Most women think sexual attacks only happen to others. However, the statistics suggest otherwise.
In America, sexual assault occurs every two minutes. Most victims (80 percent) are under age 30, though sexual assault can happen to anyone, of any age or demographic.
As sobering as these numbers are, women should take heart. According to a Houston sex crimes lawyer, those who fight back may cut their sexual assault risk in half. Try these 5 self-defense moves if you feel threatened by an attacker.
No matter how frightened or intimidated a victim may feel, making noise can help. Don’t hold back—startle the attacker with a loud scream or continual shouting. Some women carry whistles on their key rings. If so, pipe out several sharp, piercing whistles. Overall, though, shouting and screaming is just as effective.
The more you can bring attention to an attacker, the more they’ll be deterred. Attackers often run away when shouts of “He’s attacking me!” or “He’s trying to rape me!” are heard by others. At minimum, shouting can distract an attacker enough to allow the victim extra time to get away or use other defensive moves to the attacker’s disadvantage.
Use Nearby Objects
Most women carry a handbag with them. If the handbag is heavy, it’s also an effective potential weapon. An attacker may not be prepared for a hit over the head. If it’s not that heavy, use more leverage to make the impact more powerful.
Keys can also harm an attacker, particularly if used to scrape the assailant’s skin, face, or eyes. Consider attaching a small canister of pepper spray to the same key ring. Pepper spray is legal everywhere in America, and one shot can immobilize an attacker even at 12 feet.
Kick and Stomp
If the assailant restricts arm movement, use your legs and feet instead. Lift up your dominant leg and bring the heel down on your attacker’s foot, intending to cause pain.
By hurting the attacker, even minimally, a prepared woman can throw off the attack altogether, or unbalance the attacker. When this happens, get away as soon as possible. If the attacker holds on anyway, employ another tactic (like below).
Pull Assailant’s Ear or Attack the Nose
If an attacker has a close hold on his victim, that victim may feel powerless. Counteract this mentality and try to get at least one hand free to grab the assailant’s ear. Pull—hard—and even cup fingers under the entire ear while pulling. This movement causes significant pain to any attacker, allowing the victim a way to escape.
Broadsiding the nose from below is also an effective strategy. Bring your dominant hand up, palm side up, and jam the assailant’s nose up and back. In many cases, this move breaks the attacker’s nose, but at minimum, can cause pain and/or bleeding.
Scratch, Gouge, or Use Other Disabling Tactics
Sometimes, a victim’s mind goes blank from shock and fear. If this happens, use your hands, body, and feet to hurt your attacker. Scratch arms, face, and any other body part. Gouge the assailant’s eyes with fingers or knuckles. Knee the attacker’s groin.
The point is, stay alive and do whatever you can to hurt your attacker so you can run away. Be prepared and know how you can use your body and environment to your advantage in any situation.