What Makes You A Target? Debunking the Myth
There are many myths revolving around self-defense. One in particular is a common belief that an attacker chooses a target because of their clothes or how they wear their hair. For example, it is believed attackers are looking for a female with long hair in a ponytail that would be easy to grab.
The truth is that they are looking for an easy target. Someone they can catch off guard and easily manipulate. Someone who looks like they won’t fight back. We have all heard about the importance of being aware of your surroundings.
It goes without saying that you should avoid things like:
- Walking in public while looking at your phone
- Allowing yourself to be easily distracted
- Keeping your head down
- Wearing headphones
However, being aware of yourself is often over-looked, but extremely important. Just the way you carry yourself can deter an attack. Below are several tips to avoid looking like an easy target or potential victim:
- Walk tall and confident. Keep your head up, shoulders back, and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with those around you. Making eye contact means a potential attacker knows he/she can’t take you by surprise.
- Own your personal space. Don’t allow anyone to get too close to you or stop you. If someone tries to stop you asking for the time, keep your distance and don’t stop moving. You can still be polite and answer or simply tell them you don’t know. Whatever you do, don’t allow them to stop you. It allows them to take control of the space and shows how easy it might be to manipulate you.
- Get angry. If you feel you are in a potentially dangerous situation, or someone is making you feel uncomfortable/threatened, get angry. You have every right to be angry if you feel threatened. Let the attacker know you are someone who will put up a fight.
Remember, an attacker wants an easy target. Someone who already looks defeated and won’t put up a fight. Someone who can easily be caught unaware and manipulated. By taking control of yourself and owning your space confidently, you are in charge of any situation and can challenge anyone who threatens you.
These are just a few tips to help keep you safe. To learn more I encourage anyone to grab a friend or two and take a martial arts class (Karate International has classes for ages 3 and up and for all levels) or attend one of our Take Control Self-Defense classes.
Melissa teaches karate, jujitsu, and self-defense at Karate International. Being an independent female who enjoys traveling and doing activities on her own, she realized the importance and freedom of knowing how to protect herself. Her extensive studies in karate, jujitsu, judo, and Iaido, paired with her background in performing arts, makes her classes not only informative but entertaining and fun as well. Melissa graduated from Meredith College in 1999 with a music degree and has had the privilege to return to Meredith College as an adjunct instructor to teach Karate and Take Control Self Defense. Her students find the warrior in themselves, but also discover a base of supportive and encouraging peers.
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