One minute you're in your home safe and calm. The next you are confronted by an intruder who may or may not mean you harm.
Many of us will never have to experience that frightening moment when ordinary people are suddenly thrust into a drama they would never have imagined.
How will you react? Run? Fight? Try and scare the intruder?
In many cases the intruder solves the immediate problem by escaping - but when there is a confrontation, as occurred in Newcastle at the weekend, the line between victim of crime and offender blurs frighteningly fast.
Australian Ben Batterham is in custody until late May on a murder charge after an altercation with a man he discovered in his Newcastle home.
Legal experts say that case will hinge on what happened during the struggle outside the suburban home, but if one thing is certain the legal definition of defending your home against a threat has jarred with what many Australians believe is their natural right to defend themselves and their property.
While unusual, it is far from the first time a homeowner has had the tables suddenly turn on them.
The death of a teenage burglar in the UK in 1999 sparked a national debate there about the rights homeowners have to defend themselves.
That incident, when a 16-year-old was shot dead by farmer Tony Martin, caused a similar commotion that is happening now in Australia, where a Newcastle man has been charged with murder of an intruder.
In the British example, the farmer was convicted of murder, which was later downgraded to manslaughter. Martin still did three years jail though.
He told his murder trial that he fired into the darkness after he was blinded by a torch light being shone in his eyes. But prosecutors argued, successfully, a different scenario; that he had been waiting with his gun and then shot them in cold blood.
He had been burgled a few months earlier and was said to be traumatised by the event. Adding to the backstory was his well known views in the community about criminals.
In 2014 he told London's Daily Telegraph: "You certainly need to be safe in your own house with impunity. If somebody breaks into your house it has to be considered the extreme and if it is not then god help us."
A UK man who emigrated to Queensland in 2012 shared his shocking story with Triple M Brisbane's Marto and Ed Kavalee for Breakfast program.
Andy told the program's listeners of the ordeal he and his wife went through.
"Me and my wife [were] asleep on a Saturday night and five guys broke in thinking that we were growing drugs and had cash on the premises and it turns out they got the wrong farm."
The intruders were given the wrong address.
"Somebody had given them a tip off and they got the farm that was 10k's out of the way and it all kicked off, one of them tried to stab me and another smashed a big chair over me, luckily we had a gun for country sports so in the end we were standing toe to toe..."
In the dramatic confrontation that followed, one of the intruders grabbed a knife and
Andy grabbed his gun.
He told Triple M: " I took a warning shot to make them go into the roof, to make them leave and in the end I ended up shooting a guy, just a wounding shot to get the blood pumping and get them out of the house."
He was "locked up" for three days and questioned for attempted murder. Eventually, he was released. But the damage was done.
"... The public rallied behind us and they saw reason and said look these guys haven't done anything and they dropped all the charges because they saw I had used reasonable force."
The offenders only spent two years in jail, he told Triple M.
Even in the US, where homeowners are regularly armed with firearms, serious charges are still laid when intruders are killed.
In a case making headlines in Florida this month, a woman is being investigated for the killing of a teenage burglar who she shot as he was running away from her house.
Trevon Johnson, 17, died after Gwendolyn Jenrette, 54, shot him once even though he was not armed.
The victim's family have said he didn't deserve to die over a mere property offence, but others have almost celebrated the shooting. One local television station reported Jenrette had "turned the tables" on the boy, who had "picked the wrong house".
Back in NSW, a Sydney man fatally stabbed an intruder in his home and then had to wait two years to be told he wasn't going to be charged with murder.
Donald Brooke was confronted by career criminal Azzam Naboulsi in 2011 and stabbed him in the chest and arm. The intruder fled to a car outside and was driven away by an accomplice. He later died of his injuries.
Mr Brooke had initially been told by police he could face a manslaughter charge for fatally wounding Naboulsi.
In the days after the robbery, Mr Brooke attracted a massive level of public support, with people calling for him not to be charged because he had been confronted in his own home.
Eventually, police recommended to the DPP that charges shouldn't be laid and that was confirmed after a 2013 inquest into Nabousli's death.
Mr Brooke told police he was in his backyard shed when he heard noises in the house and went to investigate. It was at that point he was threatened by Nabousli with the stun gun.
Australia is, of course, much different than the US. Here, although the laws of self-defence vary across the country, most require a person to reasonably believe it is necessary in self-defence to do what they did.
In the US it is much different. There the approach is more "stand your ground" which more or less permits a person who is threatened or attacked to stand their ground and claim self-defence - even when there were other safe means of avoiding the conflict.
Most of us will just be hoping we never have to test how far we would actually go to defend ourselves.