As a person in this world, it’s important to be smart on crime to avoid becoming a victim of one. Crime can affect anyone, anywhere, no matter how safe you might be, how unlikely you think the chances of a crime occurring to or around you is. An county attorney or chief elected prosecutor can speak to how widespread crime can become, affecting every demographic, any person. However, there are absolutely things you can do to prevent and avoid crime and ways you can keep yourself and others safe.
There are many different types of crime, and it’s important to be aware of all of them. Being smart on crime means being educated about it, knowing what different crimes exist, and knowing what populations they affect most. Sexual assault, unfortunately, is wide spread. In fact, every 98 seconds, more frequent than every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in some manner in the United States alone. Sexual assault can mean a lot of things, from a violent rape to a groping, but no form of sexual assault is acceptable and all are considered a crime. A special victims unit can help victims of sexual assault, often when sexual assault coincides with domestic violence, as it often does. In 2016 in Montana, 4,000 crimes related to domestic violence were reported and over 800 sexual assaults. While these don’t always overlap, they often do.
But crime is not limited to sexual assault and personal violence, crime is much more widespread. In Missoula alone, residents have a one in twenty two chance of becoming a victim of a property crime – this statistic doesn’t even account for the likelihood of becoming a victim of another type of crime. To be smart on crime, awareness of this is important. Becoming a victim of a violent crime in the same place is smaller, but still concerning – 1 in 190. Over 3,500 total crimes are committed in Missoula every year, and many can be prevented.
Crime is frightening, but can often be prevented. Being smart on crime and educating yourself about crime is the first step, helping to make people aware and able to protect themselves in the face of fear and uncertainty.