There are 5 victim's options when targeted by a predator.
"Fight or flight" (fighting or running away) are the two most well-known. Various martial arts' theories usually include surrendering. (And "freezing" is one type of surrendering).
I’ve added two more options: outsmarting and posturing, and aligned them all with FBI guidelines (and also clarified their clunky terminology).
Of course, it’s impossible to fully anticipate the panicky chaos of a sudden threat forcing you to choose among your options in a split-second. Nonetheless, understanding your options now will help your intuition choose an option then.
• Your wariness: using a cell phone or headphones, or daydreaming, is like a lame antelope attracting a lion.
• The type of assailant: is he a scared yet volatile kid, a depraved lunatic, or somewhere in between?
• The presence of a weapon or an accomplice: neither may be visible at first.
• The location: populated areas might inhibit him. And, is it your turf or his? Familiarity makes a difference.
• Your personality: can a passive person be aggressive? Can an aggressive person surrender (or fake it)?
• Your abilities to strategize and fight.
• Your willingness to truly fight for your life – and to never give up.
Expect intimidating threats and expect to be hurt, but especially expect to survive (see Hope is Key in Stress Control - Willpower). Opportunities may arise as the scene unfolds. A victim must trust her intuition to choose among the five victim's options:
• 1st Option - Posturing: presenting yourself as a tough target. If that doesn’t work:
• 2nd Option - Fleeing, the most obvious choice, might not be possible. If not:
• 3rd Option - Outsmarting: by verbally defusing a confrontation and maneuvering toward escape. If that doesn’t work:
• 4th Option - Surrendering: as a prelude to an escape, perhaps aided by:
• 5th Option - Fighting like a mad dog to enable your escape. Stun & run.
• Recap of this section.