09/07/2012: "Read beyond the article"
When you see reports in the news of men or women successfully defending themselves in a situation, read the article carefully, and see what other points you may be able to draw from it. (There isn't always enough information in the article, but sometimes there is.)
For example, here is an article about a woman successfully defending herself against an attacker. While she did a number of things right - and drove away the attacker - what other factors can you see that might have affected the attacker's ability to attack her, and hers to respond?
She did several things correctly:
- she was jogging in a well-trafficked, public area
- she fought her attacker
- she avoided being taken to a secondary location (the bushes), away from witnesses
- she made noise, which would draw the attention of passersby
- she sought help from a bystander after the attacker fled, but did not get into his car
Additional points in the article which could be taken into consideration:
- What was the date and time of the attack? (What are things like at that time of day?)
- What of her personal items were recovered at the scene of the attack? (Was there anything which might have contributed to the attacker being able to surprise her?)
- What help did she seek after the attack? (Should she have allowed a stranger to follow her home? Might there have been a better course of action?)
The best thing is that the woman came away relatively unscathed - she fought off the attacker, and he fled. That is the desired outcome.
When you see an article like this - or you or a friend are in a situation (it doesn't have to be an attack, it could be someone who needs their car jumped etc.) - think about what you might do in a similar situation - and what you might not do. If you were (e.g.) asked for help by someone, is there something you might do differently the next time? There might not be. But it's always a good thing to review your options.