Realistic Self-Defense For Women Part One
In today’s society everybody has a possibility of being attacked, assaulted, robbed, or raped. This is why the “it will never happen to me” mindset can be unrealistic.
The most effective way to prevent an attack is to become aware of reality. Acknowledge the potential problem, and take steps to improve your chances of survival, such as enrolling in a realistic self-defense course. Although anybody may be a candidate for a possible assault, there are certain traits and characteristics that may make you more vulnerable.
Criminals prey on the weak and vulnerable; those unlikely to fight back. It is human nature to avoid danger; no one is willingly going to attack you if he/she believes you will fight back and possibly injury them. Criminals and rapists scan their targets to see who would make for an easy mark. The following traits are what criminals and rapists look for in potential targets: vulnerability, a low awareness level, and someone who is alone and isolated. It is crucial that if any of these attributes apply to you, that you take the necessary steps to rectify the problems.
Appearing vulnerable, weak, and unable to defend yourself will increase your chances of becoming assaulted. The key to not looking like an easy target is controlling your body language. Robert Greene, the author of The 33 Strategies of War states “First, people are more likely to attack you if they see you as weak or vulnerable. Second, they cannot know for sure that you’re weak; they depend of the signs you give out, through your behavior both present and past. Third, they are after easy victories, quick and bloodless. That is why [people] prey on the ‘vulnerable and weak’ (Greene 2006 124*).”
How To Not Appear Vulnerable
Adapt an erect posture with your head forward eyes alert, and shoulders back. This posture shows confidence and awareness, two traits an attacker will want to avoid. Standing up straight will also make you look taller than you are. As with the laws of nature, the larger animals are often considered to be more aggressive and more capable of defending themselves. Standing up straight and becoming vigilant of your surroundings are effective ways to deter many attackers. Assume this posture throughout your daily life.
Additional factors such as how you talk (exude confidence), making eye contact, and the confident way you interact with people will decrease your vulnerability. Making eye contact is crucial because its shows you are confident and outgoing enough to acknowledge an individual. It also prevents your adversary from using the element of surprise when attacking you.
In addition, do not allow a person to dehumanize or belittle you as this may negatively affect your mindset. Your mind must remain strong, confident, and focus on your survival. As Eleanor Roosevelt correctly stated “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
The second trait an attacker will look for is a person’s level of awareness. If it looks like you are unaware of your surroundings it will make you look vulnerable and easy to sneak up on. Being unaware of your surroundings will also make it harder for you to get help if you cannot quickly identify the best places to run to. The following are everyday activities that make a person seem unaware of their surroundings:
- Having head phones on
- Talking on a cell phone
- Playing games or text messaging on an electronic device
- Reading a newspaper
- Looking through your purse
- Doing your make-up or hair
- In a daze or staring off into the distance
How To Increase Awareness
The first step to is to once again improve your posture with your head forward, shoulders back. Your eyes should be attentive as you make mental notes of people and your surroundings. Learning to listen to your intuition will also increase your safety and make you more aware of potential situations. In addition, refraining from the above list, will increase your awareness and overall safety.
Walking alone may make you a high priority in becoming a potential victim. One of the best ways to avoid an assault is by walking with or going out with a friend or group of people. Remember being in the company of another person(s) will make it much more difficult for an attacker to complete his goal. A strong, aggressive woman, driven by the conviction of her survival is more than a handful for a potential rapist. If there are two strong, aggressive women, driven by their conviction to survive, well, that is usually too much for a rapist to want to handle. There is strength in numbers.
* Greene, Robert. (2006). 33 Strategies of war. New York: Penguin Group, Inc.