Friends, the following is a re-post of an interview I did some years ago with the Hidden Tears Project. The Hidden Tears Project works with public and private sectors, law enforcement and governmental agencies to combat the pervasive criminal continuing sickness of Child and Human Sex Trafficking and exploitation. Our children are exploited, abused and victimized by predatory actors and business for financial gain. This is shameless and cruel. The Hidden Tears Project, along with several similarly focused organizations plays a critical support role in combating this problem.
Imagine if it were your child, your relative, or your neighbor.
I am updating some of my responses to make them current or to clarify when necessary. Those updates will appear as *Notes, or with a * and ( ).
Your Situational Awareness 101: A Q & A with Henderson Cooper
Mar 24, 2017 | Educators/Teacher Testimonials
By HTP Blog Editorial
Henderson Cooper has extensive experience in Law Enforcement, Military Special Operations and U.S. Government Intelligence. He serves on the Board of Advisors and as a consultant for Escape the Wolf, an initiative dedicated to training and security concerns. In addition, Mr. Cooper is president of Cooper Consulting International, which works with public, private and government sectors on matters concerning safety, intelligence and international relations. He is a powerful advocate in the fight against human trafficking and is a volunteer advisor to the Hidden Tears Project on several issues, including violence against children and women.
Q & A with Henderson Cooper about a class he teaches on women’s safety:
What is “situational awareness”?
In the Army Field Manual, situational awareness is defined as “knowledge and understanding of the current situation which promotes timely, relevant and accurate assessment of friendly, competitive and other operations within the battlespace in order to facilitate decision making. An informational perspective and skill that fosters an ability to determine quickly the context and relevance of events that is *(are) unfolding.”
That is Situational Awareness (SA) from a more military perspective. I would describe SA in the civilian world, the world we live in today, a little softer.
Situational Awareness today, is about bringing to bear the skills that our ancestors used to survive before there were guns, before police and before there was an organized and civilized society. Those skills included using our eyes to see, our ears to hear and our innate sense of threats and danger to stay alive. It is using those skills to know ourselves, our environment, and the challenges that may be present in the space we occupy at a given moment. Further, it is analyzing what is happening, how it might impact us and how we can respond in a timely manner for our safety.
*Note: Further, Situational Awareness (SA) skills are available to us, and in their best applications, used before entering the danger or threat environment.
Who are your target students?
The world we live in today places extreme challenges to everyone, but especially to the most at risk in our society. The most at risk are the women, children, and persons who cannot defend themselves for whatever reason. This is the target audience for my “Your Situational Awareness 101” series of training, seminars and messaging.
*Note: As you will see on my website, we provide training and consultation to private industry, groups, and schools as well as to individuals. Many of my individual clients come from the highest levels of the Fortune 500 and wealthiest persons in the world.
About the World Today:
There once was a time when crime did not often come to the front door of one’s home in suburban America.
There once was a time when the stories about terrorists were either in movies or were events read about *(and) occurring in third world countries.
There once was a time when our children went to schools with open doors and gates. Teachers were tasked with educating them and had no concerns about herding, covering and protecting them. There once was a time when people would go to a movie, a club or a mall and simply enjoy being there.
There once was a day when our young boys and girls could go out to play and our biggest concern was whether they would keep to their curfew.
There once was a time when sex and intimacy was something that adults quietly kept to their respective homes.
Unfortunately, times have changed. The world has become smaller and more things happen faster. The challenges have spread to those places once thought to be safe.
My target audience is the women of the world who are being victimized by assaults and rapes. Or women who have become the punching bag for violent and abusive men, whether it is a spouse, partner or date.
I want to reach out to young women who find themselves the target of predatory men seeking to steal them from their homes and turn them into victims in the sex and human trafficking trade.
I want to awaken the person inside each of us that allows us to not be aware in the threat filled and dangerous world we live in today. I want people to see the potential dangers that come their way, or that they blindly lead themselves into.
I want to empower those most at risk people to wake up and look around. Become the observer and see who and what is out there around them. Become the analyzer who can make rational determinations of circumstances before they occur or if need be, as things are *(developing).
I don’t want my daughter, or your daughter, to be blindly led astray by a confident and smooth-talking stranger, into a car ride that never brings them back to their true home.
My audience is everyone, but my target audience is people who are at risk because they are unaware of themselves and the danger around them.
I want to reach out to women individually, to women’s groups, to schools and to the corporate world.
What kinds of techniques/strategies are you most interested in teaching your students?
I want to augment the new “Active Shooter” training programs that are spreading in the wake of the school shootings and workplace assaults that have become far too numerous today. I want to bring a more comprehensive mindset to that training. My approach is to fill gaps that I believe are not intentionally left but happen because the trainers are coming from government agencies. They often may not be allowed to admit to the hard realities that I believe need to be acknowledged.
An example of what I am talking about: your local police department cannot tell you the basic fact that “when you need them, they will not be there.” That is not intended as a criticism of policing. I was, for over 20 years, proudly one of them. It is rather a statement based on reality. There are not enough of them and they cannot be everywhere.
What this means is, it is a sad reality that you are on your own. You are your own *first and second defense. If you need to be safe, it is up to you to make that happen. The police will get there eventually, but that may not be good enough.
One of my goals is to empower women and children to think for themselves, to think smart, to be aware and look for their options in all situations. I want them to not just survive, but to thrive. This I believe can lead to no more sex and human trafficking, along with the help and support of the community and law enforcement. The Hidden Tears Project is playing an important role in educating the public, working and coordinating with government entities and bringing in partners from the media and entertainment, with powerful voices to bring about awareness and change.
What kind of skills does your own experience bring to the table?
The strategies I teach come from “lessons learned” out of military special operations and the world of spies and intelligence operations. That is the world I came from. The strategies and techniques are the same ones that kept me safe and ensured that I returned home at the end of the day. My career took me through Law Enforcement where I retired, into Military Special Operations training and support and eventually, after 9/11, into the intelligence world of covert operations overseas. Without these learned techniques, used by spies and operators, I might not be delivering this message today.
How does one sign up to take your class?
I am bringing this training to the world in the form of seminars *(workshops and consults) to select groups. These seminars run about 2 hours but can be expanded depending on the interest and needs of the attendees. The subjects include:
Basic Situational Awareness concepts.
A State of the Union reality check.
How the bad guys operate.
How vulnerable you are to surveillance and stalking.
Simple and basic tools available to your protection.
Changing your mindset.
I hope to soon be providing Video and Blog presentations in the coming days/weeks both through the Hidden Tears Project and from my website: http://www.yoursituationalawareness101.com/
*Note: I partner with some of the most experienced and comprehensively equipped Safety and Security entities as the need arises, to bring you all levels of service, from one on one to large corporate groups.