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PERSONAL SAFETY (CONFRONTING DANGER)
Do as much as
you can to avoid a confrontation -
"anticipation and avoidance" are the key
words. If you get caught up in a situation,
try to talk to an aggressor without
provoking them. Practice relaxation, as
appearing fearful or stressed can actually
provoke an attack. Remember that body
language is important in aggressive
situations, so maintain a comfortable
distance between you and the aggressor.
Use a gas or electronic attack alarm, as
these give out a short piercing sound and
will temporarily disorientate an attacker,
giving you enough time to escape. Carry it
somewhere where you can get to it quickly -
don't leave it buried at the bottom of your
bag. If you don't have an alarm, just make a
noise yourself by screaming as loud as you
can, or shouting "call the police" - if
you're loud enough this can be just as
effective as a personal alarm. If you have
an alarm, use it and shout as well.
Steady yourself if danger threatens. Panic
can disable you, so again it’s useful to
learn how to keep control in a difficult
situation. And if you must fight back, adopt
what police term the "bash and dash"
approach. Basically you just want to hurt
the attacker as quickly as possible so that
you can get away. Primary targets are the
eyes, nose, mouth, ears, throat, groin,
knees or shins; choose whichever is easiest
to get to.
If held from behind don't struggle forward,
you'll only exhaust yourself. Instead throw
yourself backwards to surprise your attacker
or stomp on the lower leg or foot. A good
elbow strike straight back, can also be very
effective at getting someone to loosen his
or her grip on you.
You have the right to defend yourself with
reasonable force and this includes using
items you have with you such as an umbrella,
bag, briefcase or keys. However, don't carry
or use anything that the law would regard as
an offensive weapon. Once you've achieved
your primary aim of stunning or surprising
your attacker, get away as fast as you can.
If you manage to overcome them don't attack
again, you could be putting yourself in more
danger or you could end up being charged
These are just the very basics of
self-defense, but to learn more about it and
get some exercise at the same time, find a
local self-defense class and encourage your
family along to join you. Just remember
"anticipation and avoidance" are the best
forms of defense.
Below are a few more tips for staying out of
· Trust your instincts. If something feels
wrong, something is probably wrong.
· Be aware of your surroundings.
· Walk close to the curb, facing oncoming
· Carry bags close to your body.
· Look confident.
· Tell someone where you are going and when
you expect to be back.
· If you are being followed, head for a
· If people start milling around you, it
could be a set-up for a mugging.
· Know yourself, how do you react in a
crisis situation? Do you scream, cry,
freeze? How would you defend yourself?
· Remember there is no right or wrong
approach to getting out of dangerous
· Show your anger, not your fear. A furious
reaction often may stop an attack. Remember
an attacker is looking for an easy victim.
Yelling is always a good deterrent (a good
choice is to yell FIRE) this will draw
attention to those who do not want to get
involved but may be concerned for their own
safety and may come to help.
· If there are other people around, yell
loudly enough to get their attention to what
the assailant is doing.
· If you are alone and do not know anyone on
the street or nearby, try calling a name out
to make the attacker or assailant believe
you may be with someone. This may also help
if you are alone at home.
· If someone has a weapon stay calm and wait
for an opportunity. Weapons make the
situation more dangerous and difficult, but
there still may be something you can do
about the situation.