Using Self Defense: When and Why?

Even though I’m strong believer of peace and I try very hardest be a pacifist, I do think using self-defense is extremely important however only when it is necessary. I remember when I was teaching a workshop, I asked the girls what do they do when they’re being attacked by somebody. One of the girls replied, “You beat them up.” Even though I did appreciate her sincere effort on answering the question, that wasn’t exactly the answer I was looking for. You use self defense only when you need to defend yourself because you are in harm/danger. The main purpose is to get away from the attacker. It is a very unwise decision to hurt somebody who was attacking and continue to hurt them even though you have a perfectly good chance to get away. This is wrong for many reasons: a) You’re making the attacker even more angry so they’re going to be more aggressive which means it’s going to be harder to fight them and b) You have a perfectly good opportunity to get away from them which is your main purpose!

Now then, when should you resort to self defense and when should you not? Well consider the following points.

  1. If somebody is approaching you and you feel like you’re in danger, tell the person to get away from you and to leave alone. They may just want to talk to you and not hurt you.
  2. If they ignore and still advance towards you, then scream and try to run. Screaming will alert people around you and you shouldn’t hurt them because they haven’t done anything bad yet.
  3. If they touch you, try to force themselves on you, attack you, then this is when you use self defense. Try your hardest to get away from them. Use your resources. Try to cause some temporary damage in the places where they are sensitive. When you are doing this, scream and try to get away! 
  4.  Something that is unfortunately looked over is the part where victims or could-of-been victims get help. Unfortunately, a lot of victims don’t report abuse, harassment, or assault. To me, I find this extremely important. The attacker may keep on trying to terrorize other people and the police can put a stop to it altogether if you tell them.

There is a fine line between self defense and well just violence. One could turn into the other in the matter of seconds. The path you choose is your choice.

© 2014, Kriti S.. All rights reserved.

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