Fortify Your Castle

One of the things I particularly fear is home invasion. Perhaps it is a result of the sensational stories which make headlines. One of these headlines haunted me, perhaps because it took place in Oakland during a period where I was living in the area, perhaps because it involved a robbery where the victim was raped, robbed then taken at gunpoint to her home, where her 2 roommates were also robbed and raped.

There was a period in my early twenties when I lived with two other young women in a warehouse in Oakland. We had raucous parties and sometimes hosted after-parties when the bar closed. When we first moved in together, the alpha female helped to ensure our security by placing tools throughout our home, a crowbar behind the bar, a hammer by the t.v. Luckily, we never needed to use them, but they were there and we knew where they were and while largely unspoken, an agreement to use them.

While our warehouse decorating was practical, what was lacking was a strategic plan. I realized this almost a decade later when I lived with two martial artists. We sat down and made a plan for the unlikely event of a home invasion. We decided where the person with the firearm was to be and where another could come up behind the intruder. Another case of preparing for something that luckily didn’t happen.

Your house is one of the places you are most familiar and most in control. If you live with other people, discuss what you will do in the event someone with bad intentions breaks in. Discuss what you might be able to do if someone you trusted started behaving in a harmful way. Hopefully this will be a waste of your time and you can laugh it off as being overly cautious.


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