How to defend yourself from an attacker

It’s wise to know how to defend yourself in case you’re surprised by an attacker while you’re out jogging, walking to your car, or otherwise minding your own business.

Here are some tips on how to defend yourself:

  • Never turn your back on your attacker, even to walk to your car. It allows them a chance to attack as you turn. Instead, walk backwards or sideways to safety, keeping your face towards the attacker.
  • If your attacker has you in a hold, try stomping on their feet. While this won’t cause them too much pain, it may distract them enough for you to wriggle out of the hold and run away.
  • Head-butt your attacker if they grab you from behind. In some cases, you may not see your attacker coming towards you. If you feel someone grab you from behind, head-butt backwards so that the back of your skull hits them in the nose.
  • Protect your groin, throat, stomach, and eyes with your hands and arms. These are the most vulnerable parts of your body, and the parts that a serious attacker is most likely to try to hit.
  • If you have a knife try to block it with your arms and hit the the attacker in the face. It’s better for you to get a few stitches than to end up with a serious stab to the chest.
  • When your attacker is bigger than you with or without a weapon try to talk them down or diffuse the situation verbally. If you have pepper spray, spray them in the eyes and nose. If they’re physically attacking you, hit them as hard as you can in a sensitive area like the eyes, throat, nose, or genitals.
  • Make your escape while your assailant is incapacitated.
  • Punch the aggressor in their Adam’s apple or at the base of their throat.
  • Hit the attacker in the nose with a fist or open hand. The nose is also a vulnerable, sensitive area.
  • Jab or scratch your attacker in their eyes. Form your dominant hand into a fist and punch your attacker in the eyes.
  • Unless your life is being threatened, the safest option is to comply with a gun-wielding attacker (e.g., if they’re robbing you). If you feel that your life is at risk, you can grab the attacker’s wrist and shove so that the gun is not longer pointing towards you. Then try to run away, or grab the gun away from the attacker.
  • if you are being kidnapped or robbed, fight back as aggressively as possible. Don’t worry about causing harm to the attacker.
  • Pray to God and fight for your life. Everything is a weapon, whether it be a pen, a fist or a baseball bat.
  • If the attacker is trying to harm you sexually; scream, “Back off!” first. It will alert people near you. Try making as much noise as possible. Then, fight. Just follow the above steps, and make it as hard as possible for them to grab your upper arms, because that could lock you into place. If they do get ahold of you, kick them as hard as you can in the shin, kneecap, or genitals.

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