Good to Know: Tips for Successful Self Defense
By Babatunde Ojo, copy editor
Small or large, life-changing or convenient, we at The Vector would like to present information that could have an impact on the students and faculty. We provide you information so that, instead of being taken by surprise and unprepared in a situation, you can be prepared. There is never any harm in learning something new because you never know when it could be used. At the end of each article our goal is to elicit a mental or audible, “That’s good to know.”
Anything can happen at any time and at any place. While it is best to not assume people are out there to harm you, it is wise to be prepared for such a situation. Self-defense is something that everyone should learn to provide a sense confidence when dealing with tense situations. Whether it is getting into a fight or being held at gunpoint or with a knife, the number one rule of self-defense is to get away safely. Your life is worth more than what anyone can try to take from you. It does not matter what your gender is or who you are, the following tips can be useful to you, your friends, and family.
Pepper spray is a great tool to use when someone is approaching you with malice, and with a price range from $10 to $30 it is worth it. It is a ranged weapon that is easy to use and refill. It is an incredible tool that can create space between you and your adversary, allowing you to run away and call for help. However, not just anyone can possess pepper spray. New Jersey law states that any non-felon 18 years old or over may carry pepper spray for his or her protection. The law also states the container must be pocket-sized and contain no more than three-quarters of an ounce (.75 fluid ounces) of a chemical substance incapable of causing death or serious harm. It is best to use pepper spray with caution, not with reckless abandon. If you are caught for improper use of one, you can be sued, fined up to $1000, or be imprisoned for up to three years.
Strength in numbers
Open up your hand and you will notice each individual finger you have. Now close your hand and watch as those individual fingers come together to form something stronger than what each finger was capable of by itself. Now imagine you walking down a street by yourself and compare it to walking with a group of friends. While you should not mind walking by yourself, it should be common sense that if you are by yourself, you become an easier target. This should not deter you from going out alone ever again, but it is something to keep in mind if you are going somewhere for the first time and not sure how safe the area is. Bring a friend or two with you, and you are less likely to run into trouble than if you were traveling alone.
Make a scene
If you have managed to fend off an attacker and he or she pursues you, head towards as many people as possible cause as much commotion as possible. Let other people know that there is a threat nearby and always seek help from a law enforcement official. This should dissuade any further action from your attacker.