I really, really hope that this article is pointless. I hope you'll never have to use the information that I'm providing.
But, we'd rather be safe than sorry, right?
I've heard horror stories of women getting attacked while they're walking to their car after work or sometimes even in broad daylight in the middle of a large parking lot, their arms filled with groceries with no way to defend themselves.
So, here are some tips from Cosmopolitan for both preventing attacks and what to do when you are attacked.
How to prevent an attack:
- Attackers look for easy targets, so insecure, "weak" women who are busy chatting away on their cell phones instead of paying attention to their surroundings. Save the texting until you're in a safe environment.
- Follow your instincts. You may feel bad for turning down that person's plea for help but if he was giving you the creeps, there might have been a reason why.
- Don't be sloppy. If you've had one too many drinks at a bar, be sure you walk home with someone who is fully functional.
- Watch out for online predators. Don't give out any contact information online unless you know it's going to a trusted person. There's been a surge of hackers on social networking sites as well, so keep that in mind if your "friend" needs to know where you live. Email her your address instead of sending it via Facebook message.
- Be on the lookout. Not saying you have to be paranoid, just aware. Attackers love parking lots/garages, and they also like bushes and alleys.
- Even if your purse is a $1500 Louis Vuitton, is that really worth your life? If you do get attacked just let them have it! It's going to be a pain replacing everything but in the whole scheme of things, is it worth putting yourself in danger for? You may be losing a lot of money, but your life is priceless.
If it gets physical:
- Use what's in your hands. Whether it's an umbrella, pen, cell phone, or even hairspray, anything can be a weapon. Keys can especially do a lot of damage: If an attacker comes at you, scratch his face or jab at his eyes with the keys. It's also smart to carry a small thing of pepper spray on your keychain or in your purse.
- Aim for weak points. I took a self-defense class in college and my professor stressed this point. Don't try to get all ninja-fighter on him, just hit those weak points and get out of there! Places like the eyes, throat, and knees are good targets. If he attacks you from behind, stomp on the top of his foot (props if you're wearing heels!). The groin is the place your attacker will expect you to go first, so don't rely on that.
- Throw your elbow. Your elbow is way more effective than your fists. Make sure to bend your knees, twist your hips, and put your whole body into it as you swing your hooked elbow across his jaw.
- Use your palm. A great skill to know is the palm heel strike. Get your hands in the high-five position with the palm pushed forward and your fingers back. Step into the attacker and forcefully bang your palm at the top of your attacker's nose, just below his eyes.
Like I said, I hope you never, ever have to use this information, but as women, I feel we should always be prepared.
Have you ever been attacked or know someone who has?