A local woman was recently mugged in the parking lot of the Harbison Walmart over the weekend. Thankfully, as she was being dragged out of her car, a stranger called out and the attacker ran. While she had serious bruises to her face, she escaped being severely beaten or potentially raped.
What are some of the lessons learned?
I raise these points, not to be critical of the woman, but to try and help others understand the little things that can make a difference from being a victim or not.
1. It was 11:30 pm when she finished up her shopping and entered her car. Needless to say, the time of day, the area she was in – her alert status needed to be on HIGH. She didn’t notice him walking to her car.
2. Once in the car, she was focused on entering the address she needed to drive to in her GPS. Her attention was focused on the GPS, not around her.
3. When the thug walked up to her car and said something, she was able to roll up the window and she decided to put her car in park. When she put her car in park, the doors automatically unlocked. She did great to roll up the window, but instead of putting the car in park, she should have just moved her car. Fast or slow, this would have created a deterrent to the attacker.
4. Once he opened the door, he immediately grabbed her. She was in a state of shock and essentially froze. This is quite common and is often associated with the adrenal effect of fight or flight. The best thing to do in this situation is to wrap your arm through the steering wheel so that you can anchor to it. Do your best to position your body (head) away from the attacker.
5. Once he pulled her out of the car, her head hit the ground and he was yanking at her pants. She wasn’t sure if this was to sexually assault her or just to steal money out of her pocket. This is when a full out defensive posture is called for. She should have kicked, punched, pinched, pulled, yanked, or grabbed anything. At the same time she should have been screaming so that others could hear and come to her aid. Instead, she was quiet during the struggle.
6. Luckily, a stranger approached and yelled, “What’s going on!” and that was enough to scare the attacker who ran off.
7. The woman, now badly bruised, drove home. The next day she reported it to the police. She should have gone immediately inside the Walmart store and called the police. As of this writing, the man has not been caught.
I really admire this woman for sharing her story and showing the bruises on her face. While she feels she didn’t do enough to defend herself, she is willing to put herself out there and share her story in the hopes it might help other women to be more alert and cautious in their travels.
Attackers primarily choose their victims who they perceive as being weak, or unaware!
Body language – how you walk and talk speaks volumes about the kind of person you are! Attackers don’t want to deal with someone they think will make a fuss or fight back.
You should always have an internal alert status working for you. When you are home (safe), your alert status can be low. Walking in a sketchy neighborhood during the day should be medium and walking in a parking lot at 11;30 pm your status should be high.
If in the car, always use the steering wheel as an anchor. Even a child can fight an abduction using this technique, as it makes the victim much stronger.
Once an assault is on, you need to turn on your survival instincts and yell and scream. Even if you don’t know martial arts, you act like a “junk yard dog” and do everything you can to make it difficult for the attacker to assault you.
Ladies, don’t wait for something bad to happen to you!
The current statistics on assault are 1 in 4 women.
Sexual assault is 1 in 5 women.
Take a self-defense seminar, take up kickboxing or better yet, join a credible martial arts program that teaches real street self-defense. Knowledge is power! A little bit of knowledge can make a world of difference when you life is on the line.
The only person who can protect you is YOU!
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Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for martial arts instruction for 7 consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt is a certified instructor for C.O.B.R.A., a worldwide self-defense, and personal protection program. SKS offers Active Shooter Training, Real Estate Safety, 10 Week Self Defense Academies, Bully Workshops, and Child Safety Camps.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars
Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-462-9425 or email us at: [email protected]
Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.