What Can Women Do?
CAN I LEGALLY DEFEND MYSELF?
HOW CAN I EFFECTIVELY DEFEND MYSELF?
Table of Contents
· Canadian Law
· Verbal Self-defense
· Use Surprise
· Who Attacks?
· What Causes Attacks
· Worries about Paranoia
· What You CAN Do
· What about Physical Techniques
· Who gets hurt?
· Best Self-defense Strategy
WHAT DOES CANADIAN LAW SAY?
Yes! You Can Defend Yourself!
Section 34 of the Canadian Criminal Code states that you can use any reasonable force to defend yourself against attack. That has been defined by precedents in the law courts to mean that whatever actions you use that you think are necessary at the time of the attack, and which are intended to allow you to get away are considered "reasonable force".
SHOULD I USE VERBAL SELF-DEFENSE?
YES! Be Assertive. If you mean No, say No. Do not be surprised or confused if the creep doesn't seem to accept what you say. He may believe that when a woman says "no", she really means "yes", or he might believe that it means "maybe" or "wait awhile". Or he may not want to hear you. You may need to say NO louder or in other ways to get his attention.
However, if he doesn't leave you alone, then you may have to do more. You may need to remove yourself or use physical resistance to stop him.
SURPRISE CAN WORK FOR YOU!
You can be surprised, but that doesn't mean that you have lost. Most attacks go on for more than half an hour. If you are prepared to change with the situation, you may turn the tables and surprise him.
No matter how much he may know about attacking, he does not know what you can or will do. Your attacker cannot read your mind. He does not expect you to fight back effectively. He may expect you to cry, cringe, plead, or to scream and struggle. Attackers tend to pick on smaller and weaker people and believe that no woman is a match for them. In a fair fight, he may be right.
An assault is not fair. When you use self-defense effectively, by kicking him in the knee to dislocate the joint or some other physical technique, he will be the one who is surprised and incapacitated. Then, you escape.
WHO ATTACKS? WHERE DO ATTACKS OCCUR?
The majority of attackers are larger and stronger than the attackee. Your attacker will probably be male, but there is a possibility that they may be female. In more than three quarters of all attacks on women, the attacker is known to her. The most common place for an attack to happen is in a home - yours, his, or someone else's. The next most common place is in a motor vehicle. Lights and people inhibit the attacker, but attacks still happen in well lit areas and/or with people around.
WHAT CAUSES ATTACKS?
Your attacker's thoughts and emotions are the largest factor in an attack. He has a need to dominate and control you. The majority of assaults on women and children are planned well in advance.
Despite the mistaken idea that some women "ask" to be attacked, you cannot make someone attack you unless THEY decide to become aggressive or abusive.
What you wear, say, do, or where you are located has little to do with the attack, although it may offer an opportunity at the time or be used as an excuse later.
The attacker attacks because they want to and think that they will get away with it.
ARE YOU WORRIED THAT YOU ARE BEING PARANOID?
When you are uncomfortable in some situations or with some people, You Are Normal! In fact, the odds are that if you are nervous, there is an external reason for it even if you cannot identify it immediately.
We all read news items, see reports on TV and watch movies made about terrible incidents involving women and children. Your awareness of them may trigger nervousness in similar situations.
While some attacks are sudden and straightforward, many begin with gestures or behaviour that are calculated to test you, put you off guard, or to coerce you. He may be saying one thing and doing another. Pay attention to his behaviour as well as his words His previous good behaviour is not a guarantee that he won't attack you.
Your intuition or hunches are triggered by a heightened awareness of body language from the person with whom you are uncomfortable.
The safest thing that you can do is act on those hunches when they occur and extract yourself from that situation. It is easier to analyze a problem when you are not in the middle of it.
YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF!
Wenlido offers practical techniques to deal with verbal, physical and sexual assaults - in public, at social gatherings, at work, and at home.
Wenlido includes mental and physical exercise, breathing and meditation, in addition to releases and counter-attacks to physical aggression. Discussions on Awareness, Avoidance, Assertiveness, Sexual Assault, Women & Law, Battering, Aggression, and Verbal Defense are vital parts of the course.
The length of the Basic course makes it readily available to most women and children. With practise, these are useful for protection against aggression.
An advantage of this self-defense course is the emphasis on the socialization, conditioning and needs of women and children. It is taught by women and is open to all ages.
SHOULD I FIGHT BACK PHYSICALLY?
Some people express the opinion that women shouldn't try to defend themselves. We believe that is a choice each woman needs to make for herself.
Defending yourself starts with the same determination that most mothers feel in protecting their children. If someone told you that you shouldn't defend your three year old child, what would you think?
If we are willing to try and protect our children we can try and protect ourselves. Determination to succeed is a key factor in the decision to resist an attack. Thousands of women have defended themselves successfully. Most without ever taking a self-defense class.
Only you can make the decision to fight back or not. Even the choice of remaining passive is personally yours. You will decide what it best for you at that time.
A little knowledge is only dangerous when you think that it is a lot.
Anything that you learn can expand your horizons and increase your survival potential.
Studying self-defense gives you more options in avoiding or escaping an attack. You can maximize the possible strategies that you could choose to use.
ISN'T FIGHTING BACK DANGEROUS?
Not fighting back may be even more dangerous. 62% of sexual assault victims are injured in other ways during the assault.
Your chances of getting away dramatically increase the more active your strategies are. Verbal self defense is a good start. Even screaming and flailing your arms is more effective than cringing and pleading. Attempting to break his collarbone or punch him in the throat can increase your escape potential. The more strategies you use, the better.
Responding sooner improves your chances of escape. However whatever you choose to do, pick techniques that you are willing to follow through with. Deciding not to physically resist is an option. Only you can determine what is right for you at the time.
WHAT IS THE BEST SELF-DEFENSE STRATEGY?
We believe that the best strategy is to get away as soon as possible. It is very difficult to hurt you if you are not there. Studying self-defense gives you more options in avoiding or escaping an attack.
In twelve hours of training you will not become an "expert". You WILL discover your strengths and how to use them, as well as how to make informed decisions when you are threatened.
The mental aspects of self-defense are as important as the physical ones. In addition to physical techniques, each woman builds a feeling of self-determination and a belief in her own abilities to defend herself.
Many women have stated that the Wenlido program taught by W.E.S.T. has enabled them to be more active and self-confident. Instead of just being afraid of attacks, they are becoming aware of danger and ways of responding to it through their own discovered self-power.
You Are equipped to help yourself.
You CAN be effective.
You can SURVIVE.
Take a GOOD self-defense course and practise it well!
Phone: (604) 876-6390