Your safety in your own hands!

Oct 27, 2015, 17:05 IST

women safety

Every woman has or will face some form of physical or sexual threat in her lifetime—far too many unnerving statistics on crimes against women prove this point. And while it may be decades or centuries before the world becomes a safer place for us, there are several things we can—and must—do to protect ourselves.

Having awareness and sharp reflexes is essential. “It’s the small things that matter,” says Anaisha Patch, personal trainer with a second degree black belt. “Exuding confidence is essential. Body language really does make a lot of difference,” she continues.

“Displaying fear can make you an easy target.” While we would never wish to be attacked, “Visualising dangerous scenes in your mind and playing out how you would want to react helps,” says Anaisha. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not essential to know martial arts to be able to protect yourself. “Martial arts do teach you a series of movements,” Anaisha explains, “but unless you’ve been training for about four or more years, they might not be of immediate help.” While a self defence course will equip you to deal with such situations, there are several other things you can do to be safe that don’t require intense training.

Flight, not fight
It may sound like a cowardly thing to do, but the safest thing if you’re attacked is to try to get away, and get help. Run at the first chance you get.

Be on your guard
If you find yourself in a physical altercation, get into the boxer’s stance—your forearms up in front of your face, with your hands ready in fists. This helps protect your face, and especially your throat.

You’ll be able to protect your ribs as well. And though this stance may make you look like you’re cowering weakly, it puts your assailant off his guard, which gives you
the secret upper hand.

Stand firm
Plant your feet apart diagonally and make sure they’re wide enough to give you good balance. This will make it that much more diffi cult for him to knock you down.
Avoid falling at all costs.

Is he armed?
If he has one arm to the side or is hiding it behind his back, he could be holding a knife or gun. If this is the case, your best bet is to run for help.

Is he a mugger?
If he has a weapon and what he’s after is your wallet, don’t hesitate to give it to him. Throw it away from you and run. Your life is not worth the money. You can always get your cards cancelled later.

Does he want to
sexually assault you?
If he has a knife, try to stay at arm’s length so he doesn’t injure you. If you get wounded, it will make escaping that much more difficult. If you see a gun in his hand, run away from him in a zigzag fashion and call out for help.

Physical defence
“The goal is to diffuse a confrontational situation and keep it from becoming violent,” guides Dr Komal VS. Try to talk yourself out of the danger. Saying things like you have a black belt in karate or that you have connections with the police or politicians could deter the attacker. The next step is to defend yourself physically. Kneeing him or kicking him in the groin will incapacitate him. If you’re being choked, use your legs. Stamp on his feet, kick his shins—you need to get him off balance long enough to create a window for escape.