One rape or sexual assault occurs every two minutes, according to the statistics from the National Center for Victims of Crime- Year 2000, in the US. One violent crime occurs every five seconds in the US and 172 women are physically and sexually assaulted every hour!
The study reported that women were about 6 times more likely than men to experience violence committed by an intimate. It is shocking to note that 22 to 35% of women who visit emergency rooms in the US are there for injuries related to ongoing abuse, as per reports of the Journal of American Medical Association. In fact more than one million women seek medical treatment each year for injuries caused by their husbands or partners. It is this kind of situation with increasing crime levels that warrants self defense for women.
Self defense can be defined as a verbal, psychological and physical technique used in the defense of oneself in situations ranging from unwanted or harassing moments, including physical abuse and rape.
Where/when can violence against women happen?
No woman is truly and completely safe all the time as violence can happen anywhere, anytime. It could be at home, at work, in school or college, at a cinema hall or even while shopping. Opportunities for attack includes rape, car jacking, purse snatching, domestic violence, while walking along the street, underground car parks, while jogging, hitch hiking, home invasion, workplace violence among many others.
Self defense for women
A woman confronted by an attacker will probably have only a split second to decide whether to run or resist. Running away is not always the best solution as there is no point in running away if no help is forthcoming from nearby. It is advised to only run away if help is available within sprinting distance or the victim has physically disabled the attacker enough to run away. Otherwise the best option would be to combat with the attacker through sheer use of physical force and mental fortitude.
Self defense does not mean exchanging blows and indulging in violent retaliation with another person. The first and best self defense would be not to put oneself in danger's way. The second best self defense technique is to run. If neither of these options is available, one must know how to defend oneself.
How could training in self defense help women ?
Self defense training provides an opportunity for women to fight back during times of physical attack. Women become capable of handling a broad spectrum of emotions with physical and verbal skills that could be used against an attacker. They also learn to handle and explore their anger, grief and fear with expertise and ease. Women's self defense programs comprise a wide range of skills dealing with general awareness and safety, communication and self defense drills and groundwork. In this process, women are trained in various forms of physical empowerment including:
Physical encounter with an attacker
During such a physical encounter with an attacker, women should be aware when to strike and when to withdraw, which is one of the most cardinal principles of self defense skills. In other words, 'rules of engagement' are as follows:
Concept of body as a weapon in self defense:
A woman can use parts of her body to the utmost advantage as it is by far the best weapon in such an encounter.
For self defense to be effective, practice is a must. The self defense techniques need to be practiced accurately. Otherwise a woman may inflict severe damage on her own body.
Self defense tips for women
Always practice how quickly and effectively to use the weapons. The rule in this game of self defense is to strike first, without any hesitation at the vulnerable points of the attacker with a lot of power. Above all, a woman should be mentally prepared to react even in the worst of situations.