Protecting yourself against attackers when necessary
According to the law, you can use reasonable force to protect yourself, protect another person, protect your property, prevent crime or assist in the lawful arrest of a criminal. ‘Reasonable’ is a subjective term and depending on the circumstances and the threat level you are facing; for force to be reasonable it must be necessary and proportionate- in other words. Although any situation would be stressful, you have to pause and take the time available to think about what you are going to do to protect yourself.
Our Best Advice
Stay in busy, well-lit areas at all times if you can
Travel in a group when you can
Respect other people’s personal space the same you want them to
Don’t take short cuts through dark alleys, parks etc. Walk facing the traffic, so a car cannot pull up behind you unnoticed.
Don’t hitch-hike or take lifts from strangers ever
Walk away from confrontational situations as soon as possible to avoid it escalating
Go to the police or a doctor if you have been attacked or threatened
If you do decide to defend yourself, be aware that your attacker may be stronger than you or have more weight behind his/her force. It is often advised that you yell and run away.
Self-defense classes may help you feel more secure, but we are going to be sharing self defense videos that we think you will find helpful.
Advice when socializing to avoid becoming a victim
- Cover up expensive-looking jewellery, watches etc.
- Carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards.
- Carry your house keys in your pocket. If someone grabs your bag, let it go, do not get hurt. Your safety is more important than your property.
- When walking alone carry a personal attack alarm. Carry it in your hand so you can use it immediately to scare off an attacker.
- Arrange transport home in advance. Do not go out alone. Don’t get isolated from your friends.
- Stay in well-lit areas and don’t wander in areas you are unsure of.
- Never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from someone who you don’t know or trust.
- If you feel drunk, dizzy or disorientated seek help from a trusted friend or a member of bar staff.
- Consider carefully whether to leave with someone you have just met.