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December 6, 2012, 11:20 AM   #125
dayman
Senior Member

Join Date: April 18, 2011
Location: The Woods
Posts: 1,197
Quote:
 On average, the lifetime chance of a twelve year old being attacked by a violent criminal actor at least once is about 50%
I don't buy that. Without doing the math, I know a lot of people and - outside of the line of duty - none of them has been the victim of a violent crime, maybe I"m forgetting something, but nowhere near 50%.

Doing the math, if in a given year you have a 0.38% chance of being the victim of a violent crime, you can't simply multiply the odds by the number of years. If that were the case, there'd be a 100% chance of getting tails if you flip a coin twice (50%*2=100%), but in reality it's going to be lower.
Even if it did work that way you take 0.38% and multiply it by 80 (assuming you live to be 92) and you only get a 30.4% chance of being victimized, but we know it's actually going to be lower.

The best way to compute the odds are to use the formula (1 - (.9962)^80)*100% = 26%, where .9962 is the odds that you will not be victimized in a given year, and .9962^80 is the odds that you won't be victimized for 80 years in a row. 1-.9962^80 gives you the probability that you will be victimized - as the combined probability of being a victim or not being a victim is 100%. To get a 50% probability of being victimized in an 80 year time frame you'd have to have a live in an area with an 0.86% chance in a given year, or 860 per 100,000. If that's the case, you might want to look for a new place to live.

And obviously you can significantly reduce even those odds by making responsible lifestyle choices - not being a gang member, not mouthing off at bikers in bars, etc.

I'm all for being prepared, but there's a difference between being prepared and being panicked.
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Last edited by dayman; December 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM.

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