How to protect yourself from crime

In today’s crazy world, self-defense is of utmost importance, especially for women. I want to share with you some of the techniques I learnt while attending a self-defense class by an ex-police officer.
To begin with, remember the four A’s:
Be aware of your surroundings. If you are walking alone in a dark place, secure your phone inside your bag, look ahead and walk fast. This sounds like common sense, but safety seems to take a backseat when you are messaging or talking.

Be aware of your surroundings

You might be tired after a day at work or at school. But still, you have to be alert, especially in lonely and dark places like car parks and public toilets. Most of the crime happens in these places, time and again.
Avoid those places where you see someone lurking suspiciously. Remember- criminals need not always look shabby or unclean. Avoid secluded places even if there is a shortcut. It is better to walk the longer path than putting yourself in danger. Likewise, don’t prefer the toilet on the top secluded floor of the building just because it might be clean.
If you realise you are being followed or about to be attacked, shout  “FIRE!”-the logic is that if u shout “Help!” people have a choice of helping or not helping. But fire alerts everyone! And run like mad. If he’s chasing you, find something to throw at him, and keep running towards well-lit, crowded places.
If luck fails you and the attacker out runs you (which is most likely!) and you are cornered, despite the rising panic, use a positive and firm tone.Say “Go away, or I will shout and call the police.”Never give him ideas by saying “don’t hit me” or “don’t kill me”.If he asks for your valuables, please give.Nothing is more precious than your life. But don’t hand it over to him. Throw it away from you so that you will have the time and space to run.
2 things you should always keep in mind while fighting for your life:

  • Always try to maintain a minimum distance of an arm’s length from the attacker, even while you are trying to fight back.
  • Avoid falling on the floor at all costs. We all know that falling down flat on the floor is the most vulnerable and defenceless position. If at all you fall down, try to squat first, then go to ‘baby pose’ (on all fours) so that you can support yourself and get up as quickly as possible.


Avoid dark, secluded places

When the attacker comes too close, you can do these to save yourself:

  1. Don’t underestimate the strength of your elbows. They are so strong that they can break the finger bones of your attacker. He will most likely, target your face first so protect it by bringing your elbows in front of your face.
  2. Use your nails and target his eyes. His immediate reaction will be to protect his eyes with his hands. Use this chance to hit him. At this juncture, the classic kick at his balls works best! I’m sure you would have seen that in the movies. It works in real life too.
  3. Nails are not long enough? No worries. Carry a metal pen with you always. It can be a very useful weapon.Or, look for something hard and big enough to throw at him and run for your life. Literally.
  4.  What if you are attacked from behind? If the attacker’s target is your neck, it is extremely dangerous because when he locks his arms around your neck, you will practically have just 3 minutes to survive. The moment you sense someone close behind you, try to grip his hand and prevent him from getting a hold on you, then turn around and follow the above steps.

What if your own loved ones or someone close to you gets angry and turns violent?
Your focus should still be on self-defense but now you have the responsibility of protecting him/her as well. Agree with him for the time being and try to pacify him. Saving yourself from harm is more important than winning arguments. Put forth your point later when the person calms down. Look for the right time to talk to him about managing his anger so that both of you don’t get into the same situation again.
One last word – Don’t be complacent or over-confident that you are strong enough to fight back. The attacker might be stronger than you think and there can be more than one person. So be vigilant and try to get out of dangerous situations as quickly as possible. Your focus should be on reaching home safely. Always.
Is there anything else to be cautious about? Please feel free to comment…

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