The Pulse Nightclub shootings certainly rattled many people and barely 1 year from the landmark Supreme Court ruling for same sex marriage, we are reminded that while things are better, there are still many people out there who hate the LGBT+ community.
- The best thing you can do is to try and avoid the situation altogether. Removing yourself from the equation no doubt is the safest option; you avoid any confrontation and reduce your risk of violence.
- Wherever you go, be it a nightclub, restaurant, movie theatre or even a walk around the neighborhood take a mental note of escape routes. Where can you go? Where does it lead? What are the potential obstacles that you need to overcome?
- Once you get a safe distance away, call 911.
- Sometimes fleeing isn’t necessarily the safest option, thus if you can disappear until it is safe to flee you can avoid a confrontation.
- Where can you hide? Is an escape route accessible from the place? What potential weapons are within reach? What kind of obstacles do you need to overcome?
- Is it safe to call or text 911? If so then do it, however if your phone has the potential to alert the attacker to your hiding place, don’t risk it.
- A last resort if you are forced into a confrontation is to disable your attacker so you can escape.
- Make a lot of noise so you can draw attention and be seen by others.
- Many every day objects can be used as a potential weapon. If you are forced to defend yourself, do not hesitate to do what is necessary.
- Find a weapon if possible.
- Many every day objects can be used as a weapon. Keys, glass bottle, a stick, a brick, a pen. If nothing is within reach then you have yourself, which is the most important weapon of all.
- Head, elbows, knees are the parts of the body most effective as a weapon, when used correctly they can inflict a lot of damage on an assailant. Your body weight, with the proper training can be a very effective tool to disable your opponent, regardless of size.
- Attack your assailant’s weakest areas. Primarily the face, nose, eyes, neck, groin or the knees. Your goal is to disable your opponent enough for you to escape. Don’t hold back, attack full force, otherwise your assailant will overcome which would end the fight immediately.
- Escape. Once your opponent is disabled, you may only have a few seconds before they are able recollect themselves and attack again. That is your opportunity to get away so don’t miss it.
Another scenario might be if your alone, leaving the club after a fun night and are confronted by someone on the street with a knife or other weapon. Can you escape? Does the assailant appear bigger/ stronger than you? Are there other people around who can help?
Take the time and attend a self-defense class. Denver has a free self defense group that meets every Saturday at Cheesman Park called Queer Impact. They offer a wide variety of training to help you prepare for any scenario and is open to beginners.
Don’t become a victim, stand up, take control and fight back.