It’s become a flat New York,” is how an assault victim describes Los Angeles, and he adds that people have to prepare for crime in this city. The message is stressed throughout “Victim No More,” a stark one-hour documentary about rampant violent crime in the City of Angels.
It serves vignettes, facts and advice on safeguarding oneself on the streets and at home.
Last year alone 32,000 people were robbed in L.A. County; 40,000 were assaulted and 62,000 had their cars stolen. In addition, one of every 22 rapes in the United States occurred here.
Host Pat Harvey, clear and serious, opens the special with “You can be a victim–anytime and anywhere.” Several victims describe their violent run-ins. Todd Dow was shot and his car stolen in broad daylight at a busy intersection. He’s been left partially paralyzed.
A woman named Judy recounts being attacked in her bedroom while she was asleep. After a few stories, one sees Harvey’s point.
Policeman Ken Hamilton from LAPD’s southwest division describes today’s criminals as “vicious people with simple schemes.” Another policeman takes a criminal’s point of view and, behind a camera, shows a number of examples of easy marks, potential victims.
One man lingers at an automated teller machine at night and counts his money. One young couple, lost in passion, kiss on a quiet street, unalert to potential danger.
Producer-writer Lisa Brown wants viewers to imagine the worst things that could happen to them and then to “take steps now to make your life as safe as possible.”
The hour is divided into several segs: car-napping (being robbed of your car while in it), rape, home invasions, stalking, self-defense and responses to crime.
This by no means covers the spectrum of assault crime, but it offers sobering examples followed by sample self-defense actions.
While it’s doubtful people will learn enough to defend themselves, perhaps some will be propelled into self-defense classes. Subject matter and treatment clearly make it inappropriate for young viewers.