Data gathered in 2011 by the United States Census Bureau showed that the lifetime prevalence of rape among women is over 18%, a shockingly high number. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, over 900 rapes have been reported in 2013 so far. This does not take into account other forms of assault on women and many attacks are unreported. What can women do to protect themselves?
Learning martial arts is a great way to start and there are a host of excellent self defense classes available. There are also some basic personal safety tips women should follow and we look at 5 of the most relevant below.
Five Tips for Women to Stay Safe
Awareness of yourself and your surroundings is your first line of defense against an assault. Criminologists have found that attackers use the element of surprise to their advantage and often seek out victims that are not focused and unaware of what is happening around them. All it takes is a glance over your shoulder or an understanding that a certain individual/group may spell trouble to decrease your chances of being attacked. Clearly, choosing a well-lit path and avoiding dark alleys is another aspect of self-awareness. Thugs are cowards and thrive in the dark solitude, don’t give them that advantage.
Although pepper spray is ineffective approximately 15% of the time, it still means that 85% of would-be attackers are going to get a painful reaction! Pepper spray is small and easy to conceal; if you believe that there is imminent danger, have the spray at hand to ensure you don’t waste time. A single spray may be all it takes to incapacitate your attacker and get free.
This one is a matter of common sense. The majority of attackers work alone and look for single victims. As we’ve mentioned, these individuals are cowards and not interested in a fair fight. The larger the group you walk with, the better. If you are walking home late at night from a college campus or the workplace, try and organize a group of women together to ensure safety for everyone.
There may be occasions when you’re cornered and unable to flee. This is where basic martial arts techniques come in handy. You can’t expect to win a physical confrontation with an attacker twice your size, so look for sensitive areas that are hard to protect. Most women are told to aim for the groin; however, your attacker may expect that. Instead, look to kick him in the kneecap or punch him in the nose, throat, or abdomen. Clearly, this is a last resort but a powerful blow to any of those areas could yield surprising results.
If you are trapped by a predator, never agree to leave the area where you have been attacked. Statistics show that most serious assaults occur away from the primary crime scene. Unless you are being held at gunpoint or knifepoint, you must try and escape or attract attention. Shout for help or smash a nearby window, whatever it takes to unnerve the attacker. Most thugs will leave the scene if they feel that outside interference is likely.
Being Attacked is Scary
Being accosted by an attacker is a frightening experience, but you need to keep your head and obey basic personal safety procedures to avoid becoming another statistic. If you are attacked, report it to the police immediately to help prevent future women being accosted.