Self Defense for Women - A Survival Guide

Published: 16th April 2009
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There are stories on the news every day of assaults on women.

Sometimes the women manage to fight back and get away, and sometimes they don't. Women can be assaulted in parking lots, in stores, in offices, or in other public places that might seem safe. Even though attacks against women seem random usually they aren't. Low estimates by the National Organization of Women say that 1,400 women per year are killed by their spouses and there are more than 572,000 reported incidents of women being battered by a spouse. These numbers increase during social, political or cultural pressure rises.

More than 100,000 of those reported assaults were so serious that the women ended up in the hospital.

According to women's groups and the police more than 130,000 rapes are reported each year. Police estimate that the actual number of rapes is six times that figure but most rapes are never reported. More than half of the women raped every year know their attackers. Stranger rape and assault is far less common than a woman being attacked by someone she knows. It's important that you know you know to defend yourself against an attack from a stranger, but it is also important to know how to stop an attack by someone you love.

Most women think that they never will be assaulted but thousands of women are attacked everyday. Knowing how to stop an attack or how to survive an attack could save your life. It's also important that you talk to your children, especially your daughters, about self defense.

Kids are especially vulnerable because they are usually taught by their parents to respect adults and to do what adults tell them to do. It's hard for parents to instill a sense of respect for authority in their kids while at the same teaching them that it's okay to scream or yell or make a scene in certain situations. Making sure that your kids understand the difference can mean keeping them safe so it's important that you learn how to talk to your kids about their own safety.

Ten Reasons You Need to Learn Self Defense:

There are a lot of great reasons that you should learn self defense. These facts should convince you to take the plunge and commit to some practical selfdefense training.

1. Violence is real - It's easy to dismiss the stories of attacks against women and say that it would never happen to you but it can happen to you. Every day women get attacked who used to say it would never happen to them. All women are vulnerable and all women are at risk. Ignoring the possibility that you could be assaulted won't change the fact that you could be.

2. If you don't know how to defend yourself you have no options in an attack - If you are attacked knowing how to fight back or having a self defense weapon could save your life, but if you don't know how to get away or you don't have a weapon you could be badly hurt or killed. Do you really want to take that risk?

3. Anyone can be attacked - You might think that because you live in a certain neighborhood, dress a certain way, make a certain amount of money, or have a certain kind of job that you're not at risk of being attacked. But your lifestyle, income, and social status won't protect you. Any woman could be attacked.

4. Self defense can save your life - Even knowing just a few basic self defense moves can be enough to scare off an attacker or get away from an attacker in time to save your life. You have the power to protect your own life during an attack if you have the knowledge and confidence to fight back.

5. Women are raised to be passive - One of the biggest factors that make women targets for assaults is that women are raised to be docile and passive. Women are taught to not speak up, to not assert themselves. How many times have you known a woman who was having trouble with something but couldn't speak up about it? How many times have you done that? Women are taught to be quiet and subservient and to not complain. Predators take advantage of that. When women are attacked by people they already know it is often because the men who attack them know that women are not going to make a fuss and not going to make a scene. Most rapes go unreported because women can't bear to tell their stories. Most domestic assaults go uncharged because women are raised to think they should put up with spouses that hit them. Women need to learn to break through that passivity and make a scene when necessary. Could you yell and scream and try to get someone's attention if you were being attacked? You need to be able to do that and learning self-defense can help women learn to be more confident and less passive.

6. Your children learn from you - If you want your children to grow up feeling confident and knowing how to defend themselves you need to know how to defend yourself. Teaching your kids to be aware of their surroundings and drilling them in self defense techniques will make sure that they won't panic in a crisis situation and forget everything they know about self defense. You can't teach them self defense if you don't know it.

7. Predators are prepared and you need to be too - If you are assaulted chances are good that the person attacking you has previously attacked others. Predators usually have a plan, and they don't count on you fighting back. They count on the element of surprise to make the attack successful. Take away that element of surprise by being prepared and you can sometimes prevent the attack.

8. You can't count on divine intervention - You have to help yourself. Have you ever heard the expression, "Pray to catch the bus, and then run as fast as you can"? Well that applies to being assaulted too. Pray that you make it out alive, and then fight as hard as you can and you might make it out alive.

9. You can't rely on anyone else to save you - If you are attacked hopefully you can get someone else's attention and hopefully some one else will step in and help you or call police to help you. But you can't count on anyone else coming to your rescue. If you are assaulted you are all that you have, so you need to know how to save yourself.

10. You could die - Just think about that for a moment. You could die. Your life could end as a result of an attack. Isn't that reason enough to learn how to protect yourself? If you are attacked and you don't know any techniques to defend yourself statistically your chances of survival aren't great. Knowing how to defend yourself and knowing how to survive an attack can be the only things that keep you alive through a serious attack.

Learning self-defense is more than just taking a class or reading a book. You need to know how to not panic during an attack and how to read a situation and an attacker instantly. You need to be able to know how to disarm an attacker and how to use a weapon yourself. If your attacker has a gun and you manage to get it away from him but you don't know how to fire a gun having that gun isn't going to do you much good. Only continued self-defense training can give you the ability to respond with a clear head in an attack situation. You can never know if you will be targeted by a criminal at some point. All you can do is know how to defend yourself if you are. And if you know how to defend yourself then you have a much greater chance of fighting off that attack or surviving that attack. When you're assaulted even if you are injured if you survive that attack then you win and the attacker loses.

The Four Main Strategies of Staying Safe for Women

Learning how to protect yourself from an assault involves more than just learning a few techniques to get away from an attacker. There are four main areas that you need to work on if you're going to be truly able to defend yourself in any situation. Using these strategies to learn how to protect yourself could mean the difference between surviving an attack and not surviving an attack.

1. Know how predators lure you in.

2. Learn to Diffuse a Confrontation.

3. Know when it's time to get physical and how to get physical.

4. Switching to Survival Mode.

Full details available here:

Self Defense Classes

There are different types of self defense classes that you can take to learn techniques that might save your life in an attack situation. Some self defense classes are based in martial arts traditions and teach a lot of martial arts moves while some classes are pure self defense and combine the grabs, punches and other moves from a wide variety of martial arts and fighting disciplines so that students learn the best moves that could keep them alive. Self defense classes teach more than just moves you can use to escape an attacker. Self defense classes also teach you how to hone your senses so that you are more aware of your surroundings. Most importantly, self defense classes can teach you how to react to an attack without panicking and without freezing. When you are in an attack situation it's very important that you are able to react without freezing up or panicking and the only way to really train yourself to not freeze up is practice. Self defense classes are a safe place for you to practice how you should act if you are ever attacked. Another benefit of self defense classes is that you can learn how to get hurt and keep going. For most women the shock of being grabbed or being hit during an attack is enough to knock them off balance and make them stop fighting. In self defense classes you can learn how to take a hit and not get thrown off by it. No one wants to be in a situation where they are going to get hurt but if you are being attacked being able to get hit or injured and keep fighting just might keep you alive.

Self Defense Classes for Kids

If you're a parent you already know that the world can be a dangerous place for children. Like most parents you probably breathe a sigh of relief every single time they come back through the door and are home safe. But when it comes to self defense for kids it's important that you teach kids how to deal with realistic situations without making them scared or afraid of everyone. Preparation and preparedness are the keys to teaching kids self defense. Don't pretend that your kids could never be assaulted or kidnapped because realistically they could. But if your kids know how to defend themselves and know how to keep their presence of mind they could successful get away from an attacker. Some schools teach self defense to kids as a regular part of the curriculum. Does the school you send your kids to offer self defense? You should find out.

Find out more about Self Defense here:

Self Defense Products

Sometimes a working knowledge of how to avoid dangerous situations and how to use martial arts and self defense techniques might not be enough to protect you from an attacker. That's where self defense products come in, as a second line of defense against being attacked. There are a huge range of self defense products on the market today. Some work, some don't work, and some aren't legal in every state. One thing that you need to remember before you rush out and buy an arsenal of self defense products to keep your purse is that if you're going to carry a self defense product you need to be sure that you know how to use it. A self defense product doesn't have to be a weapon in order to be effective.

Remember that one of the most important aspects of staying safe is remembering that violence happens. Everyday, someone who thought that they would never be attacked or never thought their home would be broken into was the victim of a violent crime. Using self defense products will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing if you are attacked you have the skills and the products to help you fight back.

Self Defense Products for Kids

Personal alarms are also great self defense products for kids. They are really ideal for kid safety because the alarm is sure to draw the attention of adults nearby and the big buttons are easy for kids to push. A frightened child being abducted might panic and not be able to fight back but might be able to hit the personal alarm button which could scare off the attacker. Since personal alarms are small they are a good size for children's small hands. Personal alarms can also be clipped onto backpacks or snapped onto cell phone holders.

You should also have your child fingerprinted if you have not already had that one.

More about Self Defense Products available here:

Parking lot Safety

Parking lots are one of the places where women are most vulnerable. Abductions from parking lots are happening more and more, several high profile abductions make national news every year but there are hundreds more that occur. Any woman can be abducted from a parking lot at any time.

Staying safe when you're out running, walking or exercising

A lot of women prefer to work out in a gym or at home because they feel safer, but there are still millions of women who enjoy running or walking or biking or hiking outside to stay fit. There is no reason that you can't work out outdoors, but there safety tips to help prevent an assault or abduction. Stay safe and you can enjoy the outdoors as much as you want.

Travel and Vacation Safety

When you're on vacation security and safety are often the last things on your mind but you should always think about your safety when you travel, especially if you are traveling to another country. Traveling abroad can be tricky for women because the customs and attitudes towards women are very different in some other countries than they are here. Tourists are always at risk of being robbed or worse but women need to be extra careful.

Online Safety

Being online is a big part of people's social lives these days. There are online games, social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, online dating sites and lots of other sites where people can meet and network. Unfortunately, being very visible online can put at risk for being assaulted. The number of cases where women are being assaulted and even killed by people that found them on the Internet is growing every year. Do you do enough to protect yourself when you're online?

Dating Safety

More than 75% of the women who are assaulted each year are assaulted by someone they know, usually on a date. Dating safety is very important. Naturally when you are dating someone you want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Most women let their guard down on a date because they think their date would never hurt them or that if the date was untrustworthy they'd be able to see it. Unfortunately most predators don't come with a sign identifying them as predators, and by the time you figure out they are predators it's too late. So it's very important that you be on your guard on a date, just the same way that you are on the street.

Safety in a Relationship

You might think that your relationship is perfectly healthy when really your partner is someone that might assault or hurt you. Most women are attacked or killed by someone they know and often someone they love. Domestic violence is the single largest cause of injury to women. Millions of women are beaten or assaulted by their partner every year and thousands more are murdered by their spouses. It doesn't matter what your job is, how much money your have or where you live, how much education have or what your social status is. Domestic violence occurs in 60% of all marriages and can be found in every type of family. Most of the time women who are married to abusive men don't realize right away that the man is abusive or has abusive tendencies and by the time they do realize it they feel trapped.

A woman might stay with abusive because she feels powerless, or because she is financially dependent on him, or because she wants to stay close to her children. There are lots of reasons why women stay with men who have or might assault or even kill them.

Sometimes women do fight back and kill their abusive spouse. Usually when women who are abused by men fight back the self defense laws do not protect them because the law doesn't recognize the effect that years of abuse and assault can have on a woman's mental state. Some experts estimate that as many as 90% of the women who are in prison for committing a violent crime are there are because they killed an abusive spouse. If you have an uneasy feeling about someone that you are dating or if sometimes the person that you are dating or your spouse makes you feel uncomfortable and disrespected then you should always listen to that feeling. Your intuition could be warning you that the person you are in a relationship with might be showing abusive tendencies.

There are 10 common signs of an abusive personality. If your boyfriend or spouse shows more than three of these signs then it might be time for you to end the relationship because things get worse. If you are involved with someone that is potentially abusive you should get out before he assaults you, rapes you, or hits you. Once you know that a person has abusive tendencies chances are very good that at some point he will cross the line and attack you.


Full details available here:

It can be very scary and very unpleasant to have to think about what you will do if you are ever attacked. It's scary to think that women have to be on guard all the time, even around people that they love. But knowing how to take care of yourself and knowing self defense is empowering. Sure, you still have to be on your guard but the more that you learn about self defense and the more that you trust your instincts about people the more you will find that you are drawn to people that you can trust. And you will be more confident when you know that no matter what happens you are prepared. Knowing how to protect yourself in any situation will give the freedom to do whatever you want in life and achieve anything that you want.

Do you want to travel the world by yourself? If you know how to travel safely you can do it.

Do you like to go running in the dark? Follow the safety tips you learn in your self defense training and go for it.

Do you have the courage to walk away from an abusive relationship and say, "I deserve more than this!"? Self defense training will help you find that courage in yourself. Violence happens.

It happens every day. You need to really accept that and be prepared, but you can't let that rule your life. You can't hide inside your house or cower every time someone passes you on the street. Learning self defense is about learning to take control of your life, your safety and your body.

Good luck to you on your journey of Life, and stay safe!

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