Most people don’t ask me this question outright, but I know they are thinking it: Does self-defense really work?
That’s like asking the Sham-Wow guy if his towel really holds 12 times its weight in liquid, right? Hey, I welcome the believers and doubters alike, and I have more to offer you than my belief in the effectiveness of self-protection measures. But first, let’s figure out why it’s so hard to believe a woman can fight back and win.
I believe that doubt over the effectiveness of self-defense comes from a few places. First, many women feel insecure about their ability to fight back, simply because they have never received any training. This is why we need to make self-defense training more available to all women, and introduce it earlier in life. Second, bad advice like “fighting back will only make him mad” seems to permeate trickle-down wisdom through generations. This advice is not only inaccurate, but also dangerous.
The NIJ (National Institute of Justice) commissioned a study in 2005 called The Impact of Victim Self Protection on Rape Completion and Injury, authored by Gary Kleck and Jongyeon Tark. Click here to read the entire 77 page study, or just read the highlights below.
- Potential victims who resisted their attackers, either physically and verbally, decreased the odds of being raped.
- Fighting back does not mean a woman is more likely to be injured.
- Self-defense significantly reduces the chances of being raped.
- Certain self-defense techniques reduce the risk of rape more than 80 percent compared to doing nothing.
- According to victims, the most effective ways to fight back include: attacking or struggling against their attacker, running away, and verbally warning the attacker.
- If your idea of self-defense is stalling, cooperating or screaming from pain or fear – these approaches actually increase your risk of injury. So if you’re going to protect yourself, it’s gotta be forceful and strong!
Kinda makes you re-think just how dangerous you can be with even simple self-protection measures! If you’ve been putting off learning self-defense, don’t delay any longer. Click here to read about some of my favorite self-defense programs who offer classes in cities across the USA.