Self-defense is an important skill that you will hopefully never have to use. If you ever do need to use self-defense to protect yourself, it's vital that you be prepared.
Not everything is like it seems in the movies. It is not easy to fend off an attacker and escape unharmed. It takes many important skills, some of which you will learn in this article.
An attacker is not necessarily a bad guy who jumps out from the bushes or from under a parked car. An attacker could be someone you know.
Appear confident and strong. Attackers look for kids they think they can easily overpower. If you hold your head high, remain aware of your surroundings, you will not seem like a victim. Being confident isn't the same as looking aggressive. Just make sure your body language shows that you are secure.
Follow your gut instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, then get out of that situation.
If someone is getting too close to you, take a step back and tell the person to leave you alone. Make noise so others around you know that there is a problem. It is better to be safe than sorry. Yell for help and be bold. Your safety is the most important thing.
If you think that someone is following you, don't go home. If you are walking around the block, turn right three times (make a full circle) and see if the person is still following you. Keep moving and go somewhere safe, like a friend's house, a library, store or restaurant ―anywhere where there are other people.
Always carry a cell phone with you, even if it can just call 911. If you are in danger, call 911 and report your location and situation.
Listed below are some things you should do if an attacker physically confronts you.
- Yell loudly for help.
- Tell them to stop if a firm, calm voice.
- Get attention from others around you. Make a scene. Your safety is most important.
- If an attacker wants your wallet or purse, give it to them. You matter more than your things.
- Fight back. Use all of the power you have.
The world is mostly a safe place but not all of the time. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed to make a scene. Your safety is what matters most.
By Julia Ransohoff, high school student writer
Reviewed by the Web Content Committee of PAMF
Personal Safety and Self Defense for Children, Teens, and Adults of all Ages and Abilities, KidPower.org.