Mandy is 16 years old and an active runner. She wakes up every morning during her summer break and instead of checking her social media sites or zoning out watching television, she has a protein shake and gets dressed to go for her morning run. She lives in a "good" neighborhood and has never had a problem until the day a guy came up and tried to grab her from behind.
I'm sure he thought he had found an easy target, but he was in for a surprise. Mandy quickly moved her hips to one side and brought her sharp elbow down towards the man's groin behind her, swinging hard. With her other hand she activated her jogger model pepper spray, which she always had with her.
A face full of pepper spray and a hit to the groin made her attacker stagger off. He went in one direction, Mandy ran in the other. She arrived home scared, but safe.
Unfortunately many women succumb to attack. Mandy's story had a happy ending because she was prepared. She had mentally rehearsed "what if scenarios" and practiced using an inert pepper spray, so she knew just what to do during a crisis. If you have access to a self defense class, take it. The skills you learn may save your life. But even if you don't, there are still several things you can do to keep safe.
Be aware of your surroundings. This is always the number one rule. If you see someone suspicious, make eye contact. If nothing else, you have eliminated any element of surprise and your potential attacker knows you can identify him.
Take advantage of his soft spots. This not only means his groin, but the cartilage in his nose and his eyeballs. It may sound gross, but if getting to safety means you have to dig your fingers in his eyes, then do it. Your safety is more important than his sight.
Use your voice. Scream! More people will respond to a call of FIRE! than HELP! The point is to not be silenced. Get angry and turn the tables. Become the aggressor and fight back.
Know the key parts of your body. Mandy used her elbow, which is the sharpest part of your body. It makes a very effective weapon. The bottom part of your hand driven into the attackers nose is usually more effective that trying to punch him and will do less damage to your hand. Driving your heels downward or your knees into his thighs may give you the second or two you need to get away. Even if he is bigger than you, there are things you can do to fight back. Bite, kick, scratch, gouge. I once heard the sage advice, "If you can't beat them, eat them!"
Arm yourself. If you choose to carry a firearm, make sure you become proficient at using it. Take a quality training course and practice, practice, practice. However, a lethal weapon is not always an option, such as the case with Mandy. At 16, she was too young to carry a gun. Additionally, there are many places where you cannot legally carry a gun. This is why I recommend pepper spray. It is easy to use, portable, effective and available in different styles. It will incapacitate an attacker and give you time to get away to safety.
Stand your ground. Don't ever get in a car with an attacker. Fight right where you are at and try to avoid at all cost being taken to another location. Your chance of survival is slim if your are taken somewhere else. You may never even be found.
You may not want to think about these things, because up to this point, nothing has ever happened to you, or anyone you know. Just because something has never happened, doesn't mean it won't. Every day, scores of women become victims. Be aware and prepared so you don't become one of them.
Wendy Megyese is a Deputy Sheriff and a Self Defense Expert. Her passion is educating and empowering law abiding citizens with self defense tools and techniques so they can be victors and not victims. Visit her website at http://www.bestlinedefense.com to find the best self defense and survival products.
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