Keeping the Girls Safe

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Self-defense is different for women, than it is for men. By and large, criminals are men, especially those who commit violent crimes. While there are women who are versed in martial arts and therefore able to defend themselves, those women are in a super-minority. Most women don’t have the skills or the strength to defend themselves, making them a more attractive target for criminals.

Fortunately, the number of women who are learning to use guns is on the rise, with more and more women obtaining concealed carry licenses and learning how to defend themselves. The gun has long been considered to be “the great equalizer,” and when it comes to women defending themselves against attack, it has definitely proven itself to fulfill that monicker.

If you’re a man and you can teach your wife and daughters to shoot, do so. But there’s more than teaching them to hold the gun and pull the trigger. You need to make sure that the women in your life will pull the trigger, if necessary. One of my daughters, who I have taught to shoot, has flatly stated that she will allow someone to kill her, before she will use a gun to defend herself. I don’t agree with her, but that’s her decision to make. My other daughter is the opposite, to the point where she asked me to give her and her new husband matching pistols as a wedding present.

There are a lot of women, like my one daughter, who won’t have anything to do with guns. Many are afraid of them. But even more, most women struggle with the idea of using deadly force to defend themselves. They might to protect their children; but that doesn’t mean they will do so to protect themselves. Trying to force these women to change their mind probably won’t work.

Yet they still need a means of defending themselves.

The various self-defense devices that are sold for unskilled people to use, especially tasers and pepper spray, aren’t very effective. The problem isn’t that they don’t work… they do. Rather, the problem is actually using those weapons, without having the criminal take them away and turn them on you. Unless the person wielding those weapons really knows what they’re doing, that’s likely to happen. If your wife and daughters are going to go around so armed, I recommend getting them some training.

This doesn’t mean that they are totally defenseless. Actually, the best defense for most women is vigilance. Most attackers are able to get close to their intended victim because the victim doesn’t see them coming. In cases where they do, they don’t want to appear the fool, by “crying wolf” when there is no wolf. Just like you and I do, our wives and daughters need to maintain themselves in condition yellow at all times. When they see a potential threat, they should get themselves out of there and to a place of safety.

Women should never assume that a man they don’t know is not a wolf. Rather, they should act with suspicion towards all men, even those they know. A high percentage of rapes are perpetrated by people that the victim (a woman) knows. If they assume that everyone is a threat, they are much more likely to avoid putting themselves in a position where they are at risk.

Allow me to give a few examples of what women should do, to avoid putting themselves in a potentially dangerous position:

  • When stepping out of a store or shopping mall, stop on the curb and look around. This not only gives you an opportunity to see if there’s anyone suspicious around, but shows them that you’re vigilant and might have seen their face.
  • Never park your car in an area where it will be dark; always park under a light. If it’s dark and the light is out, ask security to escort you to your car.
  • Always keep your head up and your eyes looking around when in public, not down, looking at your phone. Don’t forget to look behind you every few minutes.
  • If there’s a van or SUV parked next to your car, don’t go out there alone. Many kidnappings of women happen by grabbing them while they’re opening their car.
  • Always check the back seat for hidden people before getting into your car.
  • Check in regularly, by phone, with someone, letting them know where you are, where you’re going, and when you expect to get there. That way, if you don’t arrive, they can start looking for you.

As you can see, this is mostly about keeping their eyes open; what we often refer to as “condition yellow.” That’s enough to protect women from getting into most dangerous situations. It may not seem as much like self-defense as keeping your powder dry or even as keeping your survival gear close at hand; but it’s just as important for their safety.

Dr. Rich


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