Self-Defense for Women.Posted September 14, 2016
I WAS HELD UP AT KNIFE-POINT and lived to talk about it.
I want to tell you about an incident that happened to me years ago. Remembering this, could save your life.
This happened over twenty-five years ago when I was working in a small interior design shop. A man walked in and I instantly had a little feeling, you know, that kind of squeeze in the stomach that tells you, uh oh, be careful. Well, like many, I ignored my little feeling, wanting to make a sale. The man walked around for a moment and then made his way to me. In an instant, he pulled out a knife and held it at my throat. Give me your money, he said. I didn’t argue. I opened the cash, put everything on the counter and emptied my purse.
Now, the story should have ended with him leaving, except that after pocketing the money, he put the knife back to my throat and ordered me to go into the backroom. I started toward the small office behind the main store area, with him following my every step, knife still at my throat. I only took a few steps when a thought occurred to me. If I went into the office with him, and he knifed me, I was as good as dead. My best chance of surviving was to stay right where I was. At least there, if he knifed me, I had a better chance of being found before it was too late.
“Come on, lady,” he said, pushing the knife harder. “I don’t want to hurt you.” I could feel the blade pressing against my throat, but I held my ground. “No. I staying right here.” He and I repeated the same thing to each other a couple of times until I finally gathered the courage to yell at him, “You got what you wanted. You have my money. Now get the f…k out of my store.”
I don’t know where I found the courage to do this, but as soon as I did I saw something change in his eyes. He was no longer the aggressor. I was no longer the victim. He dropped his arm, put the knife back under his belt and backed out. A second later he was running up the street. I got on the phone with 911 and, of course, that’s when I fell apart.
When I identified his mugshot, the police told me the man had robbed about twenty businesses in the city and had sexually assaulted a number of women during those robberies. They said I had done exactly the right thing. When somebody with a weapon wants to take you to a different location (in my case the back office) that is never a good thing. Never, ever obey. Your life could depend on it. You may be hurt. But whatever happens to you in the first location, you can bet it would have happened in the second location–and most likely worse. That was the first lesson I learned from this. The other lesson was that one should always listen to that little voice. If I had, I would have done what I did a few years later when the same little feeling came over me when a man walked in. Before he could come to me, I walked straight out the front door and stayed there,
The second lesson was that one should always listen to that little voice. If I had, I would have done what I did a few years later when the same little feeling came over me when a man walked in. Before he did anything, I walked straight out the front door and stayed there, signaling him to leave, and I didn’t go back in until he was gone. I will never know if that man was there for some nefarious reason or not, but I didn’t take the chance.
If somebody tries to take you to a different location against your will, do anything you can to prevent it. Fight, scream, attract attention. Hopefully, he will decide you’re not worth the trouble. Your chance of survival will drop significantly if you obey. And second, listen to that little voice of yours. It’s called instinct. Like animals, we humans have it. It is there to help you when you most need it.
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