Self defence for women (and everyone) is a basic skill we could all do with learning about.

The following points you should know about personal safety.

Awareness:  The first and probably most important, component in self-defence is awareness: awareness of yourself, your surroundings. Notice who may be walking behind you or on the other side of the street and keep them in your site if you feel vulnerable.   Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets who appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. By being aware of your surroundings and by projecting a confident presence, many altercations can be avoided.

Self-defense training. By practising a martial art and being in an environment where you are exposed to physical contact you can reduce your freeze time which gives you vital time to use a defence technique and get out of the situation. It also arms you with realistic techniques to use and to know what would work best for you should you have to use them.

Escape and draw attention: Always your best option. Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a window or car window – do whatever you can to attract attention. If the criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them one way while you run the other. Your life is not worth losing over a easily replaced item such as a bag or money.

Your right to fight. Whether or not you have self-defence training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you can and should defend yourself physically. Statistics show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second. Remember, though, to use the element of surprise to your advantage–strike quickly and mean business. You may only get one chance.