The Realities of Women's Self Defense

There are many misconceptions about Self Defense, so many in fact that you could spend your entire career trying to prove them wrong!  Instead of doing that, what I've tried to do is focus on what the realities of Self Defense are.  That way we are working on REAL issues and REAL problems and developing REAL solutions!

So how do we determine what the realities are?  Well we have to first identify that what our mind's eye pictures is the result of thousands of hours of movies and television shows, not reality.  When I ask people to picture an attack on a lone female, then ask them to describe it to me, it almost always is a lone dark parking garage.  Sometimes a dark alley.  Almost never in the victem's home or at a place of work.  But those are more likely places to be attacked that a dark alley.  After all, why would a lone women be in a dark alley in the middle of the night?  Makes no sense does it.  No, Hollywood hasn't done us any favors when it comes to the realities of self defense.

Who has the answers?  The F.B.I. of course!  The F.B.I. gathers information from every Law Enforcement agency in the country and crunches those facts down into catagories.  Rape, murder, assault, car jacking, etc.  It also breaks catagories down even further: relationship to victim, location of attack, weapons used during the assault, race of victim, race of attacker, etc.  What this does is give us the realities of who is being attacked, by whom and where it is happening.  If the attacker is using a weapon or not, if the victim fought back or not.  This gives us the truth.  Not Hollywood's version, but what is really happening out there.

Some interesting facts come to light when crunching these numbers.  Here are a few I use.  I don't use specific percentages, etc. due to the fact that those change from year to year, but in general, these hold true year after year.

Rape is a common occurance - most experts say one every 6 minutes!

Most women who have never been attacked have unrealistic expectations about how they would respond to an attack - Most think that they will fight hard and get away.  The truth is EVERYBODY fights back, most just aren't prepared with a plan, tools or training to survive.

Most women in the community are unprepared for a violent encounter - almost no one in my courses have ever had any type of self defense training, with firearms or empty hands.  Most don't have a security alarm on their home.  Most don't have a plan for a home invasion or violent attack.  (they all have a fire plan, fire extinguishers, etc.)

Most victims are in their teens and twenties - this is largely in part to the fact that they are traveling in a new circle of friends and are unsupervised for the first time in thier lives.  Many are experiementing with drugs, alcohol and sex for the first time, leading to many dangerous outcomes.  BUT,  dont' think that only the young and pretty are vulnerable, if that were the case, children the elderly wouldn't be raped, but they are abused everyday!  So it's not just a matter of a women dressing too sexy or being to flirtatious, the real constant is the element of the bad guy.

Most victims are raped for 1 hour or less, however many are raped for over two hours! - The reality is that a rape could last the rest of the victims life, with the predator ending her life in an attempt to hide his crime.  It's not about sex, it's about control over the victim and the power they get from stripping the victim of their dignity and self worth and personal power.

Rape is a violent encounter and most victims try to resist - stats say 1 in 5 victims injure their assailant.  I believe this is a low percentage.  If the victim injures the predator early, the attack is often stopped and never gets reported.

These are just a few of the basic truths about self defense as it pertains to women.  It's an ugly and difficult subject, but as experts in the field of self defense, we owe it to the people who trust us for answers to have the truth, know what really happens and to whom.  Not just Hollywood's version.

Make yourself an expert, help those around you, learn the truth, figure out what the problems are, who the victims are and them help develop a plan to help them solve the problem.

Harley Elmore


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