Jul 30, 2012

How to hit where it hurts !

Sometimes I feel that most men in this country consider eve teasing and leching at women as their constitutional right, especially since the Police or the law does nothing to prove them otherwise.

We have all had to deal with “lechers” who ogle at us as we walk down the street, men in buses who try to touch and grope and stand too close. Most of us ignore such incidents. This is our biggest mistake. Ignoring these men will just make them more confident. They need to be taught a lesson. I have lost count of the number of times I have stomped on a man’s foot in a crowded bus or poked him with a safety pin. Once a group of us even confronted the men who were ogling at us through the window of the café we were sitting in.

I also strongly feel that every girl needs to learn some self-defense tactics so that she knows how to defend herself if the need arises.

Last week, my company organized a session on self-defense for women. As much as I applaud this initiative by them a part of me is also very angry that in this godforsaken society of ours, the crime against women are on such a high that organizations are actually having sessions on how to protect yourself from a potential rapist!

I have listed some of the things that we were taught there. Some of you may already be aware of these points, or may want to add more points that you think are worth sharing. Please feel free to do so.

1. Pepper spray is one of the best defenses. It is 100 times stronger than your average chili powder and will debilitate a man for at least 10-15 minutes. Keep it handy where it can be reached for easily. For example instead of putting it inside your purse, put it in an outside pocket.

2. Safety pins come in very handy if someone is standing too close to you in a bus – try poking the man really hard with it. You can also hit him with your elbow or stomp on his feet with all your might – works very well especially if you are wearing heels!

3. There are many handy “weapons” in our handbags. We can use our keys and pens to poke the man in his eyes, credit cards to slash against the neck or arm, even a comb if used with a lot of force against the arm can tear skin and draw blood. Even better, take the comb and run it with a lot of force on the upper lip of the man – just under the nose – if done with enough force it can actually tear the lips and gums.

4. Keep a whistle in your purse that has a very piercing and sharp sound. In a danger situation, try blowing on the whistle. Works better than shouting for help.

5. Suppose you have been pushed down grab whatever comes in your hand – sand/mud and fling it in his face. Or try to grab a stone and hit him hard with it.

6. If you are alone in the lift with a man who looks shady to you, simply press all the buttons till the floor you want to go to. This way the lift will stop at every floor.

7. When travelling alone by an auto or taxi at night, call someone and give them the vehicle number and other details. This way the driver will know that someone has his details. Even if you can’t get hold of anyone on the phone, pretend to have a conversation with someone.

If your car is parked in a lonely spot, always take out your car keys before you leave the building to walk towards your car.Make sure you are not standing in a lonely spot rummaging in your purse for the keys. Same applies to house keys. 

We were also taught the various ways in which you can hit a man and debilitate him for the few precious seconds that you need to run. We also identified the various body parts you can cause injury to and how you should do it:

·With your fingers, poke him in the eye with as much force as you can. A finger straight in the eye is extremely painful.

· If the assaulter is facing you, try choking him. Don’t try to choke him by putting both your hands around his neck. That doesn’t work. Put your fingers near to where his tonsils are (on both sides of the wind pipe) and press hard.

· Punch him on the nose. Or even better try putting your fingers in his nostrils and push upwards with all your might (yuck I now, but it might give you those few seconds to run!)

·Grab his ears and pull with all your might. If if you are grabbed from behind under your arm pits – raise your hands and get hold of his ears – then pull downwards as hard as possible. A lady tried his and literally tore off the top of the ears of the assaulter.  

· Grab hold of his finger and pull backwards with all your strength till you hear a click sound. A Broken finger is extremely painful ! 

· Bite anywhere and bite hard enough to draw blood

· Punch the man hard in his stomach or hit with your knee.

· With your leg or knee, hit him between the legs – but divert his mind by hitting somewhere else first because if he moves even a bit you will end up hitting him on the thigh which will just make you lose your balance.

· Kick him hard in his shin, especially if you are wearing shoes.

· Take your foot behind his leg and hit him hard on the back of his knee or shin – he will just topple over.

· If he is behind you,hit him hard with your elbow. Try raising your elbow as high as you can so you manage to hit his face.

· If he has grabbed you from behind and pinned down your arms, raise your leg backwards and hit him hard between the legs or stomp on his foot, or bite on the arm holding you down till you draw blood.

Last but not the least don’t Panic. A cool mind helps you think rationally. It’s not always physical strength that matters. Most of the time it’s the presence of mind and courage that helps you save yourself.


  1. I love the press every button on the lift idea. Thanks for sharing survival tips, they are extremely helpful

  2. Thanks you so much for sharing. I agree its the presence of mind more than physical strength that can be of use in case of any such situation.

  3. Really handy tips here. I liked the one with the comb and poking with a pen. We never consider them as weapons...

  4. Those are very helpful tips indeed! Thanks for sharing, Ruchira.

    Having grown up in a city like Delhi, I myself have used a couple of tricks like poking with safety pins, hitting with the elbow and stomping on the feet...successfully at that :D

    Its commendable to see companies taking steps to ensure that their employees are well-equipped and trained to defend themselves.

  5. awesome post. When I came to the US as a student, I used to walk back n forth to college at odd hours, and always kept a pepper spray handy. It really is a life savior! All other tips are great as well. I have grand plans of sending kiddo to some form of martial arts and learn proper self defense ;)

  6. Thank you. Very informative. Am going to take a printout to school, and pass on these tips to the kids... both boys and girls!

  7. Thank you for sharing the tips Ruchira!
    I have used the elbow, safety pins quite successfully!! And even punched a guy in the face! I had a swollen hand, but the guy ran away before a crowd gathered!! :D

    These survival tips are quite handy!

  8. @PhoenixRitu – yes I loved this idea too ! I think survival tips are badly needed at this time.
    @life begins – Yes presence fo mind always helps in a critical situation
    @Lazy Pineaple – Welcome here. Yes We were taught so many things which we never even considered. I personally liked the breaking the finger and pulling the ears part a lot !
    @Deeps – Welcome Here ! Yes we dilliwallahs really know why a safety pin is called as “safety” pin :P
    @Shachi – We got a free pepper spray after the session. I intent to keep it in my bag always !
    @Swaram – welcome :)
    @Usha – Thanks for dropping by ! It would be great if you could share it with kids – the earlier such education begins the better.
    @Pixie – Good for you ! I always had a safety pin with my whenever I travelled by bus

  9. Very helpful tips! During my college days, I used my elbow to jab sharply to ward off people in the bus who would deliberately fall on me from behind. I like the safety pin trick too, and I always carry pepper spray, even a bat in car these days. Any tips for buddhas? I once called out loudly, "buddhe kahin ke, ladkiyon ko ghurte hain." So many people turned in the direction of this old lecher; he stays in my community and is the fil of one of my acquaintances.

  10. @Rachna - Well .. there was a middle aged man who would stop walking to stare at me whenever I went for a jog in my neighor hood park. And his eyes would be glued right to my chest ! That idiot .. I tolerated him for a week and then walked up to him and said kya baat hai uncle kabhi ladki nahi dehi ? He did the ususal “kya baat kar rahi beti tum to meri beti ki umar ki ho” To which I retorted to “To kya apni daughter ko bhi aise hi dekhte ho?”

  11. Awesome tips! Thanks for shaing. One never knows, how and when a tip comes handly. I think the last one, having presence of mind is extremely important.

  12. Fantastic tips here, R. I think presence of mind and being tuned in to our intuition will help us to know when to use these.

  13. Excellent tips, thanks for sharing! I used my elbows a lot in public buses during my college years.

  14. @chandni - welcome here ! Presence of mind is so important !
    @Corinne - Along with presence of mind our intuition lets us judge character many times !
    @Ash - me too - elbow, stomping and safety pins !

  15. Thanks for sharing this Ruchira!! I liked the lift buttons idea and the whistle and pepper spray, but I realise much as we don't even want to think about it, the rest of the tips can be life savers.

    Though I wish we didn't need these :(

  16. Good tips and handy to use too, only as pointed out correctly, it is necessary to keep one's presence of mind. I always carried an umbrella, which I used to poke anyone who leaned on me in a crowded bus. Even my loaded handbag was a deterrent.

  17. Great post Ruchira. I would add just one point. Stay fit mentally and physically, you would automatically remember everything you need to do. Having read this post would help.

  18. You have suggested good "reactive" tips. I think we must think of "proactive" measures to tackle the root cause of the problem and as a deterrent measure. Prevention is always better than cure. Please let us have your views (and a blog post) on Proactive Measures to curtail this menace.

  19. @IHM – That’s what I was thinking while writing this post – I wish there was no neeed to write such a post !

    @Zephyr – Umbrella is a good idea !

    @Sangeeta – That what the instructor always said – remain physically and mentally alert and fit always !

    @Vikram – Welcome here!
    The root cause of this problem is only one – The sick mindset of these guys!– why they have such a mindset and what measures need to be taken to “educate” them remains a complex issue – We need to change a lot of things here - beginning with sex education at a young age, male children taught to respect women and treat them as human beings and not objects of desire, and most important more stringent laws. I don’t need to tell you how far we are in India from achieving any of the above. So till we evolve as a society, lets fight these men as best as we can! Stop ignoring eve teasers and lechers and give them and back and give it good!

  20. This is a very important and necessary post. And very powerfully written. Sometimes I feel ashamed of being a man and every time I read/hear of such incidents, my shame gets accentuated.

    I agree our country is replete with lecherous men. And it is indeed a mistake to ignore them. You have very neatly elaborated on all the steps that can be taken to thwart and fight off these men. It is indeed sad that these are required in the first place but until man learns to respect women, these will be necessary and a woman has to hit and kick a man where it hurts until he realizes his heinousness.

  21. @Raj - Posts like this are necessary because of the kind of society we live in ! As you say it is indeed sad that we need such posts !

  22. Some tips are really innovative...like the elevator one. Ruchira sample this comment on my post about the rise in molestation cases....
    "Actually research says that more women have fantasies of getting raped than men have of raping women," says one guy.

    After reading this comment the only way to go is self defense, kick hard or use a pepper spary....

  23. I read that comment on your blog Alpka. Disgusted me thoroughly !
    Guys like these need an ample dose of pepper spray :)

  24. Good ones , but the title says it all HIt where it hurts the most.. and DONT LET GO..

    those are some very helpful tips and for all to use .. just be safe and take precaution .. precaution is better then cure always..

    most importantly USE COMMON SENSE.. If you think there might be danger then DONT DO IT ..


  25. Excellent post. Tweeting the link to this.

  26. First time here via the tweeted link by Preeti Shenoy.. liked the article.. a very intelligent share.. thanks for tips.. have shared it further on fb & twitter..

  27. @Bikram - yes precaution is always better than care - as someone in the police force would you like to add a few more points here ?

    @Preeti - Thanks Preeti, this needs to be shared with as many women as possible.

    @SuKupedia - Welcome here and thanks for sharing further !

  28. Wonderful techniques to protect ourselves. This sort of a training/information should be part of every household, school and office. Though it is quite shameful that we need so many tactics to protect ourselves, it is imperative that every woman knows the things mentioned in this post.

    Presence of mind which is otherwise always present pales in times of danger. So, it becomes quite necessary not to lose calm and common sense.

    Kudos to this post. Thanks, as well.

    Joy always,

    P. S: Came over from Indi Blogeshwaris.

  29. Fantastic tips!! A must read for all women! Safety pins, pressing all buttons of the lift, calling somebody abt auto number, whistle... are great ideas!
    It's just that when faced with such incidents, either you panic or are so disgusted and angry that all the 'keep cool and act fast' thought vanishes... but it's important to be rational and have presence of mind!
    Great post!



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