From Newark Police
The chances of becoming a victim of an assault are slim. However, preparation and thinking through "how would I respond" before something does happen, is your best chance at survival. A plan for reaction is what you need.
Surviving a personal assault or other attack begins with planning. When such an incident occurs there usually is not time to assess the situation in detail to determine the best answer or response. Instead, every moment counts and an effective escape is impacted greatly by how fast and appropriate the victim responds.
Imagine if someone were to jump out of the bushes and attempt to pull you in; how would you react?
Probably, your first instinct would be to scream and yell for help, which is a good start, but what's needed is an IMMEDIATE, DIRECT AND EXPLOSIVE PHYSICAL RESPONSE.
A startling and shocking response can, in many cases, stun the attacker and provide you with a moment or two for escape. Kicking or kneeing a male in the groin as well as poking at the eyes or thrusting your palm into their nose are all excellent responses that can provide that stunning blow.
Improvised weapons can also be effective, such as a set of keys that can be thrust into someone's eyes or an umbrella or a shopping bag containing hard or glass items.
Catching the person who committed the crime is of great importance to public safety, but your escape is what matters most at that moment. You should make your escape at the very first opportunity.
Head to where there are other people who can assist you and call for emergency services. Run to a house that appears to have someone at home and ask for help. Most importantly, get as far away, as fast as possible, from the culprit.
The situation becomes more challenging if the suspect has a weapon such as a knife or gun.
In these cases, the response needs to be tempered with the knowledge that an "accidental" pull of the trigger could happen or an involuntary movement of the hand containing the knife could occur.
Consequently, our reaction tactic probably needs to be altered.
Think of what would be a "turn-off for the assailant.” Comments about other people coming into the area, pointing out a police car, talk of disease or a menstrual cycle; all of these can impact the attacker's desire and encourage them to let you go.
Planning and practicing your reaction plan is important to survival. But it's impossible to predict or identify every scenario or the very best way to respond in every situation.
Having a general idea of what you (and your family) would do in most circumstances may be just the recipe to escape. Take time to think about and discuss things that could happen and make sure you and all members of your family are as prepared as possible.