Five Stages of Violent Crime*

   Intent – The step in which a person crosses a mental boundary, becoming a
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Five Stages of Violent Crime


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A quick one page breakdown of Marc MacYoung's Five Stages from The Five Stages provide an external evaluation of the criminal process. It provides you with the ability to legitimately determine if you are in jeopardy of becoming a victim of an attack.

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Five Stages of Violent Crime

  1. 1. Five Stages of Violent Crime* Intent – The step in which a person crosses a mental boundary, becoming a potentially violent attacker. Can be a preplanned decision or a reaction to a particular circumstance. All people have to go through this step, it may happen quickly but it does happen regardless of if you observed the change. Listen to your inner voice, people who are violent have different body language. Interview – In this stage the criminal decides if you are a safe target to attack. You WANT TO FAIL this interview. When you do, the attacker decides that you cannot be successfully or easily attacked. There are five basic types of interviews; regular, hot, escalating, silent, and prolonged. Positioning – The criminal puts himself in a place to successfully attack you. They do not want to fight you, they want to overwhelm you and to do so must position themselves in a place to do so quickly and effectively. Someone positioning himself to attack removes all doubt that the scenario is innocent, the attack is coming. One key in this step is “fringe areas” where you are close to people but out of range of immediate help. Five types of positioning; closing, cornering/trapping, surprise, pincer, surrounding. Attack – The criminal is now using force or the threat of force to get what they want. At this point the other three stages have been achieved and the criminal sees no reason for him to not use violence to succeed. Some attacks are merely threats of physical violence, while others are actually violent. At their extreme an attacker can simply walk up to a person and shoot them. There is no way to tell which type of attack will happen, and attacks can change from one type to another suddenly. Reaction – After an attack a criminal examines how he feels about the act. This is where a robbery becomes a murder, or where a rape becomes a seriously violent attack. Rapists’ reactions are consistently the most dangerous; if the rapist does not feel empowered enough he will often turn violent to get the feeling of power from it. Until the criminal is completely out of sight, you are still in danger even if you have completely and totally cooperated. This means that it is far easier to avoid violence than to remove yourself from it. *The Five Stages of Violent Crime are copyrighted by Marc MacYoung and can be found on his website, and in his book, “Safe in the City”, from Paladin Press. Used by permission.