How to get help after being mugged

Written by sheila c. wilkinson
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You've been mugged. You may have been scared to death, bruised or just angry and unhurt. You feel violated and helpless and you have no idea what to do first. Knowing what to do after any crime will probably not lessen the effect it has on you but it will help you to regroup and take charge–and feel less powerless--afterward.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Keep your cool. After the mugger leaves, when he is completely out of sight, only then are you safe to do anything. First you should make sure that you are now safe. If you're on a dark street or in an isolated place like a parking garage or an alley, get to safety first. Get to a place where there are people and lights. If you have a car, just drive out of there or get on a bus. Once safe, then you can call the police.

  2. 2

    Tell the police everything you can remember: the person's height, weight, colouring, ethnicity, clothing, tattoos, jewellery, scars, eye colour, accent, voice and the words they spoke and absolutely anything else you noticed can be of help. They may be piecing your information together with several other people's accounts and the more they have, the faster they can get the mugger off the streets. Also tell them exactly what was taken-not just your wallet but what's in your wallet–credit cards, license, cash, jewellery and watch, for example.

  3. 3

    Know that you have to protect yourself against the mugger using or selling whatever personal information he's got. You will have to change your door locks if you have handed over your address and your keys as in a purse snatching. Call every credit card company for the cards you had and tell them the card has been stolen and no one will be charging on it or a second card, so they are to refuse every purchase. Call the bank if your debit card or checkbook was stolen. All you can do her, unfortunately, is close out your account and hope he hasn't used your debit card yet. If it's at night and the bank isn't open, you may be responsible for the debts incurred. A police report will help you to fight that but be advised that you may not win this one.

  4. 4

    Call the driver's license bureau and report your license stolen and you need another one. The bureau should be able to help you that day. Call the doctor if you had any drugs that you need that were stolen and tell them that you have been robbed, you made out a police report and your drugs were listed on it. To avoid people scamming them, doctors don't like to reissue certain medications' prescriptions based just on someone's word. If you know the doctor well, that won't be a problem but a police report is always your best insurance here, too.

  5. 5

    Learn from this experience. Keep your personal information in a small flat case inside your clothes. Keep a couple of bucks and supermarket point cards, but no license or checkbook. The debit card is the easiest thing for someone else to use as many, many places don't ask for ID with them. If they use credit they don't need a pin number, just a signature of the name on the card, so keep your hands on this always. Whenever you have to get on the streets or you're travelling alone, stick that zipper case under your clothing. Most muggers will open and close the purse or wallet quickly if at all and run. If it isn't empty looking you should be fine.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep cool, keep your eyes down keep quiet and hand over whatever a mugger asks for. You probably will not be hurt if you cooperate.
  • Protect your private information. Don't ever carry a social security card with you–it belongs in a safety deposit box.
  • Never keep your debit card (which absolutely anyone can pretty safely use) anywhere but hidden on your person when travelling.
  • Never make eye contact with anyone who means to rob or harm you–it's seen as an aggressive move and it may make him more likely to harm you–or to worry about you identifying him.

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