In today’s world, understanding self-defense is as important as ever, especially for women. From traveling alone for business to using ride share services like Uber or Lyft, many abusers and perpetrators of sexual assault can commit heinous crimes and acts of violence against women. However, women across can protect themselves if they are in a dangerous situation by keeping certain self-defense moves in their toolboxes.
#1: The Straight Punch
This move is one of the most foundational and effective self-defense moves you could know. To throw a powerful punch, identify your dominant hand. Clench your fist so that your thumb is on the outside of your knuckles, and focus on using your middle and index fingers to hit your attacker — these fingers have the most punching power.
Turn your hip and shoulder so that your dominant hand is in the back. Push from the ball of your foot and thrust your fist, hip, and shoulder forward toward your attacker. Use your middle and index finger for the most power, and try aiming for a vulnerable area such as the eyes, throat, or nose. By building momentum in your hips and shoulders, you can deliver an even more powerful punch than you could otherwise.
#2: The Kick to the Groin
The groin is a sensitive area for all people, regardless of gender — and you can use this move to your advantage if you have a clear shot to this area. To perform the groin kick, you will need to build up the same momentum and force as the straight punch.
First, use your hips to raise up your dominant leg. Make sure you bend your knee and keep your heel back. To deliver the kick, extend your leg with full force and hit the groin of your attacker with the top of your foot.
The wide surface area of the top of your foot is more likely to have an impact than hitting with the side or tip. After kicking, move your leg back as quickly as possible so that the attacker cannot grab you and gain the upper hand.
#3: The Elbow Strike
Sometimes, you are not in a position where you can gain enough momentum and force to fight your attacker, and you need to act quickly. In these situations, the elbow strike can help you get to safety. The elbow is one of the hardest points on our bodies, and while it might not pack as much force as other areas, it can still cause some damage.
Before you strike, keep your core and legs as stable as possible so you do not lose balance. Bend your arm, shift your weight forward, and use your elbow to repeatedly strike vulnerable parts of your attacker’s body — the throat, chin, temples, and jawline are good targets. If the attacker lets go of you, you can run away.
#4: Escape from the Bear Hug
One common move that male attackers use on female targets is the bear hug, where the attacker wraps his arm around a woman from behind and uses that force to hold her down. If you find yourself stuck in a bear hug attack, these moves can help you escape.
First, bend forward from your waist to shift your weight; this will make it more difficult for the attacker to hold onto you. Next, bend your dominant elbow and thrust it into your attacker. This should give you the space you need to twist out of the bear hug and turn to face your attacker. You can throw another punch to the face or use your knee to hit his groin, causing him to let go and enabling you to run away.
If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, you can use these self-defense moves to get away from the perpetrator and seek help. However, grappling with the aftermath of a violent crime can be difficult, including sexual assault. After an assault, you can seek justice against a perpetrator by contacting law enforcement and a sexual assault attorney as soon as possible. Your Lyft sexual assault attorney can help guide you through the criminal and civil court processes, helping you understand your legal options so that you can begin your healing and recovery.