Women's Self Defense Tips

Read these 18 Women's Self Defense Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Self Defense Products tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I become more comfortable saying no, to my boyfriend?

Practice Saying No.

A woman's voice is her most powerful asset. By using your voice, you will be able to assert your power. Your power is your ability to articulate your needs, fears, limitations and when something does not feel right. Your voice gives you options. You can scream, ask for help, scare someone and defend yourself. If you are silent, you are not heard. It is important to say what you are feeling and what you want to happen.

Practice saying no in a variety of ways. Whisper no, scream no, yell no, and any other way that feels comfortable for you. Learn to say no like you mean it. Repeat the word "No," until you find your words, your voice, your actions and your body are in complete alignment. Your whole body should be saying no. This also eliminates mixed messages. When you say "NO!", mean it. There are many ways to say "No,", No Way!", "Not happening,", "No, thank you!", "Nope", "Never!" and many more.


Carry Your Keys

Carry your keys in your hands as you walk to your vehicle or house. Keeping them in your purse or pocket won't help you if you are attacked. Slide the keys from your palm outward. Hold your keys so that the pointy parts are sticking out from your fingers, and then make a fist around the ring or chain. If someone attempts to attack you from behind immediately reach over your shoulder and gab and scratch with your keys which have become a weapon. A key to the eyeball will tend to slow down any criminal. Make sure that you have the key you need to unlock the door affixed between your first and second fingers – not the thumb and forefinger as is traditional. Holding the key in this fashion will still permit you to unlock the door but also provides enough strength to cause a little bit of hurt in the event you need it.


Don't Park Next to a Van

Don't park next to a van. We've all seen the emails warning about this. Generally we all take the closest parking space we can find without regard to what type of vehicle is parked next to us. Odds are favorable the minivan belongs to a soccer mom and it is perfectly harmless. But don't get complacent. Be alert and be vigilant. Vans can also block the view of any wrong doing. It'd be easy for someone to slip out of the van and cause you harm.

What happens if you return to your vehicle to find a van parked next to you? Enter from the passenger side. So what if it looks odd that you are getting in on that side? You wouldn't be the first person with a driver's side door that was inoperable. So what if it is inconvenient to climb over the console? Isn't it better to be alive and inconvenienced?


Show Ten Fingers on Your Hands

If you are ever approached by someone with a knife the first thing you want to do is run. Run fast and run far. However that isn't always feasible. So the next thing to do is immediately hold up both hands, palms facing the knifeman with all fingers spread widely – as if you are flashing the number ten on your fingers. Get the picture? Next keep your hands in front of your trunk – your torso area. Decide right then and there that you will get cut; but that you will not die from it. Keep your hands up continually moving slightly to protect your heart, stomach and neck. Your arms can survive knife cuts. Bleeding out because of a knife wound to a major artery can be deadly. If you want to see a good example of someone using their hands to block her vital organs, rent the movie "Enough" with Jennifer Lopez. There is a scene at the end of the movie where she is doing just as described above.


Just Say No to Walking and Talking

Countless people do it; talk on their cell phone while walking from point A to point B. Many walkers actually feel more comfortable talking to someone as they travel across campus or the parking lot. It's really not a good idea; and here's why.

You're distracted. While you are walking you are also talking and paying attention to what the person on the other end of the phone is saying to you. You can't possibly have 100% domain awareness if you're carrying on a conversation. Furthermore, at least one of your hands is tied up. Often you could have a phone is one hand and books in another. Not paying attention and not having hands free are two traits potential perpetrators look for in victims. That makes a person an easy prey.

Next time you must travel on foot call someone to tell her you are leaving and that you will call again once you reach your vehicle or final destination. Keep your eyes scanning the terrain at all times and pay 100% attention to your surroundings. Just say no to walking and talking.


Get it and Go

It's a familiar scene; you pull up to an ATM to make a cash withdrawal. After you receive your money you stop to count your bills, then stuff them into your wallet and perhaps even make an entry into your checkbook log. You're a sitting duck. A potential criminal could by lying in wait. It's a good bet you have money and it's easy to gain access to a person just sitting at a standstill.

Next time you need to tap the automatic teller machine, get it and go. Immediately drive off of the bank property. If you really want to stop and situate yourself and your purse, do so in a well lit, well populated area located away from the credit union. Keep your vehicle doors locked at all times and be brief if you must stop your vehicle for adjustments. Get it and go.


My Husband has Curly Brown Hair, too

The next time you find yourself alone in confined quarters with someone, it's time for a conversation. Elevators are a good example where you can find yourself one on one with another – and not feeling terribly comfortable with the situation. Most people tend to face the door of an elevator. From now on, try to situate yourself near the front of the elevator car, only turn and face the other person. Look that person directly in the eye. Then make a comment about his personal appearance. "My husband has curly brown hair too." Or "I bet you get a lot of compliments on your green eyes." Doing so let's that person know that you could I.D. him – that you did in fact get a good look at his face.

Looking someone in the eye and initiating a conversation conveys confidence. Whereas turning with your back to the person, head looking down at shoes and remaining silent expresses that you could be an easy victim.


Don't Scream Help!

You would think the word help would be a good one to scream in the event you need help. Unfortunately many people simply don't want to get involved. They are fearful of their own life, fearful of getting sued if something goes awry or are merely apathetic. Go figure, just when you need help the most, you may not be able to get it.

Instead of yelling help – try screaming the words My Baby! It doesn't matter if you are male or female, young or old – the words "My Baby!" has a stronger likelihood of not only getting the attention of others but also getting the assistance of others.


Pardon Me, Ma'am – You Dropped This

Unfortunately the bad guys are becoming more deceptive. The next time you walk from the quick-mart back to your auto be on the lookout for some supposed Good Samaritan waiting to tell you that you dropped some money, keys or other valuables. That is often a ploy to get the potential suspect to stop long enough to be grabbed.

Keep walking directly to your vehicle; get in promptly; lock the doors and drive off immediately. Count all change inside the store. Take the extra thirty seconds to zip up your wallet and purse. That way you are certain that you will not drop any contents on the way to your car. The $20 bill on the ground could cost you your life.


Your Purse Doubles as a Weapon

Some women's purses are awfully heavy. As you walk, wrap the straps of your purse around your wrist. Then firmly grasp the handle(s) with your fist. If anyone dares approach you – start clobbering the suspect with your purse. It likely won't do any permanent damage but will give you an object between you and the attacker.

Contents of your purse can also be used as a weapon. Carry an ink pen with you as you walk – the sharp tip will do serious damage if poked into an eye, temple, or neck. Don't have any pepper spray? Your spray bottle of perfume will deter any would-be attackers? Spray the wonderful aroma directly into the eyes of an offender; it'll buy you a few seconds to run in the opposite direction.


If Attacked from Behind -

If you are approached from behind, in bear hug fashion here are a number of techniques you can quickly deploy to get away from an attacker. Stomp on his foot, but on the way down make sure you slide your foot along side his shin bone. Feel your own shin – there isn't much there except a thin layer of skin and bone … and a lot of nerves. It will definitely hurt to slide the sole of your shoe along this bone, and then stomp with all your vigor on the perpetrator's foot. To add icing to this special treat, put all your weight on your heel and grind the stomp in even more.

A head butt is going to smart a little too. If someone is grabbing you from behind immediately throw your head back into his forehead. The bad guy will see stars for a minute and possibly give you an opportunity to run away. Lastly if opportunity presents itself, throw your pointy elbows back with all your might into his solar plexus. Bring your arms forward toward your own face to gain momentum and then thrust your pointed daggers back into his sides with every ounce of strength you can muster. Then run!

How much force should I use to protect myself?

Choosing A Self Defense Weapon For Women

As a woman, finding a way to appropriately defend yourself against an attacker is not as simple as it sounds. There are many self defense weapons available and you have to decide which is the best option for you. When looking at the possibilities, you can narrow your selection by following these tips:
1. Look at all of the options that are available including knives, guns, batons, and pepper sprays.
2. Research self defense tools through the Internet, books, or magazines.
3. Ask a self defense instructor for a recommendation.
4. Find out where you can get training using self defense weapons.
5. Go to a store and test out the different weapons.
6. Choose one that you are comfortable handling and feel that you could use during an attack.

What are the five levels of personal protection?

Protect Yourself From Crime

For any woman, it is important to maintain personal safety and security in all environments including home and work. There are a number of key elements that you can put in place to make this happen. First, if you feel someone is constantly threatening you then talk about it with an individual in a position of authority. Don't be afraid to share your concerns, especially at work where a Human Resources professional can probably advise you about your legal rights. Second, remember that you have rights including the ability to fight back. In fact, you may want to carry with you a legal self defense weapon to increase your ability to fight back during an attack. Finally, if you have been victimized, go to law enforcement officials immediately. They need to document what happened in order to better protect you in the future.

How do I learn to defend myself?

Don't Look Like A Victim

A key self defense tip to avoid being attacked is to not look like a victim. An attacker looking for the next victim, is looking for someone who can be easily overpowered and won't draw attention to the what is happening. Do not appear easily intimidated or frightened. Instead, let everyone know that you are a confident person and walk with a sense of purpose. In addition, if you are walking to your car, have your keys out and ready instead of fumbling through your purse or pockets trying to find them. Show everyone that you are assured and prepared so that hopefully, a would-be attacker will look for an easier target.

How do I protect myself from a friend or family member?

Women's Personal Safety at Home

Safety should always start at home. Unfortunately for many women, the victimization occurs at home by a close family member or friend. This relationship may seem harder to fight, but it still needs to be done to ensure your personal safety. If you are the victim of domestic abuse, your first step is to get out the situation. Talk to someone at your local shelter for abused women or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They can provide you with the steps needed based on your situation. If necessary, contact the police and ask for an escort out of your home. You can regain your life and increase your sense of safety after you leave a situation like this.

Is there a difference between self defense methods for women and methods used by men?

Self Defense Classes For Women

Taking classes in self defense for women can help you fend of an attacker and make an escape. Learning self defense moves takes less time than learning the martial arts and it can provide you with more practical skills to deal with a number of dangerous situations. In addition, many self defense classes being offered are specifically designed for women and take into consideration the differences in their body size and strength. By learning from a qualified instructor, you can gain valuable skills to protect you in a dangerous situation today. Many local civic organizations or community colleges provide training in self defense techniques. The sooner you take a class, the quicker you will be prepared to take control of your life and avoid becoming a victim.

Is there help for women in an abusive situation?

Educate Yourself On Personal Safety For Women

Personal safety information for a woman can be found in self defense books and videos as well as on Internet websites. Before you find yourself in a threatening situation, learn more about what you can do to keep yourself safe. Precautions that you can take include the following tips.
1. Start by maintaining awareness of the people around you as well as other potential danger in your surroundings.
2. Trust your instincts and avoid any situation that you feel may be dangerous.
3. Walk with friends and stay in well lit areas.
4. Be prepared and walk with a purpose.
According to SafeyForWomen.com, "Most 'fights' are won before they start, and aggressors will back down if you maintain eye contact and are not intimidated by them."

Is it all right for me to fight back if it causes trouble ?

Take Control Of Your Safety

You control your safety and self defense. Don't allow yourself to become the victim of violent crime when taking precautionary steps can keep you safe and help you escape a dangerous situation. Start by being alert and attentive to your surroundings. It is also a good idea to take training on self defense techniques or a self defense weapon. Don't quit fighting the attacker. According to Aware.org, "Women who fight back are injured less often, are more successful in stopping the attack, regardless of what kind of attack it is, and feel better about themselves afterward." Even if you escape your attacker, go immediately to authorities to report the incident. This could be the one thing that keeps the attacker from victimizing another woman.

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Tammi Reynolds