Victim's Options
2nd Option: Fleeing

Fleeing is the 2nd of 5 Victim's Options. But fleeing from a predator isn’t always the best of self defense strategies. Here are some possible complications:

• Do you have the stamina to run all the way to safety, wherever that may be? You don’t want to be exhausted if chased down by an attacker with more stamina. (You might have to first hurt him with a Sucker Punch (such as surprise-attack Finger-Whips to his eyes) – then flee.)

• A faster pursuer can easily shove you from behind and send you sprawling face-first and likely hurt you. So if a pursuer is nearing you, stop and face him to better defend yourself. Be ready to dodge him like a matador sidesteps a charging bull. Perhaps trip him as he passes and Heel-Stomp his foot or ankle, so he can't chase you further. (Stomp with the underside of your heel, and use all your body-weight to smash his foot or ankle.)

• Do you have a physical impairment (such as a bad knee) stopping you from running away? (Or if you're wearing high-heel shoes, kick them off so you can run faster.)

• You might be with a child or someone else you can’t abandon or carry in flight.

To summarize your victim's options: If you can flee, try to leave obstacles behind you in your wake by knocking things over to slow your pursuer (such as lamps or light furniture). Or run in circles around an object such as a parked car. If possible, and if you're skinny enough, get under a car (on your back) and hold onto the underside so he can’t drag you out. If he crawls under there after you, simply crawl out the other side.

If it’s too late to dodge a robbery or carjacking, surrender your valuables, then flee before the crime escalates to rape or kidnapping – in which case, perhaps, you’ll choose to fight to enable your flight.


When a criminal reaches for a gun, it usually looks like he's reaching for his wallet with one hand – either from his back pants pocket, rear waistband, or the inside front of his jacket. If the gun is tucked into his front waistband, he'll probably use two hands – one to lift his loose shirt that's been hiding the gun, the other to grab the gun. In any event, by the time he gets the gun into position to fire, you can be already running away in full stride.

Beyond extremely close range (0-3 feet is "point-blank range" and 3-9 feet is "close range"), handguns are very difficult to shoot accurately. According to Sanford Strong, retired San Diego police SWAT team instructor and author of “Strong on Defense,” police officers miss with 75 percent of close-range shots while criminals miss with 96 percent of close-range shots. And a moving target is even more difficult to hit.

Besides, according to J.J. Bittenbinder, Chicago police detective and author of “Tough Target,” U.S. Department of Justice statistics show there’s only a 12 percent chance that a robber will call attention to himself by firing a gun in a populated area (at any range) and only a 3 percent chance of hitting you fatally.

However, knives are more easily hidden, more quickly drawn, and have no “loudness deterrent” because they're silent. Still, throw down your wallet as you run away. For complete details, see Kidnapping and Kidnap Survival. Also see Personal Security Alarm (a.k.a. screamer or noisemaker) & Pepper Spray.

If fleeing is not a viable option, you must instead choose another of the victim's options: posturing, outsmarting, surrendering, or fighting.

Crime-Safety-Security > Victims Options Overview > Fleeing