Growing up I was always taught manners were important, I think this is true of most Canadian households. Little things like holding a door for someone, saying thank you or giving up your seat on the bus to someone who needs it more are ingrained polite gestures that really help to keep society running smoothly.

However, there are some that would mistake politeness for permission. How many women have ever been approached, or spoken to in a way that makes them uncomfortable? Probably many! Perhaps this has happened in the workplace, at school or when you are out with friends. What do you do when you get that “feeling”? Too often I think the answer is nothing.

Many women do not want to make a fuss, or draw embarrassing attention to themselves, so instead they stay silent and hope the pursuer will go away. Traditionally we have been called the “weaker sex” and socialized to be more passive than men. Women are often expected to be polite and not make trouble, which can sometimes lead to them not standing up for themselves.

Being polite does not give anyone permission to take advantage of you. Sometimes, I have learned, you need a direct approach for your safety. If you ever feel you are at risk; don’t worry about being polite. Perhaps drawing attention to yourself may be the very thing that stops an attack from happening. Do not stay silent. Your voice can be a powerful deterrent. Use it!

Don’t be afraid to say NO or tell someone to leave you alone in a LOUD voice. Use a strong no nonsense tone to send the message. You have the right to stand up for yourself and feel safe.

The self-defence technique I have chosen today is an in-line wrist grab, this is a very common action to be grabbed and pulled forwards. There are several key points in each picture.

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Grab

• The attacker is reaching out doing an in-line wrist grab. Left hand grabbing right or right hand grabbing left.
• You are being pulled towards the attacker off balance.

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Distract

• Go with the pulling momentum of the attacker and knee them in the groin.
• You are using the strength of the attackers pull to give your own strike more force.

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Turn

• Turn your hand palm up
• Keep your fingers open
• Begin to pull away from the attackers body

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Escape

• Continue pulling until your hand is free from the grasp of the attacker
• You are pulling across your own body
• If needed you can use both your hands to pull away

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Strike

• Using the hand that has just escaped, strike and/or grab the back of the attackers neck

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Knee

• Pull down with your hand
• At the same time bring your right knee up to strike the attackers face

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Finish

• Finish with an elbow with your left arm to the attackers head.
• This is a downwards strike.

All movements must be performed with speed and power for maximum effectiveness. Remember, this is not a time to be polite! Be strong, assertive and stand up for yourself. After you successfully escape the attackers grab, leave immediately. Your only objective is to stop the attack and get to safety.

 

Don’t be a victim. Be confident. Be prepared!