If It Happened to You

By Kellene Bishop

There was a tragic crime committed here in SLC last night. A man held a gun on a clerk at a gas station located as part of a major grocery store chain. The clerk was in the windowed area that you typically see in the gas stations nowadays. The gunman demanded cash which the clerk did not have. As a result the gunman demanded that he go into the main portion of the store and get him cash. (This guy clearly is not operating with a full deck.) After the clerk left (and called 9-1-1 from the main store) a woman pulled up to fill her car with gas. The gunman approached her and demanded her money which she informed him she did not have. The gunman then ordered her into her car to drive him to an ATM machine. She complied and after giving the gunman money he then ordered her to get back into the car and drive to a cul de sac where he sexually assaulted her.  He then required her to drive a few more blocks away and then got out of the car and instructed her to drive in the opposite direction.

There simply aren’t any words to describe how heinous and shocking this crime is, however, it causes me to write about it in hopes that women will read this and learn how they should handle a similar prospect.

A couple of ground rules here first of all –it’s very, very important that when you have a gun pulled on you like this, regardless of how many movies you’ve seen, you need to remind yourself that the gun is a tool of control in the hands of most criminals—not a murder weapon.  Don’t fixate on the gun. Next, there should never be a situation in which you fail to be aware of your surroundings. As you pull up to the gas station, always select the most lighted and well seen area—even if it means you have to wait in line to get your fuel. When you get out of the car, look around at your surroundings.  Never face the gas dispensing machine directly, always at an angle. And if it has a reflective cover on it, keep an eye out in that reflection for what may be happening behind you.

As you are filling your car with fuel, use the reflection of your windows to help assess your surroundings. Don’t allow yourself to be fixated on the numbers running on the dispenser, the gas nozzle etc. Be aware of what’s going on around you. You can use the reflection in the windows of your car to help you with that as well as constantly moving your head around to see.

Now, on to some actions that I hope each woman reading this will remember. If you are approached while filling your tank, understand that the gas nozzle is a weapon. Pull it while spraying fuel at your would-be assailant and RUN behind shelter immediately.  Even trained police officers miss 70% of their firearm shots, so even IF the perpetrator is intent on shooting you for non-compliance it’s very likely he will miss even when only 6 or 7 feet away from you.  Remember, no matter which end of the gun you are, there will be climatic emotions. Even well-seasoned criminals rarely practice shooting moving targets—and they certainly aren’t able to do so in a manner which will mimic the adrenaline high that they’ve got running through their body. This surge of emotion slows the physical responses as all of the blood is diverted from their brain to other parts of their body for fight or flight. So unless you’re dealing with an expertly trained marksman, moving quickly to shelter is a viable solution. Even better is if you’ve got the opportunity to move to their weak side of their body. (That would be the opposite side of their body which is hold the firearm.  If they are holding the firearm with both hands, then they are likely to have one foot more forward of another.  That foot forward will indicate which side is their non-dominant side.

O.K. So let’s say escaping at the gas pump isn’t possible for some reason or another—and let’s say that I’m your typical female who is not packing heat.  In which case I can guarantee you that I would have tried to throw my keys and my wallet far away from the perpetrator and then run as described previously.

Which reminds me, carrying a firearm may not be realistic for you. If that’s the case then you should always view your cell phone as a necessary “weapon”—meaning that when you get in or out of the car, it’s with you so that you will always be able to call for help after you’ve run.

Moving on… Now let’s look at a situation in which he’s in the car, gun pointed at you, and telling you to drive somewhere specific. Put your seatbelt on, drive towards where he’s telling you, and then step on it, Mama, and run into something, preferably targeting the passenger’s side of the front car. As you’re speeding up, he can’t shoot you because you’re driving. The moment you start to aggressively speed up that gun is going to move because he will have a natural physical reaction. It is VERY unlikely that he will have put his seatbelt on. Most criminals aren’t going to buckle in for a nice leisurely ride to the bank. They will be on the edge of their seat with a minimal amount of balance. If he’s in the seat directly behind you, this is still a viable strategy and once you have selected your ramming target, get your right hand on the seat belt and be prepared to release it and evacuate the car. Yes, you’ll be in some pain regardless of how great your airbags are, but I assure you that victorious pain heals a lot better than victimized pain.

Now, let’s look at another scenario, one in which you’re armed. To be honest, it’s very unlikely that this would have happened to me simply as a result of preventative measures. But also, if the guy comes at me from the back of my vehicle, I suspect he’d notice the Women of Caliber car sign that takes up my entire back window.  I’m positive this has been a deterrent in the past as I’ve traveled at all hours all across the nation.  But enough about me—let’s talk about you. If you are carrying your firearm, I’d still go for the gas pump spray and run first if there is enough distance between you. But if not, I’d pull my firearm with my weak side pointed towards him in order to ensure the element of surprise, and then fire. This action means that two fundamentals need to be in place; 1) that you have practiced shooting across your body like that, and 2) that you have the mental fortitude to pull your firearm when necessary. Just so you don’t feel defeated in reading this advice, keep in mind that this is ideal. Dog gone it, if you have to pull your firearm and shoot it in some other way that’s comfortable to you, then do it and don’t worry about the physical angle. It’s simply offered as a strategic suggestion and one in which I’m comfortable with after practicing it for years.

In spite of many women taking to carrying firearms nowadays– like never before in history—I  find that the majority of them still are not carrying them on their person for whatever reasons.  Instead they are in their purses. I have a firearm in my purse as well. As such,  I have literally practiced a specific response repeatedly in which I feign a frightened and frenzy response to a would-be criminal in an attempt to get my “money” out of my purse, only to be able to grab the trigger of my firearm, point the purse at him, and shoot through the purse towards the perpetrator. If you are unable to shoot through your purse (easier done with a revolver rather than a semi-auto, depending on the type of purse you carry) then you should definitely be practicing a quick-draw movement of your firearm from the purse.

As I traveled cross country over the last month and half, I drove through several states which would prefer women to remain easy targets and have minimal ways in which I could be licensed to carry a firearm, or they do not recognize my Utah Concealed Firearm permit. As such, every time I got out of the car to fuel up the car or to get food or whatever, I always had my Asp weapon on me, as well as my finger on the trigger of my long-distant red-dyed pepper spray. (The dye is much like what they put on money in the event of a bank robbery and it will “mark” the perpetrator for two weeks.) If the woman who was attacked had either of those on her, along with the mental fortitude and physical rehearsal needed to use those defenses, she would have had ample opportunity to strike effectively and run. I can’t imagine she would have had to get in the car with the criminal in the first place.  Either of these weapons can be used effectively with a minimal amount of physical strength and either one will still provide you with an element of surprise which successfully interrupts the synapse of the criminal’s mind.  Remember, he’s probably talked to himself in the mirror, planning his bad-boy bully actions. But I assure you he didn’t practice with an aware and strategic victim in mind. The moment you interrupt his synapse, you’ve got yourself a suitable distraction and you need to take advantage of it by getting away as quickly as possible.  (The throwing of the purse and keys accomplishes this as well in most scenarios.)

In case you weren’t aware, getting into the car with a criminal is one of the worst things you can do and it should be your number one priority to avoid. Use the panic button on your remote control. (Yes, this means stop leaving your keys in the car when you’re filling it up.) Lay on the horn, etc.

The most important key to escaping the same fate as the woman in this story is to mentally prepare yourself for it and the actions you intend to take.

For any questions or comments on this article, please leave a comment on the blog site so that everyone can benefit!

 

Copyright Protected 2011, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

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The Win Before the Fight

by Kellene Bishop

I’ve been reading a great book over the last couple of weeks, Molon Labe. In it the author reminds the reader several times that all fights are decided before the battle begins. The point being that it’s the level of preparation which takes place before a battle which determines the victor.  In the case of the self-defense of women, I advocate consistent, challenging practice which will ensure successful self-defense. While the attacker may have life-long experience as a bully or a law breaker, it doesn’t make him/her fully prepared for their battle with you directly. However, through consistent mental and physical rehearsal to apply to multiple “what if” scenarios, you are leagues ahead of any assailant. And thus your battles are already won before they even begin.

Even better, confidence, calm, presence of mind, necessary tools, and a clear conscience are the fruits of such preparation—even if you are ever called upon to defend yourself. There is simply no price of time or money that can be put upon such fruits, in my opinion.

This past Saturday I took a couple of my girlfriend’s children to the dollar theater to see “Shrek 4.” Both children were under 12, with the youngest being only 9 and who also has Asperger Syndrome. Unfortunately, by the time we were able to get into the theater for seating, there were very few options left for 3 people to sit together. Thankfully one of the theater employees escorted us to a side row of 4 seats, with the outside seat being occupied by a hefty man. The movie had just begun and so the employee quietly leaned down and requested the man allow us to scoot by him and be seated.  As if he had just been asked to relinquish control over his own private remote, and give up a years worth of beer, and run a 5K marathon, he responded quite put out.  His only “effort” to allow us to pass was to spread his overstuffed sausage legs further apart. Yes, it was so attractive,–not—and a bit creepy. Because of his size, it was still a bit difficult for the kids to get past him, let alone myself, who is also quite chubby. It would have been so much easier if he had simply got up from his seat, and stepped into the aisle a moment.  I suppose that I’m a bit spoiled nowadays with this expectation, as my husband certainly would have done the same thing for us and any stranger. Needless to say, it was irritating to have an example of such rudeness displayed to the kids.  Well, being the somewhat sassy person that I am, I just couldn’t hold it in and it had to be heard. I just had to say it. And say it I did. “Well, I guess chivalry is dead”, I quietly demurred.

I didn’t have any anger when I made this statement, nor did I shout. I suppose that a kinder person would have just kept quiet and tolerated his rudeness, but I guess I’m not very good at keeping some of my thoughts to myself. Having said my two cents, I realized that such an inconsiderate man would have been compelled to say something in return, but I suppose I had simply expected an apathetic “whatever” from the sweating, heavy breathing mammoth.  Not that I expected an apology in response to my comment, but I was a bit startled with what did come out of his mouth. “Why don’t you just shut your mouth or I’ll punch you in the face!”

Wait a minute.  Did you really just threaten to physically assault a woman with two kids simply because she called you out?  Really? This was your very first instinct, to threaten physical violence in a packed movie theater without a care in the world as to the consequences?  This was your knee jerk, comfortable, standard response?  Folks, that’s saying a whole heck of a lot right there!  Now ladies, understand what I’m about to share with you here.  I’m only 5’2 ½”—yes, you’ve got to count the ½ inch. *grin* And I’m just over 200 pounds. So no, I’m not an imposing person to deal with physically. In fact, I suspect that I’m looked at as an “easy mark” by some fools due to me being out of shape.  This man was approximately 6 feet and weighed probably about 300 pounds.  In spite of these physical factors, combined with his revealing physical threat right off the bat, , I was not frightened. In fact, it’s probably my lack of fear of any repercussions which I thought I could handle, that I uttered my initial sentence within earshot of him. I was calm and confident. In fact, my only concern at the time was that I didn’t want to cause the kids to feel uncomfortable—especially the youngest. So I simply replied, “I’m not trying to fight with you. You could have simply been nice and let us in. It was two kids for crying out loud.” His response, “Shut the hell up or else.” I must say, I was a bit shocked at his angry behavior in response to such a small incident and in spite of there being plenty of people surrounding him, he seemed to posses no shame, no modicum of morality, and certainly no care in the world about anyone else. It was easy to see that he was comfortable with his rage and his attitude against others who inconvenienced him. Since I would be sitting beside him during the course of the movie, I decided that I would make clear to him that I wasn’t quite who he thought I was. While it may seem overly dramatic, given his “first impression” I saw the faces of various women in my minds eye, who may have been the brunt of his societal standards. I’ll be honest. There was a point when I asked myself if the opportunity would present itself for me to use my Asp on this guy. I know. I know, just a titch warped. As such, I looked right at him and said very clearly “Sir. I’m definitely not the woman you want to mess with.” He turned his head to me for a moment as if to size me up.  He then sarcastically replied, “Oh. I’m really scared.”

“Good! That’s just where I like ‘em. Overconfident and unaware,” I said, still looking directly at him.

He then turned his head back to the movie and said “just shut up and watch the movie. That’s what you paid for.”

I decided that I had said enough at this point and ran the risk of upsetting the kids if our voices got any more elevated so that they could hear.

Now, there’s a reason I’m telling you all of this and it’s not for a purpose of self-aggrandizing. It’s because there are two important things for you to learn from this scenario. First of all, I was told by one of my friends that I should have said “Let’s see how scared you are with a forty caliber pointed at you.”  I suspect that my friend was just getting in to the mood of things in this comment, but if I had said something to that effect, I actually could have gotten myself in a whole lot of trouble. I would have easily been accused of inciting a riot, “brandishing a weapon”—even though I wasn’t literally showing my firearm, disturbing the peace, and lastly I’m creating a threat. More importantly, if a person ever truly does feel threatened in such a situation, you certainly would not want to show your cards like that. If you truly feel threatened, then do something about it. Act, not react.  In this case, I felt that for the time being this guy was just full of himself and didn’t like being called out by a girl.  If I had truly felt threatened, then it would have been within my legal right to have physically assaulted him with non-deadly force.  Yes, in such an instance I, being out manned in weight and height, would have been legally within my rights to have “thrown the first punch” so to speak. As women, it’s not necessary for us to get hit, shoved, beaten, etc. by a man first before we respond. I realize for some of you, that may be hard to conceptualize. But after Mr. Sausage made his first physical threat of punching me in the face, I would easily have been in the right with a solid punch to his wind pipes, or whatever other physical maneuver I would have felt necessary—enough to minimize the physical threat of this man. However, that’s only the case if it was me, short and chubby, against him.  Had a 6 year old boy said that to me, then I would not be permitted to proactively defend myself. It all boils down to the level of threat and the weight of advantages, vs. disadvantages. For example, if it had been my husband who was being talked to that way, he would not have gotten away with a first strike because of his training, physique, and the fact that he was armed. In order for a well-trained man to have responded to this threat, Mr. Sausage would have had to make a physical threat imminent.

So, did I just sit there and watch the cute movie and not give this anymore thought? No, that would have been foolish on my part. I was strategizing, actually, in the event that my leg bounced just the wrong way to make him mad, or one of the kids aggravated him if they had to squeeze out to go to the bathroom.  So, I made sure that my Asp was in my grasp, my pepper spray was ready to spray, and I discreetly removed my knife from my purse and put it in my pants pocket. I was ready if I had to defend myself.  But, I also recognized that the two kids were a liability to me if there was an altercation. So, I texted my husband and invited him to join me at the dollar theater. Through a series of texts he was brought up to par on the scenario, and secured a seat right behind Mr. Sausage in the theater.  I casually made it obvious to Mr. Sausage that I knew the man sitting right behind him. When the movie was getting ready to wrap up, Mr. Sausage decided to exit before all of the mushy, happily ever after took place in the film. All he left behind was the stench of his body odor and a lesson learned. No regrets. No fear. No rattled children. All was well.  As the children and I exited the movie theater, all they talked about was how cute the movie was. They were impervious to the problem, didn’t notice that my husband had joined us or that I had additional contents in my various pants pockets. We were able to keep everyone else safe without any stress or concern.

There’s one other thing that I want to share with you. While I was sitting there, enjoying the movie, I thought about you. Yes, you.  You; who may lack the sufficient confidence necessary to handle such a situation. You; who may be lacking in the appropriate tools of leverage necessary to handle such a situation.  While a firearm would not have been appropriate self-defense tool for this particular level of threat, nor was the environment appropriate; would you have been essentially unarmed otherwise? I decided that this man had obviously pushed around, without challenge, too many women in his life thus far. I want to do my best to ensure that you are not one of them in the future. So, I decided to share this little story with you. I hope it provides you with some food for thought and that you will see that occasions for vital mental and physical self-defense capabilities self-defense are not limited to robbery, rape, or a home invasion. And they are not all solved with one particular tool each time.  The great benefit of really internalizing and learning self-defense though, is that you can walk away from such circumstances without any regrets, and with your confidence still in tact.

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For any questions or comments on this article, please leave a comment on the blog site so that everyone can benefit!

Copyright Protected 2010, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

Hone Your Natural Instincts

By Kellene Bishop

Ladies, it’s important that we control our bodies in a stressful encounter and not the other way around. The ability to do so may certainly make the difference between life and death.

Photo c/o hoboken411.com

Photo c/o hoboken411.com

For example, when a woman sees a gun pointed at her, her natural instinct is usually to scream and put her hands up in a manner of surrender—not keep them hidden and think. On the contrary, I have literally practiced handing my purse over to someone, PRETENDING to be a weak basket case and shooting my gun through my purse. That’s presence of mind that can protect your life. (Obviously, you would NEVER practice shooting a gun AT a human being. There’s no such thing a dress rehearsal for that.) I’ve also practiced pulling my asp from its hiding place as well as being prepared with other defensive devices.

Secondly, much like the Pink Panther movies, my husband regularly gives me practice of self-defense by startling me around the house. I have learned not to scream, throw my hands up flailing, and back away. I’ve instead learned to instinctively to go into “fight” mode, rather than “flight” mode. As a preferred target of criminals, it’s critical that we hone our natural instincts. After seeing many a woman fight viciously to protect their own child, I’m convinced that we were not programmed to flake out and crumble in a confrontation.

Austin thieves caught on a webcam. Photo c/o austinist.com

Austin thieves caught on a webcam. Photo c/o austinist.com

We also have practiced and thoroughly discussed what will happen IF someone were to charge unwelcomed into our home, or even our bedroom, at night while we are sleeping. We have practiced our efforts many times so that we know where the firearms are, where the strongholds are, playing possum when appropriate, etc.

This is called training. You don’t need to go to boot camp to accomplish this level of skill and awareness. You simply need to create your own disciplined mental and some physical training scenarios to better prepare yourself.

As you hone your natural instincts and run through these kinds of real-life scenarios, you will find that you’ll surround yourself with a stronger sense of peace and confidence rather than “whatever happens, will happen.”

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

Back-up Self-Defense Plans

Perhaps you’ve watched that good old Western movie in which the hero announces that the way he survived a shootout was having a back-up gun for his back-up gun.  When it comes to self-defense, we should all have back-up self-defense plans.

Obviously I’m a strong advocate of women using a firearm for self—defense, but a firearm isn’t always available…such as in an airport, school, or some churches.  Heck, even Blockbusters has a “no gun” policy (which is why I do business with Hollywood Video and Netflix instead).  In spite of these ridiculous gun free zones, you should not have to feel vulnerable.  The use of a firearm for defense, while ideal, is only one of three areas of self-defense.  The first area is obviously firearms.  This includes handguns, shotguns, and rifles, in that order.

Photo c/o http://doctorbulldog.wordpress.com Photo c/o doctorbulldog.wordpress.com

The next area of self defense is the use of practical weapons such as weapons that extend, project or pose the opportunity to be used as a weapon, in that order.

Asp Baton photo c/o manventureoutpost.com/

Asp Baton photo c/o manventureoutpost.com/

Objects that extend give you distance between you and your attacker. They also allow you to use the extension to carry more force behind the necessary strike. These objects may be a kubatan, an Asp, or even a baseball bat.  A pocket knife is technically an extension weapon, but not ideal as it requires the closest of encounters.

Objects that project are weapons such as pepper spray, mace, or a taser.  These items still allow you some distance, but don’t necessarily have the ideal stopping power as a weapon on extension.

Objects of occasion take a little bit of forethought and education.  Keys for example.  If you hold your keys when you walk out to your car, one in between each finger, you’ve got the makings of a good weapon should you have a close encounter.  Recently a woman leaving a McDonald’s late at night spotted an armed, masked male crouching by her car and used her panic button on her car as a weapon, successfully frightening the would-be assailant away.  The heel of a high-heeled shoe (used to strike an assailant—not to throw it at one), a tightly wrapped magazine or newspaper (has the leverage and penetration power of most kubatons if wrapped tightly enough), a belt (to

Photo care of made-in-china.com/

Photo care of made-in-china.com/

strangle, leverage an arm), a purse strap (to strangle or leverage an arm), a pen (to penetrate an eye or the neck or the chest), and even a credit card (used in a slicing motion against an assailants face)—all of these are weapons of occasion.  I’ve specifically prepared my mind to view such “weapons” in a dual-use sense.  Meaning that when I purchase a pen, I specifically make sure it’s strong enough to handle an event in which I may have to use it as a weapon, not just for writing “I Heart My Husband”.  (My 50 caliber casing that’s been made into a pen serves nicely for this purpose. *wink* )  When I purchase a purse, I want to make sure that the straps are long and sturdy enough for me to use it as a defensive weapon as well.

The last group of defensive weapons is essentially the lack of a weapon—your body.  Unarmed survival such as the use of strikes, leveraging or grappling may be the only thing you’re left with if you’ve been caught completely unprepared and unarmed.  Knowing where your first strike should be, knowing how to leverage your body to break an arm or to throw an assailant off of you, or knowing how to keep a calm head so that you can escape a ground grappling scenario is critical. And since it may be your last hope, it’s important that you give some time and attention to learning a few simple and memorable strategies. The key here is simple and memorable.   Not a “crouching tiger which turns into a dinosaur which turns into a bee” kind of move.

While I carry more than one firearm on me “just in case,” I also utilize all THREE components of self-defense for backup.  I’m not about to let a gun free zone or any other unarmed state catch me off guard.  You too should spend some time learning what you can do with alternative weapons of opportunity and those that God has given you.

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

Don’t You Dare Touch My Asp!

By Kellene Bishop

When I tell women in my self-defense class about my 2nd favorite weapon, my Asp, inevitably they wonder what crass thing I’ve just said.  Nope.  I’m not talking about one of my body parts.  But I am talking about a weapon that serves as a great appendage.  As such, I strongly advise you don’t touch my Asp. 🙂

While an Asp requires a closer encounter than firearm, it is not easily seen by an attacker as it’s coming against their skull—especially in the dark.  (I strongly recommend that you obtain a black one, and not one of the silver ones that I’ve seen.)  And if it does come into contact with any of their body parts in the name of self-defense, they’ll truly be sorry that you messed with the holder thereof.  

In the event that one of my self-defense firearms is unavailable, I will indeed go for my Asp.  In some instances, I even carry the Asp in a baton holder on my gun belt, though I usually carry it concealed in my purse.  Even though it does add more weight to my handbag, I simply can’t leave home without it.  I truly do value it second only to my firearms for self-defense.  

asp-baton-sizesAn Asp is a metal telescoping baton.  It starts out only about 6 inches long, usually with a moisture resistant (foam) grip, and when flicked deliberately it extends to about 16 inches long (sizes vary depending on the model and can go as long as 31 inches long when extended).  One deliberate strike of the extended Asp to the head, the wrist, the knee cap, or the nose will indeed cause excruciating pain and typically broken bones.  In some instances it can be a deadly weapon. 

Even without the telescoping feature, a firmly gripped Asp in the palm of your hand will emphasize any strike to the face or throat in a self-defense scenario—kind of like the impact of brass knuckles—only much cooler and less gaudy.  🙂  

Ideal strike zones for the Asp are the head (front, side or back), nose, collar bone, wrist, knee cap, and forearm.  Just as the use of a firearm for self-defense requires the threat of imminent death or serious physical damage, so does the use of an Asp.  In other words, you don’t bring it out just to threaten someone with it.  You bring it out to defend your life or someone else’s.

The most effective way to strike with an Asp is using short, deliberate strike movements.  Don’t bring it wide towards your target.  You won’t need that much power, and wide strikes only give more warning to your attacker.  Contrary to foolish instructions on other blogs, you don’t want to strike with an Asp from over your head, beyond the back of your shoulders, or from your side.  If you poise yourself much like a boxer, with one hand protecting your face and the other holding the Asp at about a eleven o’ clock to 1 o’clock position, simply bring the Asp forward in a circular, vertical movement.  Not in a baseball bat movement.

asp-foamThe manufacturers of the Asp offer extensive training classes and there are several certified instructors through out the U.S.  You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase an Asp.  I prefer the foam grip in the event that my palms are sweaty or that there’s blood involved.  I don’t want my grip control compromised.  

It’s important to note that possession of an Asp is not legal in all states.  Some states require a concealed handgun/weapon permit in order to carry an Asp.  You’ll need to check with the laws in your state.  

So now that you are well aware of the power of this weapon, don’t you dare touch my asp! 

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

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. 

belly-band-holsterbelly-band-holster-2

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.

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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.