1. Do not panic. Depending on how your attacker is holding you it may be hard to draw breath, try to stay calm and take stock of your situation;
2. Judge the distance between you and your assailant, do not try to punch him if he is clearly more than an arms length away from you – a kick would probably be more effective in this instance – and do not be afraid to get closer to him if it means your counter attack could be more effective;
3. If he has managed to get you onto the ground try to stand up if possible, this gives you more power, control and strength over the situation at hand;
4. If the opportunity arises to run, RUN. Do not stay and fight, your goal is to get away safely;
5. Regardless of a man's physical size or build, there are certain areas on his body that are very vulnerable and sensitive. A hard blow to any of these areas can cause fair to extreme pain which should lead to the focus of the attack moving away from you. The most important body target areas to remember are:
the throat and
the back of the neck;
6. If you are isolated with your attacker, for instance in a forest where you do not hear voices or music, or see any car lights, do not shout for help. Shouting will achieve nothing and could end up aggravating your attacker, prompting him to knock you out immediately to incapacitate you so you can't get away;
7. However, if you are in an area where there are some signs of activity, or you know that there are people close by, shouting could be an effective technique. It is also good to shout while you are executing your counter attack – this loud approach startles your attacker and makes it hard for him to concentrate and also energises and focuses you on the task at hand, it is also very empowering as a woman to shout loudly whilst exerting force (think karate students and tennis players);
8. Because of the risk of contracting AIDS, especially in South Africa, women should only bite as a last resort;
9. Once you have managed to hurt and distract your attacker do not stop there, it is essential to leave the scene of the crime immediately. RUN AWAY and call for help as soon as possible. Do not assume he will not follow you and try to resume the attack, and
10. Women are born with the gift of intuition – use it! If a situation feels wrong to you or someone makes you feel uncomfortable LEAVE. Don't worry about appearing rude or hurting someones feelings – your safety is paramount.
Are these tips helpful? Have anything to add? Tell us in our comment box below.
Sanette Smit is a 7th Dan Black Belt in Karate which makes her the highest graded woman in the world in karate. She teaches self defence and works with rape survivors. Sanette is sponsored by adidas.