'You don't have to be polite': Could you fight off an attacker?

Sylvia Cranston and Leslie Peterson helped to create the women’s self-defense program.

EUGENE, Ore. - There has been a surge of stories in the news as women come forward about sexual assault.

Many times this type of violence is committed by someone the victim knows.

Other times the attacker is a complete stranger.

RELATED | Man with hammer threatened woman, sexually assaulted her

In Eugene, RMA Martial Arts & Fitness holds many different self-defense training workshops to learn how to prevent an assault.

They focus on areas such as situational awareness, learning not to freeze and ways to fight off an attacker.

Sylvia Cranston and Leslie Peterson helped to create the women’s self-defense program.

"At the very worst, if there is an attacker, face that attacker, don't be afraid to look them in the eye," Cranston said. "You don't have to be polite. If they're coming up behind you, turn around and look at them: 'I see you there, I can handle myself, I've identified you'. That my prevent an attack."

Reporter Kristin Goodwillie goes through a self-defense training scenario to simulate an attack on a running trail. The tips a self-defense expert taught her that could save your life.

Some Self Defense Tips

  • Have situational awareness- awareness is key, it helps prevent the freeze. If you can see it coming you have more awareness/time to avoid and/or prevent freeze.
  • Distance is your friend- for a predator to attack, they’ll need to get close to you.
  • Own your space-if someone is coming up behind you, look back at them, you don’t need to be polite.
  • Go for the eyes and throat-those soft targets are key in an attack.
  • Terminate the threat, don’t punish- you want to fight an attacker off and if you have an opening, take it. Do not stay and fight.
  • Invest in yourself: there are things you can do to protect/invest in yourself and your safety. Some of those include taking self-defense classes, running in multiples, making eye contact with an attacker, having as many sensory tools available as possible, knowing your route, avoiding certain areas where an attacker may hide or where you might not be able to be seen by others and running with self-defense tools that you are comfortable using.
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