Self-Defense Tips for Women to Protect Against Attackers

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Self-Defense Tips for Women to Protect Against Attackers

Fighting off an attacker is challenging for any gender. When the attacker is a man and the victim a woman, protecting yourself becomes even more difficult. The reason for this is the average male weighs more than a woman; he is also typically stronger. But as most self-defense experts will tell you, you don’t have to be as big or strong as a man to fight him off—something a young girl in South Florida found out for herself.

According to the Sun Sentinel news reports, a young girl was walking home from school when a man on a bike began making sexual comments to her as he followed along beside her. When the girl reached her home, the man got off his bike and pressed himself against her as she was trying to get inside the door of her home. At that point the young girl “back-kicked him in the groin,” which enabled her to free herself from him and find safety inside her home. 

One of the important points of this story is what the young woman did after she fought off her intruder—she got away from him the moment she had an opportunity to do so—the most important self-defense rule you can follow. 

Protecting against an attacker isn’t always about the physical fight. If you can escape, then that’s what you should do. However, when escaping requires some form of physical contact, it’s going to be up to you to create that window of opportunity. This is where knowing a few self-defense techniques can save your life. 

Self-Defense Techniques for Women 

When it comes to self-defense, the more a woman knows the better the chance she has at escaping an attacker. Here are a few self-defense tips recommended by industry experts that women can use to their advantage: 

  • Draw attention to yourself.  Scream, shout and call out for help as loud as you can the moment you feel threatened by the presence of a suspicious person. This will help draw attention from bystanders, which can help thwart a would-be attacker’s plans. 
  • Equip yourself with pepper spray or another self-defense tool.  Anytime you are in public, have some pepper spray or another self-defense tool such as mace or a stun gun ready to use. If you decide to use a stun gun, check your county or state regulations first. Some states may require you to take a course before you can carry one. No matter which self-defense item you choose, be sure you understand how it works. You should also practice retrieving the item from your purse every so often. Rehearsing will facilitate your reaction time as well as enhance your confidence should a time come when you have to use it against an attacker. 
  • Take a course in self-defense for women. Find a class that specializes in self-defense for women. Be sure the class is taught by a professional with real-life self-defense experience. Such a class will equip you with skills that you can practice in the class. This will help build your confidence and ability to protect against an attacker, no matter his size. The following are a few of the life-saving skills you can expect to learn: 
  • Groin and knee kicks
  • Throat/neck punch
  • Gouge to eye 
  • Hand thrust to nose
  • Fingers to nostrils 
  • How to escape various holds of an attacker, including a choke hold

Benefits of a Self-Defense Class for Women

While the hope is that you will never have to defend yourself against an attacker, taking a self-defense class has many benefits. In addition to the skills you will learn, the added confidence those skills bring has a way of transforming the way women carry themselves. That body language can at times be all that’s needed to keep a predator at bay. A woman who displays vigilance, confidence and strength can present as a challenge to a would-be attacker. Most predators seek out unsuspecting women who appear weak or easy to subdue. 

A self-defense class taught by a qualified professional will also equip you with important critical-thinking skills. For example, one of the questions that women often ask is “When should I fight and when should I submit?” A good self-defense class can equip you with that knowledge. As security expert, Jordan Frankel, will tell you, “Every situation is different. Having options is the key to surviving an attacker,” he says. 

Women’s self-defense expert, Melissa Soalt (AKA Dr. Ruthless), supports this line of thinking. “Being armed with the option to fight and the resistance strategies to do so is what’s most crucial . . . I would never say that a woman should always fight back. There’s no substitute for good judgment in the moment—and “moment” is a key term. Rape, in particular, often involves phases of attack and sometimes a combination of strategies work best—e.g., verbal/ physical / mental/ manipulative.”

Most male attackers seek out women who are unsuspecting and alone. This is why it’s so important for women to adopt a ‘safety first’ mentality. This means always being aware of what’s going on around you. This is especially true when walking around at night both out in public and outside your home. Whether you are walking across a parking lot outside a store or walking outside your home to retrieve something from your vehicle, taking precautions to secure against the threats that may be lurking around beforehand is essential for your safety and security. 

Being Prepared is the First Step in Self-Defense

No woman wants to think about the possibility of being attacked by a dangerous man. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee you never will, and today’s news reports justify the need for women to prepare for the worst. Any amount of time or money you invest in learning how to protect yourself against an attacker is worth every second and penny—and it just might save your life some day. 

For more information on how you and other women you know can protect themselves, read.