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How to Get Away from an Attacker

Updated on July 18, 2012

Copyrighted by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved. Some photos are under CC under Share and share alike. October 24, 2011


The Attack

Society has changed tremendously since I was a small child. Every time I check the local news, there is another murder, another missing person, or another sexual crime. The sad fact is the majority of these crimes are committed by people the victims knew. Currently, I am following several local sexual crime stories. The following list includes the role of authority these people play in children's lives: a foster care worker who ran a boys' home, a pastor from a church, an athletic coach, a teacher whose wife is a city commissioner, and a few years back, a youth pastor in the town I live in was charged with sex crimes.

Yes, we need to be cautious and pay attention to our surroundings, especially if we are alone. Attacks can happen at the hands of a stranger, whether it be in the form of sexual assault, a mugging, or a robbery.

What is more disturbing is the number of attacks that happen at the hands of people we know. Domestic violence is not a stranger to many households. Children are being molested by family members, church friends, and even their athletic coach. It is imperative for people to understand why these are the worst attacks because there is a major violation of trust. The basic fundamentals of childhood should include being able to trust the adults in authority in their lives. Unfortunately, this is not the type of world we live in.

And, no matter who the attacker is, they have no right to victimize anyone. The victim has every right to defend themselves, in whatever manner they have to.



There is no guarantee that the following methods will always work. The point of these tactics is to cause your attacker to pause and think for a few seconds. Sometimes, a few seconds is all a victim needs to escape. If the following tactics do not help a victim evade their attacker, then my suggestion is to fight back as hard as you can in hopes to get away. Some people may not suggest doing that as it puts the victim's life in danger. But, I will not going down quietly. If an attacker assaults me, I am going to fight back with my life.

1) Offer an unusual scenario for the attacker. "I have AIDS!" That comment might cause an attacker to back off quickly. The victim can use anything in place of that, herpes, hepatitis, or any other disorder that is sexually transmitted and has no cure. Or, the victim can act crazy, as if they suffer from some severe mental disorder. Many scenarios could work, but the point of them is to cause the perpetrator to pause, hopefully giving the victim time to escape. This is a tactic for the victim to try before physically defending themselves.

2) S.I.N.G. The above video is an excellent self-defense video, but I suggest practicing this before using it. It could be difficult to remember these four steps if they have never been practiced. This method is extremely useful when the attacker grabs the victim from behind.

3) Physical defense. When an attacker has a physical hold on the victim and they are unable to escape, they can consider other methods of physical assault against their attacker that will immobilize him. Gouging out the attacker's eyes, punching or grabbing his throat aggressively, kneeing, kicking, or punching him in the testicles, or hitting him in both ears at the same time. Any of these examples might drop the attacker to his knees, giving the victim time to run.

4) Scream "FIRE" loudly. Sometimes, bystanders are afraid to get involved in a physical attack because they fear they could get hurt. However, when people hear, "FIRE!" they are more willing to come running to help. This was an interesting method I learned in a victims' advocate training I enrolled in a few years ago.

5) Buddy system. If at all possible, a victim should try to have another person with him or her if it is possible. For example, if I want to go to the bar on the weekend, it is an excellent idea to take a friend. The buddy system is an asset when a potential victim is in a position of greater risk of assault.

Have you ever been attacked or sexually assaulted?

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Final Thoughts

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been assaulted or raped, report it as soon as possible to the police. If a rape has occurred, save your clothing for forensics, and do not shower or douche. The police will need the clothing for DNA evidence, along with the evidence produced from a rape kit. Do NOT avoid reporting the crime to authorities. If you do not report it, then you are enabling your attacker to continue attacking other innocent people.

For more information, check out my other articles:

Sexual Abuse: Get the Facts

Also, a story about a child who endured child sexual abuse:

Victim of a Senseless Crime: Part 1

Victim of a Senseless Crime: Part 2

Victim of a Senseless Crime: Part 3

Victim of a Senseless Crime: Part 4

Victim of a Senseless Crime: Part 5

Victim of a Senseless Crime: Part 6


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    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 5 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Thanks agusto! Your comments are appreciated. We see assaults and attacks on victims all the time on the news. Anything that can give a victim power to protect themselves is beneficial.

    • agsuto profile image

      Agus Sutanto 5 years ago from Indonesia

      I love number three and I believe physical-defense is the best way. Further, allow me to introduce my favorites.

      1.) Parkour - The Art of Free Running

      This stuff works if you must deal with more than 2 opponents. You don't need to be a professional, some moves are easy to be learned. And I believe you can find parkour community in US.

      2.) Martial Arts

      A few of my friends - Most of them are women - learn Jiujitsu and Aikido. They aren't athletes, they just a casual person like us. They don't learn until details, but they showed some moves to me. And I said " just hurt my arm". I believe there are many Jiujitsu and Aikido schools in US. So, why don't you try to learn? At least, some basic moves.

    • Ahydz profile image

      Ahydz 5 years ago from Philippines

      Very informative hub! Very useful. Voted up!

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 5 years ago from USA

      Great Hub Jen. I, too, worked as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. You have a gift for opening dialog on a subject that is difficult for many people to discuss. Great work.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      great tips, thank you... and what a scary picture!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      The best defense is a course in armed self defense. In fact, wherever citizens can legally carry a concealed firearm, crime falls dramatically. During the early nineties, a wave of carjackings stopped almost overnight in Houston when an intended victim shot and killed his attacker.

      Unarmed self defense is better than nothing, but typically, a small woman is no match for a larger man...unless she is armed and trained.

      Very good points, JenJen!

    • rochelj profile image

      rochelj 6 years ago from USA

      It is so important for people to know how to escape an attacker or fight back. This is something that we should all be taught. Thank you for this. Voted up and sharing.

    • vasantha  T k profile image

      vasantha T k 6 years ago from Bangalore

      Good useful tips for self defense.Jen Jen thanks for following me.Your topics are really helpful to women. voted useful

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 6 years ago from Greece

      My Granny always told me to never give in without a fight. So right she was. Your hub was informative and women should take note.

    • anjperez profile image

      anjperez 6 years ago

      voted up useful!

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 6 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      You are welcome Green Lotus. I would rather lose my life fighting for my honor than to give in and give someone what they want.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks for these very useful defense methods. Few of us feel compelled to take a self-defense class unless we have had a narrow escape. These simple reminders do make me feel a bit more in control.

    • Abby Lysach profile image

      Abby Lysach 6 years ago from Singapore

      Nice hub... But, you're right... Point 4 -->Scream "FIRE" loudly!... It's frustating idea and definitely could attract anyone attention. Who's not afraid of fire? ;-P

      Thanks for sharing :-)

    • craftybegonia profile image

      craftybegonia 6 years ago from Southwestern, United States

      Excellent hub. I have a friend who was raped, she was grabbed on her way home. ANYTHING that might help to prevent an attack is worth knowing.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      An excellent hub and good advice, thank you for sharing.

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 6 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Diogenes, that is a very good idea. I am usually always in tennis shoes, so that never crossed my mind. Carrying pepper spray or a silent alarm could help protect a potential victim, too. Thanks for the posts all.

    • Admiral_Joraxx profile image

      Admiral_Joraxx 6 years ago from Philippines

      Nice post, very useful information here. It's really one of the most feared circumstances most specially for girls. 1 vote up.

    • K H Camp profile image

      K H Camp 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Good hub. These are useful tips, thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      Hi JJ: Thanks for following me, I like being stalked by lovely ladies! A woman friend of mine says she always wears sneakers when going to her car or other dark and potentially dangerous places at night, so she can run fast if necessary. It must be so frustrating being a weaker person and facing male aggresion...Bob