Every Woman Should Learn Self-Defense. Here’s Why.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAIIN) states that every two minutes, an American becomes a victim of a sexual assault. Every year there are nearly 240,000 victims of sexual assault in the U.S.

Approximately 80 percent of these victims are younger than 30, and more than 40 percent are people who are under the age of 18. Roughly two-thirds of these assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. Sadly, 60 percent of those who are assaulted do not report the incident to police.

Self-Defense Study Conducted by Sociologist Jocelyn Hollander
Jocelyn Hollander is a sociologist at the University of Oregon. She conducted a study that examines the outcomes for 117 female students who completed a 30-hour, self-defense training course and compares them to a control group of 169 female students who did not.

The results of Hollander’s study show that the females who completed the self-defense class encountered a much lower percentage of unwanted sexual conduct than those females who did not.

Study Lasted One Year
Seventy-five of the 117 that took the self defense course and 108 of the 169 in the control group agreed to take part in a follow-up interview or survey. Over a 12 month period, participants in both groups reported various kinds of unwanted sexual contact. None of the female students who took the self-defense course reported rape, whereas 3 percent from the control group did.

Hollander’s Study Results are Consistent with the Nation’s Rate
Twelve percent of the female students who completed the self defense course reported sexual intrusion compared to 30 percent of the women in Hollander’s control group. These results are consistent with the nation’s rate of sexual victimization of female college students (1:3).

Learn How to Protect Yourself Before You Become a Victim
Being aware is the key to protecting yourself. If you sense you are in danger, the best thing you can do is display a confident demeanor. Make eye contact. If an individual is looking for someone to assault, those who seem insecure are a primary target.

Know Your Surroundings
Avoid wearing clothes or accessories that give an attacker some kind of an advantage. For example, if you are going for a jog, do not wrap a scarf around your neck, as it could become a strangling device. Tuck your ponytail in because it could easily be used to pull you backward. Many joggers wear ear buds to listen to music as they jog. While this may seem like a great way to stay motivated, it hinders your ability to remain aware of your surroundings.

Mace and Pepper Spray
Instead of taking the time to learn self defense, you may choose to carry items like pepper spray or Mace to protect yourself. While these are great items, when something could go wrong. If either of these blows back into your face as you spray your attacker, you will also be affected. This could inhibit your ability to get away. Self defense teaches you how to use your body to protect yourself.

Best Places to ‘Attack’ Your Attacker
While the groin is the most sensitive area for a man, it is not the ideal target for you because men learn to protect that area as children. Instead, go for the eyes, throat and knees.

Although all these tips can be helpful, a self defense course is probably your best option when it comes to keeping yourself safe.