Understand the Crime Climate in your Neighborhood

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If you're ever the victim of violence, would you report it? Or if you witnessed it, would you report it? The answer to these questions may seem like a no-brainer ("Of COURSE I would!"), but the reality is that many crimes go unreported.

It's no secret that many rapes go unreported. One has to wonder how many rapes-committed by women against other women, women against men, and men against men-never get reported. And of course, many men-on-women rapes don't get reported.

But rape isn't the only crime in which many victims remain silent. Many mugging victims don't utter a peep, either. The reasons for not reporting violent crimes vary, ranging from fear of humiliation to thinking that the police will never believe the victim (e.g., the assailant was smaller than the victim; the assailant was a female and the victim a male; the victim has a promiscuous past or psychiatric history; the assailant is a teacher, popular football coach or well-respected member of the community).

It goes without saying that one of the most under-reported crimes is that of a man being battered or beaten by his wife or girlfriend.

And then there are elderly people who get beaten by their grown children, other relatives or caretakers.

Nursing home residents have been known to be victims of crime, including theft, by the facility's staff, and even though the resident knows who the thief is, and of course who treats them violently, they stay silent.

Other reasons for not reporting a crime may be due to belief that it will negatively impact business or that the victims will somehow be blamed. Or that the assailant will kill the victim "if you tell anyone."

Another reason is believing that the authorities "won't do anything," as is often the case when a person becomes aware that a neighbor abuses their children.

People need to speak up when things don't seem right, and they certainly need to immediately report sexual and other assaults to the police asap. There just really isn't any excuse not to.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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