According to a report by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, more than one in three women in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. This staggering statistic highlights the reality that women in the US are at risk of experiencing violence and abuse from those closest to them.
While it's important to address the root causes of violence and work towards creating a society that is safe for everyone, women can also take steps to enhance their safety through self-defense. Women are also at risk of experiencing violence from strangers in public spaces, making it crucial for them to have the knowledge and skills to protect themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
Want to start protecting yourself but not sure where to begin? This guide is for you. Keep reading to learn more.
The first tip we recommend for self-defense is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This includes not only your environment but the people around you. Pay attention to any potential threats and avoid potentially dangerous situations at all costs.
When you raise your awareness, you’ll be protecting yourself and know when to take action when something is off.
Listen to your gut and you can’t go wrong. Your body knows when you’re in danger or if something doesn’t feel safe. Trust this and take the next action steps.
This could mean fleeing the area, finding a safe space, or seeking help. You’ll always want to err on the side of caution rather than ignoring the warning signs.
It’s important to learn self-defense techniques so that you’re prepared if anything bad happens to you. Even the basics will do.
Take a self-defense class or learn from a friend or family member. When you do, you’ll learn self-defense techniques like punching, kicking, and elbowing. All of these moves can be effective to immobilize the attacker.
As you level up your self-defense, you’ll feel that much more confident and in control when in a dangerous situation or unfamiliar territory.
A self-dense tool is another way to protect yourself from harmful scenarios. Self-defense tools like pepper spray or a personal alarm can add an extra layer of self-defense.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with these tools to be well-prepared beforehand. Read up on local laws and regulations regarding their use too.
As you expand your awareness, your self-defense skills will improve too. Imagine different scenarios and how you would respond. If the real situation were to occur, you’ll be that much more mentally prepared.
Practicing scenarios in your head will help you stay calm and focused too, during a harmful situation.
Self-defense techniques don’t have to be too complicated—even your voice will do. If you feel threatened, use your voice to assert yourself and create a distraction. Shouting or screaming can deter an attacker and attract attention so that others can help.
Staying physically fit will improve your overall health as well as give you a higher chance of defending yourself. You’ll want to exercise regularly and involve yourself in activities like martial arts or self-defense classes. This will improve your strength, agility, and coordination.
Staying calm and focused in scary situations is easier said than done. It all comes down to your breath. Teach yourself how to stay calm with deep breathing exercises or meditation.
Have multiple plans depending on the scenario you’re in, so that you can react quickly and decisively.
Another good self-defense tactic is to create distance between you and your attacker. You can use self-defense tactics like blocking, evading, or using your body to push the attacker away. When you create space, you’ll give yourself more time to assess the situation and plan your next move.
In addition to using self-defense techniques and tools, you can also use your environment to your advantage. For example, if you’re being followed you could move to a heavily crowded area. If you are in a parking garage, you could use your car alarm to draw attention to yourself and deter the attacker.
It’s all about gaining an edge over the attacker. Use your creative skills and how you can use your surroundings to your advantage in a self-defense situation.
We recommend taking a self-defense class to enhance your skills and build confidence. Seek out classes that focus on realistic scenarios and practice techniques. Take ongoing classes to continue leveling up your skills over time.
While basic techniques like punches and kicks can be effective, it's important to also learn how to defend against common attacks like grabs, chokes, or bear hugs. This can involve learning techniques like wrist releases, escapes from holds, or how to use leverage to overcome a larger attacker. Learning these techniques can help you feel more prepared for a wider range of potential self-defense situations.
No one wants to be in a situation that requires self-defense. It’s better to be safe than sorry, though. Follow the steps in this post and you’ll be that much more equipped in the end.
It is important to remember that self-defense is just one aspect of personal safety. Women should also be aware of their surroundings, trust their instincts, and seek help when needed. By taking steps to protect themselves, women can help prevent and reduce the incidence of crimes against them.
For many more insights on how to protect yourself as a woman—follow our blog.
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