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Victim recalls self defense training, fights “tooth and nail”

July 1, 2010

When a knife-wielding sexual predator gets you in his cross-hairs, the last place you want to be is walking alone in the Australian bushlands.

image of australiaYet that’s what a 29-year-old female faced two days ago when the assailant casually approached, asking for directions.

As soon as she opened her mouth to reply, he punched her in the head and face and knocked her to the ground, wrapping his hands around her throat.

The next few words from the predator set off her survival instinct: “If you struggle, I will kill you.”

Threats such as this are a common tool of the predator. They want what they came for, and they don’t want to fight for it.

Many women comply with the threat and are raped, beaten or killed.

The decision to fight when someone threatens your life is a deeply personal one. Victims must use their best instinct, but they should also know that they have a better chance of avoiding the rape if they fight back both verbally and physically.

Suzanne over at Women’s Self-Defense has compiled a good set of statistics from authoritative sources. According to the research, if a woman complies with a threat, she is virtually guaranteed to be raped. But if she uses self-protective measures, such as forceful verbal resistance and physical resistance, her odds of getting away improve dramatically.

And remember, these stats are derived from the general population of victims, the vast majority of whom are not trained in self defense.  You have to assume that physical resistance will be even more effective if the victim is properly trained.

The 29-year-old Australian had taken self defense classes in school. She was being assaulted by a man with a knife. In the middle of nowhere. He threatened her life. And her assessment of the situation was sobering.

She told police: “I immediately thought, ‘He’s going to kill me anyway. I’ve got to fight tooth and nail.'”

She screamed and fought back, suffering a beating and knife wounds that required surgery to repair.

But she got away.

She will wake up tomorrow morning with the rest of us. Her physical wounds will heal. And she was not raped.

Attack reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.


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