As a rule you should do as much as possible to avoid a confrontation. The most important things you can do is anticipate and avoid. Anticipation is a type of awareness; by anticipating certain situations you are mentally preparing yourself on how to react. Avoidance means you should analyze what you do daily. Do you drive through a high crime area on your way to work each day? Could you take another route to avoid a potential situation. Do you walk or exercise alone at night? Could you find a friend to partner with? Consider carrying a keychain pepper spray to protect against both dog and human attack.
If you do find yourself in a “sticky” situation there are certain things you should know. Do you best to calmly try and talk to an aggressor without provoking them. Always maintain a comfortable distance between them and you. Your body language should exude confidence, even if your scared to death inside.
Carry a personal alarm, either battery powered or compressed air. Both emit loud sounds designed to attack attention. Criminals hate attention and in most cases the alarm is enough to scare them off. Remember to carry it somewhere that is easy and convenient for you to get to. Most personal alarms are very small and easy to conceal. Ideally you would like to be able to conceal in your hand. If not clip to a purse, belt or backpack.
If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have any type of self defense weapon, use your voice to get help. Scream as loud as you can or shout “help”, “call police” or “fire”. The goal is to focus attention on you and your situation.
Consider enrolling is a basic self defense course. Many non-profits offer courses free of charge. Colleges and Universities are putting more and more focus on campus safety. They have organizations on campus that teach rape prevention courses as well as personal protection. The resources are out there, you just need to take advantage of them.
How would you handle yourself if danger threatens. What if someone was aggressively moving toward you with the intent to cause you harm? Try not to panic, this is where practice is priceless. Even if you are not prepared you may need to fight back. Use simple the technique that law enforcement call “bash and dash”. Focus on the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, throat or groin – whichever is easiest to get to. By taking the fingers and jabbing the eyes, you can immediately disable an attacker. Take the palm of the hand and strike the nose, pushing upward. Place your keys in between the index and middle finger. Use it to strike to the mouth, ears, or throat. The groin is always a great option when dealing with a male attacker. A kick or strike to the groin can cause devastating pain.
If you are attacked or held from behind, don’t try and struggle forward, instead use the back of your head as a weapon and throw it backward attempting to strike the attackers facial area. You can also stomp, kick or strike the lower leg or foot.
You have the right and responsibility to defend yourself using reasonable force. Should you find yourself without a typical self defense weapon, consider using common items such as an umbrella, briefcase, book bag or keys. Strike quickly and then get yourself to safety.
These are just a few very basic self defense tips. Remember anticipation means preparing yourself for the possibility of a worse case situation. Take advantage of your local community resources and get some formal self defense training. Within the class you will have the opportunity to practice and hone your skills in real world scenarios.