If you’re a girl - especially one who has never been in a fight - and you’re physically assaulted, here’s a few things my mom used to tell my sisters (who were no strangers to fights)
- Only you, depending on the circumstances, will be able to make the decision if the best course of action is fight or flight. But… if fighting back is the only or the best option left to you, then know this:
- You can win in a fight with a guy. It’s not some impossible or rare feat, so get that thought right out of your mind. It may not be easy, but it isn’t impossible.
- If you carry anything (mace/keys/whatever) use it. Immediately. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people (girls in particular) who aren’t used to violence are slow to get into a “fighting” mindset. This is particularly useful to perpetrators. Don’t waste time second guessing yourself or wondering if you may have somehow “misread” the situation. “Is Bob/this stranger really doing what I think he’s doing?” YES! Yes he is! You need to be “in the game” 100% both physically -and- mentally, because it’s potentially your life at stake. An attacker is already in the mindset to attack minutes or hours before you’re ready —and you gotta catch up quick. Think of it like this: a fire just started in your kitchen. You can either run for help or you can get your fire-extinguisher and start fighting the fire. What you cannot do is sit there asking yourself is that really a fire? Time is against you here. Catch up!
- Maybe you won’t have time to grab your mace. Or maybe he’s too close to throw an effective punch —fight dirty: Eye scratching, biting, hair pulling, groin kicks… all that stuff is fair game and if you don’t think those thing work I got two words for you: Mike. Tyson. Oh, and when you think you’re losing in a fight for your life is not the time to decide to resort to fighting dirty (see #3 above)
- However you decide to fight back, with whatever you use, please don’t stop because you’re afraid you may have seriously hurt the attacker. Again, this probably sounds obvious, but I’ve personally heard (girl) friends tell me they thought if they went full bore, one of the things in the back of their minds was that they were worried they would seriously hurt (or might accidentally kill) someone who had assaulted them. This was after a friend had a purse and cell phone stolen in a dark alley. She was afraid, but also worried that if she fought back she might harm the attacker who had just knocked her down and stolen her property …I was stunned to hear this just like you might be right now. Anyway, “don’t let up till they can’t get up” is what I tell my gf.
- And practice. I’m always a little amazed at how many people who have never, ever been in a fight (says the guy who had to be “the new kid” by moving to a new school every year growing up). You don’t have to become a professional boxer or a jujitsu expert, but the first time you have to throw a punch shouldn’t be when your life or body might depend on it. Practice with your boyfriend, brother, or anyone you trust who’s bigger than you and won’t mind taking a punch. Yes, I mean practice actually punching someone —at least once. Actually knowing what a punch really feels like and seeing that you can drop someone (not role playing) is important.
Now, I’m not absolving guys of their responsibility to not rape/attack/abuse women, but I just believe that too many people (too often women) find themselves in bad situations where I think even just knowing that they can throw a solid punch may be empowering.
There are a lot of Tumblr posts out there that give you the mechanics of how to make a fist correctly (thumb on the outside of your fist, not between your fingers) but again, there’s a difference between reading about how to throw a punch and actually throwing one.
So that’s my two cents.