In my thriller novel Compulsion
, I introduce readers to Emily Stone. She is a determined woman who uses her amazing intuition, careful study of criminal behavior, and effective use of technology to track violent predators and gather evidence against them. When Emily encounters a killer who does not appreciate her interference in his ongoing rape and murder spree, she must physically defend herself against a much larger and stronger opponent. To be sure, Emily is bold and well-trained in the techniques that will get her out of a dangerous situation. It is still scary, however, when the two participants in a struggle seem to be on such unequal footing. What are some of the best ways that women can defend themselves when confronted by an attacker?
One of the most common pieces of advice that I hear is that women should do everything they can not to be taken from the location at which the attack took place. Scream, bite, kick, claw … do whatever is necessary
to avoid being put in a car or away from a familiar environment. Also, most of us have heard that yelling “Fire!”
is the most effective way to gain the attention of those who may be nearby. For whatever reason, this advice has proven to be true time and again. Use whatever you may have available in order to fight back. Keys are great weapons
, as is hairspray, high heels, or purses. Take a quick inventory of your surroundings and use any item at your disposal. Finally, do not underestimate your own determination. Women are strong and we have amazing instincts when our bodies are threatened. Keep your senses as much as possible … nothing will serve you more.
I am amazed and humbled when I learn about women who have found a way to escape from terrifying and possibly deadly situations. Each one of us has the opportunity to be an Emily Stone
in our own way. If you have confronted an attacker, or know someone who has, I would be honored to know your story. I know that your efforts must be an inspiration to others.