Let us take the lead
Intro: Ladies, it’s time to take charge. As long as she cowers and cries, a woman is considered weak. When in control, we all know she is powerful enough to accomplish anything.
We live in an increasingly violent society where personal safety has become an issue of prime importance, especially for women. Staying safe is akin to staying healthy, thus has to be accorded top priority. So let’s learn the tricks.
Self-defence is not only about kicking and blocking punches. True self-defence begins long before actual physical contact. It’s the art of caution.
When a girl learns to cook, the first thing she has to learn is to stay safe while playing with fire, literally. She manages to include certain basic precautions in routine chores, even something as simple as making tea. Hence, safety is primarily all about training yourself to make caution a habit.
Let’s look at some rudimentary things every woman should know about personal safety:
Alertness is the first line of defence. The first, and probably most important, component in self-defence is being alert: about yourself and your surroundings. If you can identify danger, you can deal with it. It’s disastrous only when the danger catches you unawares. A criminal’s primary advantage is the element of surprise. Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets who appear to be unaware of what’s going on around them.
Look confident. Confidence is a great deterrent. Sexual offenders target women who look scared and flustered.
Sixth-sense is our best friend. Many a times we tend to disregard it. But actually, our instinct senses danger sooner than our mind can. If something feels wrong, something is probably wrong. As they say, better safe than sorry.
Escape is always the best option. If you are approached or threatened by a potential attacker, do whatever it takes to get away. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away (even if he promises not to hurt you). And if the criminal is after your purse or other items, throw them one way while you run the other.
Self-defence training can teach you good tactics to thwart an attacker. The man may be stronger than you, but the trick lies in using your body to the maximum advantage and hit at his weakest spots. Also, it’s important to learn to think and act when faced with danger. Moreover, self-defence
training instills confidence. Identify the right self-defence training program. The Delhi Police, for example, conducts self-defence training camps for free.
When in a public place
You have the right to fight. Whether or not you have self-defence training, it is important to understand that you can and should defend yourself physically. Many women worry they will anger the attacker and get hurt worse if they defend themselves, but statistics show that your odds of survival are far greater if you fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second. Remember to use the element of surprise to your advantage – strike quickly, and mean business. You may only get one chance.
Fight like a wildcat, but show your anger not fear. A furious reaction often may stop an attack. An attacker usually looks for an easy victim.
Scream, yell or run away to safety. If you are in trouble or feel you are in danger, don't be afraid to attract help any way you can. Yelling is always a good deterrent. Here we have largely considered safety hazards women encounter in public places. Next, we will talk about what we can do to stay safe at home, school or office; with friends and family; in vehicles like car, bus, auto and taxi; while travelling; and on the internet.
Safety comes first. Always.
-Abha Khanna Gupta (The Writer is a senior Journalist and Social Worker)