It's hard to say 'No.' Do it anyway.
(By Defend Yourself instructor Lauren Taylor. Originally appeared on Everyday Feminism. Read the whole piece here. )
Just say “no.” That’s easy to say, more difficult to do. In real life, standing up for yourself is actually pretty hard.
Though many of us insist that if we were intruded upon, we would set a firm limit, when faced with a sticky situation, we often go quiet, get passive, or freeze.
Whether we’re facing a random person who stands too close on the subway, a pushy coworker, an intrusive relative, or a would-be rapist, many of us find it hard to assert our boundaries.
Many people think of self-defense as what they would do if someone jumped them in a parking lot or dark alley.
We do teach ways to fight off an attacker. But self-defense is much more than that! It is a set of skills--verbal, emotional, mental, and physical--that you can use to keep yourself safe, claim your space, set limits, say no, heal from abuse or attacks, and live the life you want to live. more»
Whether or not you live in a high-crime area, attack is an unfortunate possibility. For women especially, most assaults don't come from strangers in parking lots: They come from friends, acquaintances, romantic partners, or family members. more»
Have you ever had to use it?
"I attended your Defend Yourself workshop at [my college] last semester... I unfortunately had to use some tactics I learned from the workshop as I was assaulted [at the beach] this summer. I honestly believe that I avoided a rape from your training."