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What should I do if I think I am in danger of being attacked?

Being Attacked In Public

Chris McGoey (President, McGoey Security Consulting) gives expert video advice on: What should I do if a predator demands my purse or wallet?; What should I do if a predator tries force me into a car? and more...

What should I do if I think I am in danger of being attacked?

There's a whole list of options and it really has to do with "What are you capable of?". You compare a little old lady who's very frail, not going to be able to run, not going to be able to fight, so her options are very, very limited; contrast that to a young, athletic person who could run, who could fight, who could scream, who could resist, who could be really a lot of trouble to a predator, they're on both ends of the spectrum. If you could fight back, many assailants want to do with someone who's going to fight because they're used to approaching and being scary and everyone just caves in and complies. Sometimes the slightest bit of resistance is all that's necessary to fend them off. But it eally goes back to planning and preparation: Are you in shape? Do you have the training? Have you rehearsed, have you practiced? Do you have a family plan? Something that's going to increase your options so when you're out in public you have a choice and you're more likely to do the right thing to protect yourself.

What should I do if someone who seems drunk or on drugs approaches me?

If someone approaches you who is intoxicated then you have a dilemma. You don't want to be unfriendly, but truthfully, you'd rather not engage with this person. Not making eye contact in that scenario works well, as does avoiding the person, stepping around them or going the other direction. While the latter may seem simplistic it often makes it clear that you don't give that person a chance to engage with you. That's my advice in those situations: don't initiate dialogue, don't make eye contact and physically avoid them.

What should I do if a predator demands my purse or wallet?

Part of the family plan is to photocopy the contents of your purse. Along with this, you should make notes of all phone numbers you need with regard to cancelling cards. If you do get approached by someone demanding your purse, you can minimize your losses by immediatly notifying the appropriate companise that the cards have been stolen. If someone confronts you and wants your money, take out the money and you drop it on the ground, then turn around and go in the other direction as fast as you can. The robber is primarily after your money, he will prioritize this and give you a chance to escape and remove yourself from any possible danger.

If I am attacked is it better to resist or act passive?

The best option is to keep thinking, use your best judgment and consider whether you run or fight back. Be aware of the situation and surroundings you are in, this is also very important.

What are the most effective self-defense techniques to thwart an attack?

If you have one shot at self-defence, if you only have one shot, the two most vulnerable areas are the nose and the throat. If you need to disable someone for a couple of seconds while you turn around and escape, you hit the tip of the nose with the butt of your hand. It's a straight jab right into the nose; you hit it so hard, like you want to drive that bridge of their nose up into their skull. It will blind the person, it will bring tears to the eyes, it will disorient the person, hurts like the devil, and it gives time for you to make an escape. That is your only goal; to get away. The other vulnerable area is the throat. Very, very delicate in the throat. Any type of contact between the web of your hand, the bridge of you hand, or the back of your hand; it doesn't have to be very strong because it's very, very delicate. Just a quick jab, or just a quick thrust to the throat will be enough to startle the person, to cause them to choke for just a couple of seconds; it's your chance to get out of there. Those are probably the two quickest things. The misnomer is that women are taught from birth for some reason to try to kick the man in the groin. I'm here to tell you that the most protected area on a man is their groin. It's very, very difficult to haul off and kick or knee a man in the groin; very, very difficult.

Can I thwart an attack with a weapon?

My belief is that anything that you carry in your handbag as a weapon is going to end up at the bottom of your purse, buried under a pile of other junk, and be essentially impossible to retrieve within the split second you need it. And in my experience, women that buy pepper spray canisters and carry them in their purse are down there amongst the lipsticks and the combs and the compacts and everything else, and they literally can't get it out. More women tell me that they end up spraying the inside of their purse with pepper spray than they actually get it out to use it. A weapon needs to be in your hand to be effective. Because I've got to tell you, I talk to a lot of victims, and 99.5% of all female victims I've spoken to never saw their attacker coming. So unless you got this device or weapon in your hand and you're hypersensitive, you're not going to get a chance to use it. You're not going to have time to go into your bag, retrieve it, activate it, open it, whatever you have to do, you're not going to have time to do it.

What should I do if a predator tries force me into a car?

There's a very important rule of thumb; never allow yourself to be forced into a car and taken to a second location. The second crime scene is always more violent than the first. Whatever you have to avoid being tied up, do it. Once you have been restrained, you are totally at the mercy of your captor. You should fight, kick and scream in order to avoid being restrained with ropes or ties and planning for these circumstances will help to lower the risk that it will happen.