Should You Resist a Violent Attack?


Greg Ellifretz over at Active Response Training has a fascinating post today about the topic of resistance by victims of violent crimes. Greg takes a good look at the available research and concludes that, while each person must make their own decisions about whether, and how, to resist in any given assault, the standard advice that “the criminal won’t hurt you if you do what he says” is almost certainly wrong.

I’d like to quote part of Greg’s post, and then I’d like to talk about something he doesn’t discuss in detail: The empowerment that comes from fighting back, whether or not it increases the physical injury.

Greg writes:

Almost all studies show that resistance is successful in preventing the completion of a personal crime. This holds true in rape, robbery, and assault. Resistance is an especially effective tactic in preventing most rapes. A woman who physically resists a rapist doubles her chance of escaping rape.

Another study asked resisting victims of violent crimes whether their resistance helped or hurt their situations. The responding victims overwhelmingly stated that resistance helped them in the majority (63%) of cases. This statistic holds true for all of the crimes examined (rape, robbery, and assault). Resistance only hurt their situations about 9% of the time.

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“Stop-n-Rob” Safety, and Risk Assessment

Ben Branam at Modern Self-Protection has a great post up about avoiding robbery at convenience stores, which he refers to as “Stop-n-Robs”. This is not far from the truth – “convenience store worker” is consistently among the more dangerous jobs out there. Especially for night shift workers. I know a woman who used to work in such a place who was raped and stabbed by a would-be robber early one morning. Robberies are commonplace, and I know of at least one shooting locally that took place in such a store.

I especially liked Ben’s suggestion to play the “what-if” game.He explains:
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Women, Rape, Guns and More of My Story

While surfing the Net tonight, I came across an absolutely terrific Web site called RebeccaGuns. The blogger (Rebecca) is a blogger, shooter, and partner in a holster-making company specializing in gear for women. She has lots of good stuff to say, and you should definitely check out her blog.

While I was reading, I came across a post titled “Women, Guns and Sexual Assault” that was so well done, I just had to comment. And in order to do so, I’m rethinking an earlier decision I made here. I’m going to share more of my story, more of the details of my own encounter with violence, because this topic is just too important not to talk about. I do so with some trepidation, because I know some people from my “real life” read this blog, but…as I said, this is too important not to talk about.

So, if you’re the squeamy type, you might want to read Rebecca’s post but not follow the “continue reading” link here. If you’re okay with reading difficult stuff for the sake of being better prepared, I’ll see you on the other side of the jump.

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