A n active assailant situation happens: now, how do you react?
This is the question a leading security consulting and risk assessment firm asked participants in a poll on how professionals would react to an active assailant situation.
It’s hard for people to pinpoint their gut reaction to this unimaginable situation, but TAL Global recently conducted a LinkedIn Poll asking the question: “If an assailant entered your building or office, which of the following do you believe you would do first?”
The responses were:
- 19% said they would run.
- 17% would hide.
- 13% would freeze.
- 52% would fight.
“In a real-life scenario, this is typically not what happens,” said Oscar Villanueva, a Professional Certified Investigator, private investigator, and the Chief Operating Officer for TAL Global. “Studies find that most of us freeze first in very threatening situations such as an active shooter in a building.”
Villanueva points to a December 2018 study published in The New York Times that found when facing a serious threat of any kind, “we find ourselves frozen, unable to act and think clearly.”¹
The Times article adds that freezing is not a choice. Instead, “it is a built-in impulse controlled by ancient circuits in the brain…and is automatically set into motion by external threats.”
The Run, Hide, Fight is a methodology adopted by many police authorities, the FBI, and taught to building tenants, in work settings, and to school children…
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¹ “Run, Hide, Fight Is Not How Our Brains Work,” by Joseph Ledoux, published in the New York Times, December 18, 2015.