Common Myths About Self-Defense
There’s nothing scarier than facing a stranger in a dark alley. Every year in America, 5 million are victims of violent crime, and sexual assault occurs every 2 minutes. Most people have a healthy fear of being attacked, and you probably learned from a young age to be on guard when it comes to your safety in public. But there are a lot of conflicting opinions when it comes to what you should do if you do get attacked. Whether in an empty parking lot or a crowded mall, everyone seems to have some idea of what you should do to defend yourself if danger strikes. How do many of these so-called rules of self defense hold up? The truth about defending yourself against an attacker is that you have to let go of many of the common things most people wrongly believe.
1. Attackers Choose Victims Based on Appearance
The data from experts on who gets attacked the most proves that attackers choose victims based on behavior, not appearance. The idea that dressing too sexy or looking too rich can contribute to you being attacked is a myth. Criminals are looking for the easy targets. If you are distracted, talking on the phone, rummaging through your bag, or otherwise acting off guard or unaware of your surroundings, you run a higher risk of attack. It’s also a myth to say you shouldn’t make eye contact with an attacker. Letting them know you see them and can identify them is enough to scare them off, in many cases. It’s an example of defensive behavior, which will keep you a lot safer than dressing a certain way.
2. You Should use Objects as Weapons
Many people believe in the idea of using your keys to fend off an attacker. But the chances of you getting a good shot at stabbing their eye out with a key is very slim. Most likely, you will scratch or punch them with the keys, which will hurt your hand and not provide a sure way of stopping them. Plus, you’ll have to be at very close range. Digging in your pockets or purse for other items like hairbrushes or pens is not realistic either. You won’t have the time. Knowing a few good physical moves is much more valuable than carrying around any particular objects.
3. You Should Never Fight an Armed Attacker
If a criminal pulls a knife on you, it’s commonly believed that you are putting yourself in more danger if you struggle with them. While it’s true that grappling with a knife-wielding attacker can be extremely dangerous, if they are determined to use it on you, you should know the right physical moves to keep them from succeeding. Stepping to the center of the attackers body and cutting off their line of vision with the weapon, while trying to control the knife-wielding hand, is a move taught in most self-defense courses. The same can work if the assailant has a gun. However, if you can run, that’s always the best move. A shooter will hit a moving target only around 4 in 100 times, and your odds for survival are better than if they use their weapon to get you in their car.
You can never predict when an attack might strike, but practicing good personal safety habits should be a part of everyone’s life. If you are in public, especially in a high-risk area like a parking garage or dark street, you should be aware of your surroundings and prepared to yell, fight, and run if you are attacked by a criminal. Not only do the actions you take before you are victimized make a difference, but learning strong self-defense techniques is truly the best way to prevent a tragedy. Nobody should have to be afraid on the streets or off of them.