Yesterday, a woman in the San Diego community of Fallbrook was attacked while jogging. She was pushing her child in a baby jogger, enjoying a trail near a park. A man armed with a knife jumped out of some bushes, attacked the woman, and sexually assaulted her.
Our hearts goes out to the victim. Below is an attempt to put the attack into context. It is not intended to minimize the seriousness of the attack in any way.
Being assaulted is a very traumatic event. “Assailant jumps out of a bush” cases tend to receive tremendous amounts of news coverage, as yesterday’s case received on San Diego 10 News, The San Diego Union Tribune, Fox News, and other news outlets.
However, we must realize that most sexual assaults do not involve armed people jumping out of bushes. According to the studies by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (such as the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey):
- 85% of sexual assaults involve assailants who are known to the victim (including acquaintances met at parties, bars, etc., in the hours leading to the attack)
- 50% of attacks occur in residences
- At least 90% of the time, no weapon is used
- Be vigilant to your surroundings. The biggest culprit here is our smart phone which, unabated, “sucks” us away from our immediate surroundings.
- Fight back!!!! The biggest myth is that you have to cooperate with an assailant. This is a fallacy. Most assailants are opportunistic, and your resistance will persuade the assailant to leave you alone and seek an easier victim.
- Use all of your available weapons:
- Your voice — to be assertive, and to summon help
- Finger pokes
- Palm strikes
- Foot stomps
- Knee kicks
- Aim for vital targets:
- Throat / Adam’s Apple
- Other targets, although not vital, can also be highly effective: finger and other small joints, nose, skin, etc.
- Keep fighting!!! Fight back even if the assailant has a weapon, hits you, or tries to physically dominate. Keep fighting until you break loose! Never stop!
- Ran away to safety – run toward people
- Report to police, and seek support. Less than 10% of sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement. This allows perpetrators to continue attacking new victims. Help stop future attacks by reporting what happened to you!
If you attended a self defense workshop, practice the techniques you learned. You probably noticed that with a little training, the amount of power you can generate, and your accuracy has improved tremendously. Keep practicing. For more in-depth training, we recommend Okinawan Karate, a martial art which, over hundreds of years, has perfected unarmed self defense.