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Today is National Hospitals Against Violence (#HAVhope) awareness day. At Lyon Software, we stand with all hospitals to help spread awareness about violence.
Coincidentally, earlier in the week many of our staff attended a self-defense training session. What follows are a few tips that we learned on Monday that can help you fight off a violent attack, or avoid one altogether.
Prevention is the best defense
As a kid that played on several sports teams, one of the things I heard a lot was “the best defense is a good offense”. That’s a true statement. The other team can’t score if they don’t have the ball.
So how does that relate to guarding against violence?
Your first line of defense in protecting yourself starts with your demeanor. If you have a strong, confident presence about yourself, someone will think twice about approaching you.
So, if you’re in a store or the mall and you feel like you’re being followed, what will you do? Our instructor Shelly said it’s best to go on the offense. If you do something as simple as look them right in the eye and ask them for the time, for example – you’ll shift the balance of power. You’ve now asked something of them and they’ve given it to you. It’s simple, and it portrays you as a confident person.
Be prepared to Defend Yourself
What would you do if someone were to attack you right now? Physical violence isn’t something that most of us think about on a regular basis. However, it is a reality, and the self-defense training we received was both enlightening and empowering.
At the Martial Arts Center, we learned how to throw punches and elbows. We learned that if you are attacked, the best thing to do is to bring the attacker as close to you as possible. This limits their mobility and greatly restricts what they are able to do. We also learned to target vulnerable areas: eyes, nose, fingers and knees.
By learning and regularly practicing self-defense techniques, you’ll be strong enough both mentally and physically to do what you need to do to get away and survive an attack.
Bring attention to the situation
If you are attacked, get the attention of others by being as loud as you can immediately. Scream “Call 9-1-1” as opposed to “fire” or “help”. What’s the difference? When you tell someone to dial 9-1-1, it alerts others that you’re in immediate danger and it’s an emergency. It also gives a stranger direction in what to do.
Yelling “fire” or “help” wastes valuable time. You’ll have people looking around to see if they can see a fire, or figuring out how to help instead of taking immediate action.
The more attention you can bring to yourself during an attack, the more likely you will survive it. Remember, your attacker wants an easy win, not a confrontation. By getting people’s attention, you’ll get help more quickly, and possibly encourage a stop to the violence. Your attacker could flee for fear of being caught by the police.
Everything starts with your awareness
The main thing to remember in protecting yourself is that you should always be aware of your surroundings. Know where other people are when getting in or out of your car. Don’t be distracted by your phone when you’re out in public – it makes you more vulnerable to a potential attack.
Lyon Software would like to thank Sempai Shelly Blanco and everyone at the Martial Arts Center at the Shops at Fallen Timbers for the Self-Defense course this week. We all had a great time and learned a lot about awareness and techniques to counter a violent attack.