Easy Self-Defense Techniques for Women
17 February 2017
Simple common sense defense techniques are not about living with a siege mentality or being constantly on guard or fearful. Rather, they are all about making sure you are prepared to defend yourself should the worst-case scenario ever arise.
Self-defense, by defintion, is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm. Nobody like to be a victim, wether it's a male or a female. But unfortunately, the statistics for violence against women are a lot higher than for men. Nearly one in five women in the United States are the target of an attempted or completed sexual assault in their lifetime – with over 90% of all victims of rape and other sexual assaults being female.
Rape, in fact, still remains the most under-reported crime in the United States with an estimated 63% going unreported. Even on college campuses, an estimated nine out of ten sexual crimes are unreported. (More on these statistics in this report from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.)
Put simply, in this day and age, it is only smart that every woman should know some simple, basic self-defense techniques. But don’t worry: you don’t need to be mixed-martial arts champ Ronda Rousey or an butt-kicking Jennifer Lopez from Enough to take an assailant down. Some common-sense precautions along with these basic tips can prove to be a lifesaver should you ever find yourself in trouble.
If you follow these simple tips below, you will be more skilled and prepared to deal with these situations with strength and confidence.
1. Be Aware, Be Smart – and Go With Your Gut
The importance of basic awareness of your surroundings cannot be overstated. Attackers seek victims who are distracted, look fearful or out of their element and appear easy to take down. Whether outside or indoors, being alert, establishing eye contact with strangers and being aware of your surroundings make you a far less likely target. In other words, the best offense is often a good defense.
Maybe you are in a dimly lit parking garage, or find yourself lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood filled with unsavory characters. Or perhaps you have invited a date to your home and he suddenly makes you uncomfortable. In all of these situations, remember: listen to your intuition, remain calm and alert, and get out of there (or end that date) as fast as you can.
2. Get Loud. Real Loud.
If it is clear someone means to attack you, don’t grow timid. Get loud. Shouting not only lets an assailant know that you are no wilting violent who will be easy to take down. It gets your adrenaline rushing, increases your awareness and alerts any passersby that you are in trouble. It may surprise you, but sadly, many people freeze and fall silent when they sense danger.
Don’t be one of them. If you sense trouble, don’t be afraid to let out a full-throttled scream or shout. It may frighten your attacker away and bring aid to your side. Again: attackers seek out unsuspecting or meek-looking targets who appear unlikely to put up a fight. So go ahead and make some noise.
3. Hit Him Where it Hurts
- So it’s happened. You are being attacked. Don’t give in. Fight back. That means: hit him where it hurts. The groin, knees, neck, nose, eyes and ears are our most vulnerable body parts. So that’s what you want to go for.
- What you want to do is strike fast and from a distance. Avoid getting up close. This makes a good, swift kick to the groin or knees the best option. Most likely this will cause even the toughest attacker to double over for a second. That is all the opportunity you need to flee to safety.
- Be smart: do not stand around to assess the damage. Disable your attacker as fast as you can – and then get the hell out of there. (Check out this great article in Prevention for some specific hitting and kicking techniques that are easy to do.)
- Let’s say you cannot keep a distance. Your attacker is already up close or on top of you. So kicking is not an option. Don’t panic. This will only cause you to freeze or, worse yet, black out. Go for the neck, throat, nose, eyes or ears. A good punch to his windpipe should cause him pain and stymie his breathing.
- Use your fingers or keys – or any object you can grab, such as your own high-heeled shoe – to gouge at his eyes or ears. A sharp poke in the eye will at least temporarily blind him. An object shoved into his ear will also disable him. Remember: you only need a few seconds to get away. However fleeting, any moment he is in pain, distracted or winded is a valuable opportunity for you to run.
Simple common sense defense techniques are not about living with a siege mentality or being constantly on guard or fearful. Rather, they are all about making sure you are prepared to defend yourself should the worst-case scenario ever arise. Knowing some basic moves just means you are focusing on safety and taking care of your own well-being.