One in three women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Eighty-five percent of women who yell to attract attention to themselves and resist their attackers escape. Women who do neither of these things rarely do.

Sexual assault is something that most women fear. Sexual assault, however, can be avoided if women learn how to protect themselves both physically and mentally for situations in which rape, or common assault can occur. According to a study by sociologist Pauline Bart, entitled Stopping Rape: Successful Survival Strategies, women who were the most successful in avoiding rape were those who had studied self defense. The self defense trained group in her study had learned to be aware of danger and respond to it earlier than those who had not been taught to anticipate their own responses to dangerous situations. It is vital, in terms of survival, that women learn how to defend themselves.

Knowing how to defend yourself also reinforces the knowledge that you are worth protecting. It gives you the confidence to project capability and assertiveness in every day life, as well as the determination to do this dring attack. Self defense training also gives women the opportunity to learn how to assess, be prepared for and handle dangerous situations through the acquired knowledge of natural physical defenses and how to use them effectively.

What can you do if you're being attacked?

Your voice is your most powerful weapon - use it. If you are being attacked it is important to draw attention to yourself and your attacker and noise is the best way in which this can be achieved. If it becomes obvious that you have drawn attention to yourself, in most cases your atacker will be looking to escape this attention, and will, therefore, let you go. Personal alarms can also help you acheive this.