When spoken to by a suspicious stranger, reply in a language the stranger doesn’t understand and keep on moving. Replying in a different language is better than not replying at all: No reply leads to repeated attempts of the “test line,” perhaps with closing the distance. An incomprehensible reply confuses first and then makes strangers understand that they can’t communicate with you.
No communication → No compliance
If a would-be robber speaks to the mark, it means the robber’s plan is based on the assumption that the mark will understand verbal commands and react to them in some expected manner. When the mark doesn’t understand the robber’s language, the plan falls apart; proceeding with the robbery becomes far more risky than what the robber expected. Here are the robber’s options and risks:
1. Do physical harm and risk a much greater penalty than otherwise merited (experienced criminals do calculate those things).
2. Get unsafely close–to just take the stuff–and risk a fight and, if armed, being disarmed, plus the risk in the point above.
3. Act out in pantomime the commands, like in charades. . . . Nah, that’s just too ridiculous.
Another way to look at it: Predators attack easy prey, the kind they have good experience with and know what to expect from. They don’t like the unknown, so they are likely to pass it up.
Applying any of the techniques mentioned above is your sole responsibility.
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Specific self-defense responses demonstrated or described in this self-defense tip may not be justified in certain situations in light of all the circumstances or under the applicable federal, state, or local law. Neither Never-Thought-of-It LLC nor the author of this self-defense tip makes any representation or warranty regarding the legality or appropriateness of any techniques described or demonstrated in this self-defense tip.