Why 'Run, Hide, Fight' is flawed

With the tragic events in Orlando and elsewhere still weighing heavily on the nation, it’s important to review our policies and practices for active shooter and mass casualty incidents and look for areas to improve. Here’s what requires immediate attention: the public safety campaign which encourages potential victims to “Run, Hide, Fight.”

The “Run, Hide, Fight” campaign is a multi-agency effort, promoted most prominently through a widely-distributed training film produced by the City of Houston, with federal funding.

The film and model encourage a “soft” response to violence, preconditioning the victim to escape or hide as the preferred means of survival, rather than confronting the attacker with immediate counter-violence. Potential victims are taught that the risks associated with fighting an attacker are much greater than the risks from running away, so violence should only be used “as a last resort” when all of the other options have been tried, and failed.

The Problem

The problem is that the “Run, Hide, Fight” campaign doesn’t adequately address the reality of an active shooter attack. The model encourages a mindset and a pattern of behavior that may not adequately prepare potential victims to save themselves and others during an attack.

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