If You Are Attacked

  • If you are grabbed, don't freeze or panic. Breathe deeply to calm yourself, then try to get attention. Yell loudly and repeatedly. Try shouting words like FIRE, HELP, NO and STOP. Blow a whistle, push a personal safety alarm, bang on something noisy. Be loud and persistent.
  • If there is anyone near by, give them instructions to help you. Single out someone and send them for help - "You, in the red jacket, call the police!" This will encourage bystanders to help when they might not know what action to take.
  • If an attacker is after your purse, let it go.
  • If you decide to fight back, remember there are many effective ways of responding to each type of attack. Prepare yourself to fight back, do whatever feels right to you. Try to imagine yourself responding successfully to different types of attack situations. Practice taking deep breaths to keep calm. Self-defense courses can teach you valuable skills and help you learn about vulnerable parts on the body, but the best defense is to be vigilant and ready to respond.
  • Take advantage of any weapons you might have. Keys, a purse, an umbrella or a comb may all be effective weapons. Be observant and aware of your surroundings.
  • Only you can decide how you will respond to an attack and how to respond if the attacker has a weapon. Use whatever force you feel is necessary to escape the situation. Be ready to take the first opportunity to take action and get away.