Victim's Options
5th Option: Fighting -
Self Defense for Women

Fighting is the 5th of the 5 Victim's Options. If threatened, strategic self defense for women is: don't wait to be attacked. But how do you know for sure if someone is truly threatening you?

Renowned security expert Gavin de Becker wrote in “The Gift of Fear” that when someone makes an unsolicited approach, and your intuition senses doubt or suspicion, you’ve got all the information you need. You don’t need to wait until you receive a substantial blow to the head before defending yourself.

If you can’t flee, outsmart, or posture, and you fear the gamble of surrendering, then only one of the victim's options remains: fighting.


Fight only in true self defense, with only enough force to allow your (or another victim's) safe escape. Don't fight for "honor" or out of anger.

There are two rules if a victim must fight for her life: never fight fair and never give up. Fight only with the will to win no matter what. Remember that some criminals are relentless. It all comes down to whose will to win is greater. You must be ruthless – the dirtier the better – when you must do or die! See PSYCHO PSYCHING in Stress Control - Optimal Mindset.

How to fight is taught in Fighting Options - Overview.

For now, the important points for a potential victim to consider are:

• If you do decide to fight – and initiate the violence – will you anger him and regret starting the violence? There’s no way to know. Sure, fighting back might get you killed, but so could surrender. Ask yourself, “Am I in imminent danger and unable to escape?” If the answer is “Yes,” then surprise-attack him first – thereby gaining the crucial advantage of acting rather than reacting. Then be ready for a possibly long, drawn-out fight.

• Use the extremely effective Fighting Options - Sucker Punch.

• If you do decide to fight, act as soon as possible. Time quickly works against you; your chances are as good as they’re going to get when the crime starts. Immediately give up your property to a robber, and then escape. Almost always, do anything to avoid being bound, imprisoned, or moved to a more isolated location (see Survival Options - Kidnapping). Hesitating to fight for your life may well be the last mistake you’ll ever make.

• Act when the attacker is talking. An attacker doesn't normally make a move in mid sentence, so get him to talk, then Sucker Punch him and run.

• Even if you’re injured, never give up the fight for your life. When it’s time to “Do or die!” you’d better do. Stress Control - Wounded examines the fear of being punched, stabbed, or shot and how surviving a serious injury is often a matter of willpower. A crisis is hopeless only if you give up hope (see HOPE IS KEY at Stress Control - Willpower.)

Also see SET YOUR BOUNDARIES at Outdoor Safety - Facing Danger. Also see Self Defense Techniques.


Deter a predator - beforehand - by holding Pepper Spray & a Personal Security Alarm (noisemaker or screamer) in plain sight. And those pages tell you how to most effectively use them when needed.

After Escaping – Immediately Call the Police

Please note that I am NOT an attorney. I suggest that you ask your attorney if the following advice applies to you and the laws where you live:

If you had hurt the criminal while defending yourself, make sure the police don't mistake you for the criminal (they often make false assumptions then cling to them forever). And don’t let the trauma of defending your life tempt you to talk with foolish bravado about hurting him. Instead, make it clear that s/he attacked you and that you were only defending yourself.

Beyond that, shut your mouth! – except to ask to be taken to a hospital. The adrenaline of the attack might mask your injuries. Make sure the doctors document and photograph all your injuries.

Say nothing more until you speak to an attorney or a counselor from a rape crisis center. Make no written or taped statements without your attorney present – even though you’re innocent. Criminals often cleverly twist the truth to blame the victim, and eyewitnesses are notoriously inaccurate. Realize that you’ve been traumatized and may not correctly remember details for several days. Changing details later may make you appear deceptive. Also see To Help Solve a Crime in Outdoor Safety - Spotting Danger.

Crime-Safety-Security > Victims Options Overview > Fighting

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