Survive the Unthinkable: A Total Guide to Women’s Self-Protection by Tim Larkin (in my detailed book reviews)

   Violence against women remains one of the most common human rights abuses in the world. Women ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war and traffic accidents combined.
   Rape and attempted rape are very much silent assassins. Only 16 percent of rape victims actually report an incident to the police, which means that the statistics we have about rape in the U.S. barely reflect the grim reality. The World Health Organization has found the domestic and sexual violence affects 30 to 60 percent of women in most countries. And the majority of offenses are committed by someone the victim knows or at least recognizes.
   Being able to protect yourself doesn’t require muscle, fancy techniques, or months of practice at the martial arts studio. All that you need to live confidently and joyfully is knowledge and the willingness to apply it.
   My message to you is this: You can successfully defeat a bigger, stronger assailant. Knowing how to injure him is the key.
   According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, one out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape; this translates to 17.7 million American women. Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted, and more than 50 percent of all rapes/sexual assaults occur within one mile or at the victim’s home. Now, that’s scary stuff.
   Myth: Rape is not very common.
Truth: One woman in six will be raped in her lifetime; one in four female college students will experience a rape or attempted rape while in school.
   Think of someone you love more than anyone on the planet: Maybe it’s your daughter, your spouse, or your mom. Next, picture a violent sociopath with a knife against her throat. Or trying to pull her into a car. Or coming in through her bedroom window at night.
What does this do to you? What feelings sweep across your body?
   The truth is... mothers lift cars off young children. Sisters jump in front of bullets. Friends jump into icy rivers. Our bodies are capable of tremendous physical feats when necessary.
   All you really need to survive the unthinkable is the strength of will to do it.
   Violence is always available; you just have to be willing to do it. You can swing the tool of violence whenever you wish, even at a moment’s notice.
   Using your intuition is your first (and best) chance to avoid the unthinkable.
   When you strengthen your intuition, you create healthy emotional and physical boundaries.
When you have these boundaries, you can more easily avoid predators.
   Knowing how to use violence as a survival tool - and being willing to do so - puts you on even, flat terrain, even and equal with the worst of humanity.
   Intent is simply the single-minded desire to survive, to the exclusion of all else.
   The most powerful weapon in violence is control, and you know how to take it from him - by injuring him.
   You know he’s human. He bleeds. And if he bleeds, you can injure him so that he can’t injure you.
   The better trained you are to understand real violence, the more relaxed you become emotionally - and the more you get to enjoy your life rather than fearing the unknown.

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Fight Like a Girl... and Win by Lori Hartman Gervasi

     When it comes to defending ourselves, we can never give up. There are no “do overs” in real fights.
     The Justice Department reports 74 percent of the time weapons are used, and more than half the time multiple attackers work as a team.
     The FBI reports that one in four women will be raped in her lifetime. A survey showed that 54 percent of rape and attempted rape victims are under eighteen years of age.
     In 2005, rape and sexual assault victims were confronted by un-armed attackers in 85 percent of the incidents. Knives and firearms were used 3 percent of the time.
     All attackers surprise their victims 100 percent of the time.
     It’s been estimated that 95 percent of the victims transported to a second location do not survive.
     Rapists seek out “the rapeable”. Their victims can include the old, the young, the innocent and the vulnerable.
     Statistics show that women with childhood histories that include sexual abuse are almost five times more likely to be raped as adults.
     In any attack, there are always two questions that need to be answered intuitively, intelligently, and faster than the speed of light: 1. What is the level of force being used against me? 2. How much force is necessary to defend myself and escape?
     It is the aggressive fighter with the more rigorous will to survive who will elevate herself, defend her ground, and ultimately win.
     You are to be the survivor and the escape artist. You must always be the one who got away.
     You have one single purpose of dire urgency: to make a safe escape with little or no injury inflicted upon you.
     When words are flying but there is no physical contact, your best bet is to defuse the situation by not arguing back.
     Always regard patience and self-control as two of your most valuable weapon of warfare.
     When a situation arises. Be prepared. Get your hands above your belt. Protect your space by moving back and away from him if necessary. Keep breathing. Be quiet and make your move to immediately flee the entire situation.
     Recognize his level of force, then if necessary go higher and harder.
     Turn yourself into an animal. Show this monster that attacking you was the biggest mistake of his life.
     Saving your life is your problem, your right, and your responsibility.
     Women who look aware and constantly ready are the least likely to be chosen as victims.
     Pick up the phone. Call 911 and inform the emergency operator that you are being harassed or threatened.
     You’ll know this perfect stranger is a jerk when he tries to make you feel bad or guilty for not instantly trusting him.
     In case you didn’t already know, the fight is in your eyes. You just have to start looking like it is.
     Mad-dogging will inspire you to take on a little animal behavior.
     When dealing with strangers, the best rule of thumb is to keep them at least two to three feet away from you. The instant some guy comes up and gets in your space - dump that old space and claim new space.
     The reality is that all fights hurt. Decide that pain won’t have the power to shock you or lock you into fear, paralysis or submission.
     If he attacks you or hurts you, let fury (violent anger) charge through your entire body. Use that emotion and the adrenaline it produces for all its worth.​