Why Should You Care?

Why should you care about self-defense?

You should care about self defense because:

  • If you are a woman, you are a target for certain kinds of criminals.
  • The best self-protection for most crimes is prevention.
  • If prevention fails, your best chance is to fight back. But you must know HOW to fight back.

AWARE can help you learn to avoid situations and, when necessary, how to fight back.

Here's what one violence survivor has to say in response to the question, "What can we say to convince people they ought to care about self defense?"

  • The first thing that comes to mind is describing what a miserable feeling it is to have been attacked, assaulted, hurt by someone.
  • Tell them to learn self-defense so they never have to experience the terror and helplessness at the moment when you realize you are not strong enough... and he's too strong.
  • Tell them that the side effects of being the victim of a violent assault can be non-trivial. Fighting back is justified because it can save you from having the mental and physical scars of an assault to deal with for the rest of your life.
  • Tell them they have to learn how to fight back for themselves because the ugly reality is that people would rather turn their heads than come to your aid if you're in trouble.
  • Tell them that being a victim stays with you for life, that you cross through a turnstile at that point, and that you will never be the same person again.
  • Tell them that by successfully defending yourself, you help to make the world safer for ALL other women, because you prove, to at least one criminal, that NOT all women are easy prey.
  • Tell them that learning self-defense is better than waking up screaming and crying at night from nightmares.
  • Tell them about the 1993 Brandeis University study that found conclusively that women most apt to be raped or harmed were those who did NOT fight back.
  • Make analogies. Look at how much people pay for types of insurance that they are not very likely to ever use. However, how many people are willing to invest in the "insurance" of self-defense training to protect themselves from the very real risk of criminal assault?
  • Say that the prospect of going to jail is no deterrent to criminals. Criminals know the chances of them getting caught, charged, tried, convicted, sentenced, and having to serve time is very small. Essentially the ONLY deterrent they see is that the victim could pose a risk to their life or well-being.
  • If they talk about not wanting to be paranoid, ask them if they are "paranoid" about getting into an accident because they have car insurance, or if they are morbidly afraid of fire because they have fire insurance?
  • It's not as hard as you think to learn how to defend yourself. It is much harder than you think to recover from rape or assault.
  • Learning a trained counterattack is a woman's best chance of avoiding rape and surviving an assault.