Of course you can’t do this in an absolute way. But there are a lot of things you can do to greatly improve the odds in your favor.
The daily and nightly news paints a picture of unrelenting violence and threat. College campuses, elementary schools, churches, the workplace…nowhere is safe. How does being immersed in this news affect our ways of thinking? The answer is: not too usefully. Without having any idea what you can do, a sense of surrounding threat only creates a background of anxiety or even a feeling of hopelessness. Neither of those are useful. In that state people tend to overact or under-react, but they don’t react in a balanced, in-control way.
Even though the chances statistically are small that you will be a victim, you need to see that the news is affecting you right now and constantly. You may not be consciously aware of that, but that’s the case.
In terms of this problem, where you have no idea what to do, even “having an idea of what to do” won’t be sufficient. It won’t do if it’s just in your head. You have to actually practice in a guided way, under stress, simulating real situations of threat. This training provides the real basis of having the best security when facing a real encounter.
There is an additional great benefit in such training. While there are “only” six million acts of physical violence in the U.S. reported to police each year — meaning that there are perhaps four times that in unreported acts — that still makes it a relatively rare event for any individual. But lesser acts: arguments, bullying, dirty looks, hostile tones, snubbing silence, put-downs, insulting remarks, passive-aggression, avoidance…these are everyday things experienced all the time. By training in the bigger, more extreme examples or gross acts, we are doing the basic training skills to deal with these more subtle, more everyday problems that steal our peace. It is boot camp for the real world.