You might be surprised with the answers. No, it doesn’t have to do with how HOT the women looks or how SEXY she might be dressed.
AND yes, nearly 25% of all assault is female on man, so these rules apply to both sexes.
Reason # 1
Research shows the number one reason women get assaulted is due to poor body language. In other words, how you walk, how you carry yourself when you are out in public is a large factor in determining if you get targeted.
Do you recognize yourself in this description?
Do you walk with your head down, your shoulders slumped, your chest in? Do you generally keep your hands in your pockets? Do you walk with purpose or just shuffle along at a slow pace? Do you make any eye contact?
Some people are under the impression, if they appear small, no one will notice them. Well, they are wrong and potentially inviting trouble!
Attackers are looking for people they believe will give them little or no resistance. The attacker wants to get in quickly, strike and take his victim to a secondary location without being seen or heard. They are looking for someone who appears to be weak, afraid or timid. Attackers are basically cowards and they don’t want to attack anyone that they can’t control easily! So, if you look like you might put up a fight, there is a good chance the attacker will pass on you.
Why do you think the elderly get attacked so often? Because a 90 year old is not expected to put up much of a fight if confronted! It’s a miracle that they can even walk, right?
So, I want YOU to start today, changing how you walk! I want you to walk with a purposeful stride like you know where you are going and what you want. I want you to walk with your head up, shoulders back and chest pumped out!
You are walking with some “attitude” and your body language is communicating CONFIDENCE! You want to allow your arms to swing with each stride, as psychologically, this makes you appear to be larger than you really are. Plus, having your arms free allows you to react quicker if attacked.
Yes, I want you to make EYE CONTACT! The kind that says “I know you are there and I am making sure you know I know….and by the way, I am not afraid of you” kind of eye contact.
Need more convincing? Just take a look around you and watch people walking in the grocery store or in the parking lot. I am pretty certain you will be able to spot the people who are confident and portray a very strong body language and the ones who don’t.
One last note about body language. One of the most important aspects of walking with a strong body image is having your head up. This gives your eyes the ability to remain vigilant, constantly looking for potential danger.
Reason # 2
The second most common reason women get assaulted is lack of awareness.
Are you the type that turns their back to the crowd when answering your cell phone? I know you are trying to be polite and make the conversation quiet and private, however, you are creating a perfect opportunity to strike.
Are you someone who likes to carry a big pocket book? I remember my mother carried this huge bag around that I could get lost in when I was a young child. Trying to find the car keys sometimes took days!
Well, I might be exaggerating, but you get my point. When you become focused on a singular task, that is the time that attackers like to strike.
How about sitting in your car texting or maybe updating your check book since you were shopping and purchased some items? Another big NO, NO!
Walking into the rest room without checking to see if anyone was following you? Looking for something in the trunk of your car? Running the neighborhood with your Ipod at full blast and your earphones on both ears?
We live in a society filled with so many distractions every day, however, we MUST do all we can to be alert and aware when we are out somewhere and potentially vulnerable!
Reason # 3
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time!
We can’t always control this, but we need to be aware and try to avoid places that could potentially be dangerous. For example, the roof of the parking garage at the mall late at night, say during the Christmas holidays, when the stores stay open late. Conversely, parking in the basement of a downtown parking garage. Parking far away from the football stadium in a poorly lit parking lot. Leaving your place of work by yourself late at night.
If you live in a city, walking down a dark alley!
Hopefully you get the picture.
I feel like you can’t always prevent this, because sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control (getting a flat tire on a country road or highway); however, be mindful of potential areas that you would be vulnerable in and avoid them to the best of your ability.
Try to leave work with a friend or make arrangements to have someone pick you up. Be patient and search for another parking spot that isn’t so far away or in an area that has better security. Don’t try to change that car tire. Call a family member or friend for help.
The Big Three
Attackers pick their victims for lots of reasons and there is NO way to predict with 100% accuracy how to avoid an attack. However, research has shown the above reasons to be the 3 most consistent reasons given by attackers that were caught.
If you work on creating a confident and strong body language, maintain a high alert level at all times and avoid areas that could represent trouble for you, then you will go a long way towards helping yourself stay safe!
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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 8 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.
We also provide corporate safety training.
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 be ing 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.