stats and look at it. We can either ignore them due to the small amount compared to the overall 5mio reported crimes and trust on a “this will never happen to me” mentality. Or we take the issue serious and realize that 2,000 first degree murders and more than 130,000 serious body harms, some leading to death, are 2,000 first degree murders and more than 130,000 body harm to many. We will have a 100% safe life only if we drop the crime rates to 0!
Both views are extremes, one is really naive, the other one is pure pessimistic black painting.
Based on the fact that Germany is one of the safest countries in the world we assumed that self-protection is out of our own responsibility and we do not have to take this topic in our own hands. Indeed, the stats and facts seem comparatively low and the chances to be a victim ourselves seem really small. But there are approximately 1,000 victims every day. Some would say these victims had bad luck.
But what is the price? Bad luck in this case is not losing the grand lottery or being late due to traffic jams. Bad luck in this case means risking your health and life! Now what’s life worth?
Nobody can be sure not be a victim. And nobody known when this happens. Today? Tomorrow? Next Week? Where will you be? Will anybody be around to help? Will anybody have the courage to help? All these questions will be unanswered until you face this situation. Only one question can be answered ahead. Are you prepared?
Crime and Violence are part of our society. There are two ways to face the truth.
You can try your luck and hope to be one of the few who will never find themselves in such a situation. Maybe you’re a lucky one. But if not, be ready to take full responsibility in the worst case.
But you could as well be careful. Even though the chances are low it might as well become your personal experience. You can be prepared to avoid the unavoidable. Learn self defense and equip yourself with self-protection products. Decent pepper-sprays or comparable gear costs €10-€15 and might be your investment into your own safety. In the end it is your choice if it’s worth it!
It is surely no shame to take your protection in your own hands. You’re neither a pessimistic person nor a scared one just because you do not have full faith in good of humankind. You are just careful and way ahead of fellows. Being careful in advance is way better than regretting anything afterwards. It’s better to have and not need, than to require and not possess. In the end you will see. Self-protection can give you at least a feeling of safety.