Women’s self-defense is something I am incredibly passionate about. Did you know that 1 in 4 girls will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime? That 60% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police? That 88% of sexual assault victims knew their attacker? That 15/16 rapists will never spend a day in jail?
I am passionate about this partially because I am a sexual assault survivor. Though I sometimes still have trouble convincing myself that it wasn’t my fault, I do know that things could have been a lot worse if I didn’t have some basic self-defense skills that I learned from women’s self-defense class I took a few years ago. I actually took the class somewhat by accident, because I was naive enough to think it would never happen to me. But it did. It wasn’t rainy or night like in the movies – in fact, it was a bright, sunny afternoon. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I was lucky because I knew some basic moves that, also luckily, were enough to scare off my attacker.
photo via Fort Rucker
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re being assaulted, here are just a few things to keep in mind:
- Your knees and elbows pack the most punch in terms of force (you’re also the least likely to injure yourself if you use your elbow or knee).
- You know that self-defense bit from Miss Congeniality? It’s not bad – Solar plexus, Instep, Nose, Groin! The last two are especially good to aim for.
- Make lots of noise if you can. Yell something – anything – it will get people’s attention.
- Always be aware of your surroundings – if you’re in an unfamiliar environment, never go anywhere alone unless you’re absolutely sure it is safe (ask the locals!)
- Trust your gut. If you feel a situation is unsafe, get out. Your instinct is always your bet.
- If you are sexually assaulted, report it immediately. Even if they don’t catch your attacker, your report may help in the future if your attacker continues to attack other women.
- Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network
- Sexual Assault Fact Sheet
- Self Defense for Women
- SlutWalk – a relatively new phenomenon, there are SlutWalks being organized all over the world, protesting excuse of rape or assault because of how a woman is dressed