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Attack Protection Tips for Women Return to Womens Self Defense Center
The pattern of an attack followed by most human attackers is:
1. Select an easy victim. Someone who seems oblivious, fearful or unawware.
2. Create a position of advantage to gain privacy and control.
3. Dominate the victim through intimidation, physical assault, or robbery.
4. Escape so they can get away without getting caught.
The sooner we interrupt this pattern, the safer we will be. Our strategies are to:
Be and Act Aware,
An aware confident attitude
will prevent most attackers from selecting you as their victim. Make sure your
stance and attitude lets people know you know they are there. It works best to glance with
a "soft eye" towards the person rather than making prolonged eye contact. Our
message is "I see you." not "I'm challenging or inviting or afraid of
Take charge by controlling distance
so that a potential attacker does not have the opportunity to create a position
of advantage by getting close to you. The "I'm OK, You're Ok" approach works
most of the time. Just leave cheerfully and get to a safe place. If you can't just leave,
take charge by setting a boundary. Get into ready position and tell the person politely
and assertively what you want, "Stop right there.... Turn around and leave....I'm
leaving now." Be sure you use a calm firm voice and strong centered body language.
Know where safety is and how to get help
Always have a plan for where you would go if you have a problem. Be willing to
make a scene and order bystanders to call the police or come to your aid. Be willing to
embarrass, inconvenience, or offend other people in order to protect your well-being. Know
how to set clear boundaries with people you know. Most of the people who bother us are
people we know.
As a last resort, know how to physically defend yourself
The basic strategy is to use your body as a weapon and the vulnerable parts of an
attacker's body as targets. Common front attack techniques are strikes to the eyes, heel
palm hits to the face, knee strikes and kicks to the groin. Most rear attacks can be
stopped by your NO! stance, foot stomps, slaps to the groin, grabbing and squeezing the
testicles, and elbow strikes to the solar plexus or head. Most attacks are stopped by just
one strong move, but be prepared to keep fighting until you feel it is safe to leave and
The same strategies usually work even if the attacker has a weapon
or you end up on the ground, or there are two or more attackers. Our experts say that your
risk of injury goes up if you fight to keep someone from taking your possessions--so we do
not recommend that you fight over your stuff--but your risk of injury goes down if you
fight to keep an attacker from hurting you or from having more privacy and control which
would put you in a more vulnerable position.
Sections of this article are taken from material by
KidPower TeenPower FullPower Int. http://www.kidpower.org 831-426-4407 (USA).
Reprint permission granted with this acknowledgement included.
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