Are You Prey for a Rapist? Part II of II

By Kellene Bishop

Continuation from Are You Prey for a Rapist Part I from yesterday…

If you do have to encounter an assailant up close and personal, make your hits count.  Most women go for the groin first and foremost, but understand that every would-be rapist is very familiar with this “knee-jerk reaction” and prepared to thwart it. 

  • My first physical shot, if necessary, would be a solid hit to the throat where the likelihood of collapsing his windpipe is high.  At the very least, he will be distracted long enough for me to make my next move.  
  • Next move, is right between the eyes on the bridge of the nose.  Such a strike will stun them and cause their eyes to naturally pool with blood.  This will impair their vision. 
  • THEN I do a hit to the groin.  Understand that you’re not hitting the groin as a sign of disregard for their manliness.  This particular hit is connected to the core of their senses, especially when they are heightened with rage or arousal!  It will debilitate them and can even kill them.  No matter.  Make the hit count.  Regardless of how fit they are, each of these strategies aims for a vulnerable spot that even the “Terminator” can’t easily absorb.

I’ve heard instructions from other “experts” to pinch the under arm as hard as you can between the elbow and the arm pit.  That can work well on someone who does not have strongly defined biceps.  However, if they have defined muscles, you will have wasted your energy and just made them mad.

I also highly recommend that women practice the leg sweep defense:

  1. Lay on your back.  Have someone get on top of you resembling the rapist.  Most rapists will have their hands on your throat or mouth until at one critical point in which they will only have one hand there.  Have your helper put their hand on your neck as if to strangle or prevent movement.
  2. rape-prevention-hand-neck

  3. (At some point they will HAVE to reach for their offensive body part, belt buckle, or something else.)  At this moment you want to grab his wrist with both of your hands. (It’s a natural reaction, so hopefully you won’t have to think twice about doing this.)
  4. Then bring up your leg that is on the same side of your body as his hand/arm is.  Cross your leg in front of their neck to the opposite side of his head and then pull them down towards the direction of their arm.  (If you’re using the left leg, pull them down to the left.  If you’re using the right leg, pull them down to the right.)  You’ll be surprised just how strong your thigh muscles are.  Do this quickly and without hesitation. 
  5. rape-prevention-leg-sweep

  6. Be sure to bring the leg directly across your body.  They will have to flip on their back and will be at approximately your 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock position.  Your leg will be directly across their neck, thus inhibiting air flow.
  7. rape-prevention-flip

  8. While you are flipping them on their back, keep their arm extended, in your grasp, and tightly in between your breastplate. 
  9. rape-prevention-arm-breastplate

  10. Once they are flipped over, slide over as fast as possible so that your groin is planted just under their shoulder and your other leg is across their chest.  You will then be perpendicular to them.
  11. rape-prevention-perpendicular

  12. Keep their arm close to your chest and then raise your pelvic area for all it’s worth.  (I couldn’t do this in the picture or else I would have broken my husband’s arm.) 
  13. rape-prevention-lift

The power is not in the legs.  It’s not in the arm hold.  It’s in the pelvic raise right under their shoulder.  This will break their arm indubitably. Yes, keep your legs strong on their neck and chest, and yes, keep your grip on their arm firm.  But remember, that the key is for you to be squarely under their shoulder with your pelvic area. A little goes a long way with this move so don’t worry about your back strength. Between the broken arm and accompanying pain as well as the lack of air supply you will have defeated your assailant sufficiently for you to get help, get your gun, or at best—get away.

Here’s the most important part of this exercise though—putting yourself in a position in which someone is on top of you with their hand to your throat and you having an exit strategy.  If you will do this, the likelihood of your surviving a rape attempt goes up NINETY percent, simply because you have done the necessary mental exercise to NOT be defeated.  (By the way, when practicing this at home, please be careful of the pelvic lift. You WILL break someone’s arm. When my husband and I practice this, I raise gently until he “taps out” with his other hand letting me know I’ve caused him sufficient pain.)

So in a nutshell, be aware, be ready, and be armed with the right tools of self-defense.  Let’s stop showing these blankety-blank cowards that we’re easy marks.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.


18 Responses

  1. Finally – some excellent real world advice to women who might have to fight off an actual attacker. God bless you for not simply telling us all to yell, “Fire!”

    Great photos too.

    • Kelly, I’m so glad you found this beneficial. I firmly believe that if yelling fire or telling someone you have pepper spray were the answer that we wouldn’t have the abundance of rapes occuring every year that we do!

  2. Very helpful! Thanks. I will be practicing tonight. I saw mention of a rape defense class on your site, but didn’t see it on the schedule. Are you teaching one in the near future?

    • the rape defense class we teach is a community scheduled event. We go to great lengths to schedule sponsors (space, refreshments, and a few prizes as well) It’s absolutely free when we do it, so it takes some time to arrange for sponsors. We will indeed announcing it on our site though and to our subscribers when we get the next one scheduled. Thanks for asking!!

  3. Excellent tutorial.

    There may be some overlap here, but I also want to point to “The Lioness”, a pamphlet put out by The National Firearms Association, the Canadian equivalent of the NRA, which has how-to photos of several self-defense/escape moves.

    They encourage dissemination, and there are highly-quality PDFs available suitable for sending to the printer’s.

    It includes this priceless motivator:
    None of what you have just learned will do you any good whatever, if you wait until the realization hits you to decide what to do. You’ll take to much time to make the decision. You must make your decision here and now. Decide now that: When this realization hits me: “My God! I’m about to be raped, mutilated, or killed!”, I will attack. I will feel rage but not fear. I will believe that I am being attacked by an animal (you are), that my life is in danger (it is, AIDS or no AIDS). I have the legal, moral and ethical right and duty to stop this dangerous animal before it injures or kills again—and I will instantly remember all the Lioness Method material.

    Yes, you can do that. It all works. You’re probably not his first victim, so be
    his last. Turn into a lioness.
    If you make that decision now, when the realization hits you, everything you have learned will come cascading back into your mind—sharp, bright, and clear. Yes, that is true. You will have the
    priceless advantage of his shock: He grabbed a victim, but he’s holding a raging lioness.
    My emphasis.

    Finally, take a look at Lawdog’s “Appropriate Countermeasures to the Front Chokehold”. (Lawdog is a Texas deputy sheriff.)

    Unfortunately, LD did not include pictures. His technique is intended to be used against a two-handed choke hold while standing.

    His disclaimer: “Do not practice this at full speed with a sparring partner. Do not practice this at half-speed with a sparring partner. There is a very real risk of death or serious bodily injury here, and I do not want to hear that you accidentally paralyzed your Pookie during training — so practice this in super-slow motion anytime you are training with a partner.”

    He also includes this bit legal advice, applicable to any incident of this type:
    “Always, always, always call 911, because the first person to talk to the cops has an incredible advantage — and you don’t want your chew toy to get his story in first.”

    Somewhere I have read that you should NOT practice this and similar moves at even slow speed, because in a crisis, you will do what you practice, i.e., pull your punches. Do it a few times, slowly, with a partner, to get the sequence correct — then practice, over and over, full force, against the air. Or against a trained sparring partner wearing appropriate protective gear.

    If you are not familiar with Law Dog’s style and attitude:

    There are many, many additional techniques and tips in LD’s comments, including this: “At least one of the women I know would point out that, if both of her assailant’s hands were busy trying to apply a chokehold, there’d be not a thing in the world he could do to prevent her from drawing her Colt and going for slide lock…”

  4. Aargh, dagnabit, I forgot to include links toNFA’s Lioness Method page, which has links at the bottom for the whole pamphlet as a Screen resolution PDF, and individual links for high-res PDFs of each separate page.

  5. […] Women of Caliber has put up an excellent tutorial, with pictures, on a simple self-defense maneuver to be used against an attacker who has you on the ground in a choke hold. Right now, go read “Are You Prey for A Rapist, Part II“. […]

  6. Aw, double ddaaggnnaabb it: I promised a sample of Lawdog’s charming “style and attitude”, and somehow lost the quote between cutting, pasting, and posting. Let me try again, and I’ll get out of the way:

    I am… seeing an annoying uptick in the number of feral boyfriends, lovers, spouses and others utilizing said stupid maneuver — not so much to cause death by strangulation, but to induce fear and panic before using the grip on the neck to throw the victim across the room — and, quite frankly, it’s pissing me off.


    To begin, understand that we here at LawDog Institute are not particularly concerned with the well-being of your attacker. Matter-of-fact, we believe that if your feral boyfriend is dead or brain-damaged, the odds of him being able to con you into believing “it won’t happen again” and have you go back to him drop sharply.

    OK, I think I’m really done now.

  7. This point from Lawdog’s post cannot be emphasized enough:

    “Practice it slowly ten times a day,”

    Ongoing practice is critical to successful implementation of any technique.

    I would start by practicing slowly to refine the movements, then slowly start adding speed, in the air and against a target like a heavy bag.

    • To clarify, “IT” meaning drawing your firearm and aiming, or the physical self-defense movement. (you can also use a blue or red practice gun for this exercise.) And you’re absolutely right. Focus first on accurate movements, then focus on speed. Just so you know, an physical repetition completed 150 times, is suitably ingrained in a person’s muscle memory. So be sure that you dont’ create an “incorrect” muscle memory movement when you’re practicing.

  8. I recently found your website and find the self defense tips to be realistic and doable. Here’s the scenario; a young lady was raped while in the bathroom at a party. The door was locked but the first animal used something to open the lock, which is not hard to do. He came in part way (probably to see if she was alone), said ‘excuse me,’ started to leave but came right back in, letting the second animal in. They immediately turned the lights out…and that was that. She cooperated and wasn’t beaten, strangled or had any other manner of horrible things done to her, but being raped is horrible enough.

    My question is, what do you suggest be done when there are two attackers? Having a gun (yes I’ve seen the sharp shooter videos) or some other weapon, and/or knowing some self defense techniques may lessen the likelihood of being assaulted by one attacker, but two? I’m scratching my head about what to do in that case. Unless someone is sitting on the toilet with a gun on their lap (unlikely), they are extremely vulnerable. Pants and undies are pulled down, so charging toward the door or the attackers is also unlikely. I read a suggestion of wearing a whistle around the neck (or some other noise maker), but with so many people talking, etc. and loud music, the sound may blend in.

    The likelihood of this happening again to the same person is slim, but if it happens again to anyone, that’s one person too many.

    I look forward to your suggestions and thank you for your response.

    • Ok. Here’s my initial response. First line of defense would indeed be having a gun. I keep my gun attached to my pants on my waist. Thus even if I was indisposed as this gal was, it could still be retrieved easily from my pants. I purposefully use this approach in the event of more than one attacker. Taking on two individuals physically is very difficult. (more on that in a moment)
      The other day I was in a large gym gathering and all of the sudden the fire alarm went off. Instead of everyone leaving peacefully out the door, they all just stood around assuming a false alarm. And since so many stood around, those who started to exit the building felt foolish and also stood around. My husband and I were furthest away from the door, but still headed to it. It wasn’t until I hollered at everyone in a firm, but authoritative voice to leave the building that folks began to leave. It turned out to be a false alarm, but this proves my point that “noise” alarms rarely do the trick anymore. Too many folks presume that it’s simply somebody being “crazy at a party” or crying wolf.
      One of the things in today’s day and age I would definitely recommend is a good old buddy system. Had she had a friend with her and looking out for her, then the likelihood of the rape would have diminished dramatically. Women really have to be aware and on guard. That’s their ultimate best defense. We simply can’t afford an attitude of “happy valley–all is well.” While we can indeed be at peace inside ourselves, that does not mean that we have to be naive to what’s outside of our control.

  9. Some comments on the physical advice:

    – Your initial suggestions of elbow, palm, groin is reasonable, but it does come across with a thought that 1. you’ll be able to execute this exact plan, 2. that you’ll only need these 3 shots. While it is good to have a plan and I would say that it’s well worth it to practice this plan until you’re able to unconsciously perform it, I would then say the next stage is in practicing with your partner to move beyond it. What if your elbow shot misses? What if they slip your palm strike and trap your arm? That is, the best plans rarely work out, so you have to move beyond it… real combat isn’t a series of memorized moves, and while that’s certainly a good starting point you have to accept that combat is dynamic and be able to dynamically respond.

    One plan point I could add that goes along with your suggestion of “keep on attacking” is to not just do one palm strike. Do many. Hit one palm strike to the face, then another, then another, then another… rapid fire, and make sure your body is moving forward and into the attacker (i.e. putting your body weight behind the strikes). Move forward, pushing their head backwards, off balance, and now you’re moving into them, pushing them further off balance. If you can get them on the ground, now you can take off.

    – Your illustration of the arm bar is a good one. One point to add.

    The hand position of the opponent is important. Strive to get their hand positioned so their thumb is pointing up at the sky/ceiling (or perhaps more accurately, if their thumb was sticking out it would be perpendicular to your body… to say “point at the sky” implies that you are squarely on your back, which you may not be). By doing this is places their elbow in the best place to be broken. Palm “up” is ok as well. The reason this is important is because the more the hand rotates over (to “palm down”), it moves the elbow out of position… try it as you read this. Stick your hand out in front of you, arm straight, palm up. Notice your elbow is pointing down at the ground? Now rotate your hand over so you are palm down or further. Notice your elbow is turned to the side? This can be enough of an angle that you won’t get a proper attack on the elbow, they can bend their arm, and they can counter and perhaps escape.

  10. Thanks Hsoi. Your points are all valid. Unfortunately, I try to keep my blogs below a thousand words, so there’s only so much I can cover in one of them. Everything that you’ve mentioned in here is surely addressed in our live training events.

    One point to remember when it’s a rape scenario though. It’s NOT a combat situation in which both persons are committed to die for their country or cause. One of those persons is a subhuman coward. He’s not expecting a fight whatsoever. Statistically, if either of those strikes is effective the woman escapes this horrid event. The fact that a woman knows how to fight back at all is statistically to her advantage, much different than a combat situation.


    • Actually this is combat. That is, this isn’t sport fighting, this isn’t sparring; you are fighting for your life. But that’s semantics. We agree on the important part, that fighting back is crucial.

  11. Excellent advice!!!

  12. Its good to see some self defense advice thats not too complicated and do not involve guns.

    If I may suggest: try some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lessons. There a lot of details on those pictures that would make me feel that armbar would most likely fail, or at least not be optimized.

    For example, I have seem a brown belt BJJ lady, weighting way less than her opponent, submitting him in 2 seconds using a completely different setup for the armbar, turning ther hips 90 degrees to the oposite side of the choosen arm.

    Keep going, just try to loom deeper into the techniques.

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