Multiple Attacker Self Defense

By Kellene Bishop

Recently one of my readers sent me a real life sexual assault scenario involving multiple attackers and asked me for my advice.  I feel that understanding the necessary defense skills and mindset against multiple attackers is a valid subject to address.  And so I’m going to share her question with you as a perfect segue.

“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.”

Understand that the likelihood of multiple attackers occurs once out of every 24 rape attempts in the U.S.  That’s not exactly a small number in my opinion. Thus mentally and logistically preparing to defend against this evil is realistic.

Your first line of defense against multiple attackers is indeed a firearm.  I keep one of mine on the waist of my pants or skirt. Thus even if I’m “indisposed,” if a person were to enter the bathroom as this scenario plays out, I could easily retrieve my firearm.

Another great place to keep a firearm is in a belly band.  Even the most fashion-conscious woman will appreciate how unobvious and well concealed they are.  With a belly band you also have easy access. 


AspThere’s no limit on the number of actual “weapons” you can have on you.  I have a great knife, which is always handy in my purse.  I would hope that that would be nearby if I was in the bathroom, but I’m certain that it should be nearby everyone especially if it houses a weapon with which to save your life.  I have an Asp in my purse as well.  This particular weapon will literally crush a skull, break a wrist or arm or knee cap when brought forcibly into contact with an assailant.  (My concealed firearm permit allows me to legally carry both of these items in the state of Utah.)  Last, but not least, I also have my red-dyed pepper spray on my key ring.  This is usually tucked into the front of my waist regardless of where I am.  ALL of these weapons are easily usable, and readily available.  I don’t rely on just one because life doesn’t exactly work out that way.  Perhaps this approach causes some of you to think I’m crazy like Dwight from The Office, but I assure you that the likelihood of my being able to save my life against multiple attackers is suitable.  At some point they will get tired of my pulling out weapons, don’t you think?

However, all of these weapons are not the most important aspect of preserving your life in the event of a multiple attacker self defense scenario.  There are two components that you literally cannot live or hope to survive without.

be-awareAwareness is one of two most critical lifesavers when it comes to preserving yourself from multiple attackers.  You can never afford to be disengaged from your surroundings.  Not at a party.  Not in a bathroom stall.  Not in a movie theater.  Not while you’re grocery shopping.  In all seriousness, the likelihood of you being attacked when you exude a confident awareness of your surroundings goes down significantly.  Those who attack in a group are actually the most cowardice of them all.  They can’t even “rape” on their own without all of their buddies to watch and help control one girl.  Thus keeping this in mind, remember that they are looking for the easiest target.  Your job, in order to stay alive and NEVER have to overcome such an instance is to stay aware!  All of the things you’ve been told to do (use a buddy system, park near a light, ask for an escort out to your car, etc, etc) are all valid deflectors of an attack.

Your second and most important defense against a multiple attacker scenario is your mindset.  And no, I’m not talking about some kind of Anthony Robbins or Deepak Chopra fluff here.  There is something that you must understand if you are ever attacked.  You are NOT being attacked by a human being.  Don’t let your instinctively compassionate mind tell you otherwise.  The moment they choose to take your virtue, your life, or any of your freedoms in any way, they have become sub-human.  They are literally nothing more than a vagrant animal.  And just as you would willingly shoot a rabid stray dog attacking your child or someone else you love, you MUST be mentally prepared to shoot an attacker.  Stop thinking of your attacker as a human beings, because they are NOT!  Stop thinking about your impact on their life!  You are not responsible for that impact in that moment.  They made that choice be attacking you.  They ASKED for the consequences.  Don’t wait and see how much damage they intend to inflict upon you.  Remember, it’s NEVER just sex.  It’s violent control.  And if you allow it to happen because you don’t suitably fight back, it can quite possibly control who you are for the rest of your life.  So be prepared to fight it at ALL costs.  My attitude is if I’m going to die, someone is definitely going with me!  

Understand that an assault encounter typically takes between 2 and 12 minutes.  However, most women have never practiced physically and mentally fighting for their life for a full 2 to 12 minutes.  Practice some unfettered “whoop A$$” on a pillow or a mattress for a full 2 to 12 minutes.  Attack that pillow or mattress with all of the fire you can muster.  Yes, it will tire you out.  But you need to practice it again and again so that you know you can endure the time and the energy necessary to save your life.  You need to mentally AND physically be prepared to put up a fight.  

Lastly, in a multiple attacker scenario, don’t worry about taking them all down at once.  Yes, that’s possible with a firearm, but if you lose that option, know that you have a Plan B.  Statistically speaking as well as with psychological considerations, focus on ONE of them to destroy… and I do mean destroy… and the rest will desert their mission.  If you don’t have a gun, go for the throat muscles.  Grab them and literally pull them out.  Most men have a prominent Adams Apple.  Put your claws in there and YANK!  Be prepared to do the same with their eye sockets if necessary.  I know, that sounds absolutely awful.  But remember, this is your life and your sanity that you’re fighting for.  This is war in its truest form.  As I said before, psychologically speaking, when you defeat one violently and the rest will flee.  Remember you have FEET, HANDS, and TEETH to use for your defense.  But most importantly you must have the determination to survive under the best of circumstances, not just barely.  The same goes for the use of a firearm or any other weapon you choose to use.  Don’t use it mamby pamby.  Use it with direct and controlled rage.  You need to let them know that they chose a fierce and deadly creature to mess with.  One who is NOT fragile, NOT passive, and who’s NOT willing to be a victim.


Multiple attackers need not result in victory for the sub-human body masses.  You can combat it and yes, you can survive victoriously – even from multiple attackers.  

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


12 Responses

  1. While the throat/adam’s apple is certainly a reasonable target, you get someone with a thick enough neck with built-up-enough muscles around there and you can condition the area to become a lesser target. While there’s a lot of skepticism around the “combat ki” people, look for their videos and you can see what I mean for an extreme example.

    There are 3 areas on the human body that you just cannot build up and/or condition: eyes, groin, and tracheal notch. Jam fingers, thumb, knuckles, foreign objects into the notch… if the shot isn’t blocked, it’s going to do damage.

    This isn’t to discourage the throat, it’s still a viable target and certainly a larger one to hit, which can matter when the adrenaline is pumping. Just know the pros and cons of each target.

    Otherwise, you’ve got some sound advice: attack like a bat out of hell and keep attacking… don’t give up after 10 seconds, keep kicking and punching and biting and gouging and clawing and ripping and going even if it’s for a few minutes. The onslaught is tough to overcome.

    And that there are no rules… fight dirty, cheat, win. You may have to do ugly things like bite, gouge, and those things may be revolting to think about (e.g. digging your thumbs into someone’s eyes). But the alternative is far more revolting.

    • Hsoi, clearly you are a combat pro. I appreciate you reinforcing the “keep fighting” advice as well as reinforcing the other vulnerable areas. And you are correct in the possibility of the neck being conditioned. However, we need to remember that this is a rape scenario, not a combat scenario.

      In the military, soldiers are taught “all possible defenses” because they exist. In the underworld of rape, many do not. What we don’t want to have happen is to teach a woman about “every possible combat scenario” and have her overwhelmed and think there’s nothing she can do. That tends to happen when combat instructors teach the rape prevention. And women typically aren’t willing or even able to take the time to “learn it all. It’s important that women are taught sound, clear, and a FEW principles of defense. These principles are statistically winners in a rape scenario, and suitable for fending off a subhuman cowardice species who was expecting an easy prey.

      I love your reminder that there are no rules. *wink*
      Thanks again, as always!

      • I wouldn’t say I’m a combat pro, but I’ve been studying martial arts for numerous years, both traditional martial arts and modern combatives (including combining empty-hand with firearms).

        The reason I say to consider the tracheal notch instead of the throat is precisely because it’s a simpler thing. The throat and neck may or may not constitute a valid and effective target, so if it winds up not being effective, now what? Now you have to start going to other situations and scenarios and knowledge. If we’re trying to keep things simple for folks, let’s dig right down to the most effective things. Why teach and practice something that may be effective when instead you can teach and practice something that WILL be effective?

        Of course, in the end, there’s never a guarantee either way, but if we’re going to try to provide a limited bit of training and technique to maximize effectiveness, let’s pick the most vulnerable targets we can: eyes, groin, tracheal notch.

        To be fair, everything has trade-offs. The notch is going to be more effective if you hit it, but being a smaller target it’s going to be harder to hit. The throat may not be as effective (tho certainly it can be), but it’s a much larger and more visible target and thus should be easier to hit.

        And again, cheat, fight dirty, and win. This is combat, there are no rules, there’s no “gentlemanly honor”, just survival and ending the situation. If you’ve got the mindset to survive, to fight, you’ve already given yourself a massive advantage.

    • Thanks for your additional insight on this piece. I agree with an eye gouge being effective as well, however, as you know, it’s not always accessible. But neither is what I’ve taught either. Women should instinctively go for what you and I have suggested rather than the groin. Men instinctively protect that area just as you said. Fight dirty or whatever, but the message is to FIGHT.

  2. I have a blackbelt, a real one, and I carry a gun everywhere. I have studied and taught women’s self defense.

    Overcomming the mindset to not ‘hurt’ someone is the biggest problem for most women. Some girls will not accept the idea. Your logic is correct: an attacker is sub-human and deservers no consideration. However, lifelong held beliefs are almost impossible to modify. Women that are sexually and physically abused by their husbands have taken my instruction only to confess they can’t use it, even though they admit they are in a life threatening situation.

    Conventional wisdom, feminist angst, and Hollywood movies display the kick to the male groin as the way to immoblize a man. This is a comforting fantasy in direct conflict with reality. Being a man’s most instinctively protected area, attacking it is mostly a waste of energy and may cost you your life.

    Sexual attacks are up close and personal and provide many opportunities to inflict assault stopping pain or worse. Attack the head, the eyes, nose or ears. The throat not so much, unless you have martial arts training. Ear biting, even biting off parts will stop just about anyone. Deep tearing bites anywhere on the body will work well too. If you have a free hand, a quick upward strike with the palm of your hand to the base of the nose can cause serious damage even death. Biting the nose will also work.

    Eye gouging is the best choice since there will be little or no blood, and the attacker will become disoriented. This tactic has been used to fend off wild animals. Hook your fingers to the ear or side of the head and push your thumb forcefully into the eye socket and crush that grape. Any stabbing at the eye with a finger, three stooges style, can be effective if your aim is good.

    As you point out, nothing will work without the warrior spirit and the will to prevail. You must inflict pain.

  3. Three of my girls have been assaulted. wish they had read your advice back then. Why do a lot of women think this stuff only happens to the ‘other guy’?

  4. I think the “fight til the death” tactic is unrealistic. Especially when the attacker happens to be a male who’s easily double your size. Although an attempted eye gouge might seem to work… the guy’s arms will remain free. Within seconds he could easily knock your lights out during your attempt eye gouge session. I don’t see anything practical about attempting to “beat the crap” out of a man who is ALOT more stronger than I am. Most attacks are done by close friends of the victim. Most of the time us females are extremely comfortable with the idea of allowing our significant male friends in our personal bubbles. Most of the time, the victim wont have enough time to react to a “friends” advances. Especially if one minute you’re watching “Friends” together.. and within a second… he has ALL of his weight on you. This “grappling to the death” is not practical. All he has to do is use one hand to pin one of your arms down while punching you in the face with the other. After that, you’re pretty much done for.
    Like i said, most attackers are close friends of the victim. The shock of the attack will not give a woman enough time to retreat and conjure up a plan.
    This is out of experience. I’ve been successfully raped and millimeters away from being raped twice. All by men whom i trusted.
    Planning to get my CCW license soon. I’m worried that I will not have the frame of mind to blow a “friend’s” brains out of the water if this ever does happen to me again. Lets hope that I’m able to do that without hesitation.
    The thought is nice ladies… but get real. Once that man is in your bubble, you’re done for. No matter how many self defense classes you go to… they will never mentally prepare you for the day when your best bud becomes your ‘enemy’… all within a matter of seconds.

    • I’m happy to say you are incorrect. There are indeed the right classes to mentally prepare you to fight for what you need to. They have to do it in the military and they have to do it in law enforcement training. The mindset is the most important thing to prepare for self-defense.
      If you properly prepare and practice your self-defense moves, then “big lug” won’t get the chance to punch you in the face. They don’t start punching until you start fighting back, so when you fight, fight to win not to test the waters to see how angry they are going to get.

  5. Thanks for the hope. 😉

  6. Hsoi’s point about conditioning the throat is only valid for demonstrational purposes. MOST people who would secually assault a woman will not be masters of combat ki or whatever. YOu cannot simply workout your neck and expect to be able to use those muscles to fend off a direct attack on the trachea (as in a clawing squeeze). Especially when you do not expect such an attack to come from the “prey.” Even if they are well trained most insects tend to only think about the violent control and sex. Their mentality is narrowed to those named things. Personally I prefer the punch the fingers on the sides of the trachea and then clamp down (as hard as you can) and then rapidly jerk with the aim to rip the throat out. Even if such a technique does not work it sure in hell will distract/stun the enemy long enough to do more damage elsewhere.

    And to Dev, the problem is that women (and people in general) tend to want (need) to believe that their fellow man is good. Do not take it that I am saying it is your fault, cuz its not. But you should know that those guys provided you with plenty of “tells” that could have warned you of the impending dangers. But ppl choose to either ignore them or just not see them because they want/need to believe that ppl are genuinely good. This kind of “pretend the bad does not exist” mentiality is what the wicked use against others.

    We all know taht deception is the Primary Principle of war, but to counter it you need to also be NON-Trusting…which is completely different than being Anti-Trusting. It is not an insult to be analytical of of anyone (even those closest to us). this widely gets confused for being too analytical. Much how ppl tend to think sympathy is a positive and that it is the same as compassion…it is not. What about the compassion for the self or others who are being or have been victimized by such “sub-humans?” I am afraid that the very definiiton of compassion has been skewed in favor of magnifying the “victim mentialty.”

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