Knoxville (WVLT) - You never think it's going to happen to you, which is why safety experts say we should all take a self-defense course to learn how to protect ourselves from an attacker.
WVLT Volunteer TV's Jessa Goddard takes you through the basics.
The fact of the matter is, it can happen to you. And you are your best weapon against an attacker.
The best way, in fact the only way, to prepare yourself to fight off an attacker is to take a self-defense class.
The attacker usually has the upper hand in the attack, because he or she is prepared and you're not.
Attackers often anticipate how you'll react, but a self-defense class can teach you how to surprise your attacker and catch him off guard.
"While men may be stronger, generally speaking, we tell women that a lot of times, they can be smarter," UT Police Sergeant Emily sellers says that includes learning what your personal weapons are and how to use them against an attacker. "We talk about use of our hands, use of your knees, feet, those sorts of things as your own personal weapons and the most vulnerable areas to use those on against an attacker."
One of the best things you can take away from a self-defense class is self-confidence.
You'll be better able to fight off an attacker, if you've had practice.
Sergeant Sellers says one of the moves they practice in the women's self defense program is how to respond if an attacker tries to steal your purse.
She shows us how, without ever coming into personal contact with an attacker.
"So, if somebody does demand your purse or other items, give those items to them. We recommend that if they're standing over to your left, you throw the purse over to your left. You throw it down and walk the opposite way," Sellers says.
And remember, if you choose to carry chemical weapons, like mace or pepper spray, have a good working knowledge of the device and the proper training to use it.
We got our lesson from the UT Police Department, but there are many others available in our community.
You can try your local YMCA, community center and even hospitals.
Remember, self-defense actually means doing everything possible to avoid someone who attacks you. It's all about using your head, not your fists.