I'm sure you've heard or read about the 20 year old CU student who got ticketed for falsely reporting an attack on University Hill. You can read more about it here.
Her initial story was that she was walking alone when she was grabbed by a 200lbs. knife wielding man. After a struggle, she got away with some minor scratches.
Doesn't add up does it? It may be possible if she was very lucky and the attacker only had the intention to scare her with the knife but did not plan on actually using it. It is definitely possible if she acted and overwhelmed her attacker (you want to take away the attacker's confidence, therefore the Golden Rule of self defense: ACT CRAZY). However, if a 200 lbs. man was wielding with a knife, it would be extremely hard to walk away the way she did. Not just for her but for anyone, including me!
False reports are unfortunate and prevent law enforcement from investigating real crimes. For example:
The armed robbery which turned fatal for Todd Walker (March 2011)
The gunmen who robbed multiple people and sexually assaulted a woman (August, 2011)
A gunman outside the Boulder Community Hospital (April, 2011)
Bank robbery in North Boulder (September, 2011)
CU campus robbery (January, 2012)
Sexual assault attempts (October, 2011)
Does this mean Boulder is an unsafe or bad place to live? Absolutely not! However, as in every big town (and college town), you need to be aware and more importantly, not be naive. Not everyone is trustworthy, you need to be cautious and use common sense.
After all, things happen and you don't control everything or everyone. None of the above victims ever thought this would happen to them but unfortunately it did. We should all try to keep ourselves and others safe. There are many ways to do this but the first step is to realize bad things do happen. Being prepared doesn't hurt. The last thing you want to do is putting yourself in a situation in which bad things can happen.
As a self defense instructor, I spend a lot of attention to all aspects of self defense. It is not simply about the techniques and how to get back to safety but it's also about preventing, scanning, communication (verbal and non verbal), knowing vital points and very important: your mental state.
My wife pointed out an article about self defense a few weeks ago and Linda Fairstein (a former sex crimes prosecutor) addresses a few very bad choices that turned for the worst.
- Kenia Monge from Denver was planning on going to college to become a crime scene investigator so she was an intelligent woman. When she left her friends to go to the restroom when partying, she never came back. Travis Forbes was found guilty for the murder of Kenia. She made one mistake but it cost her and her family dearly. It is very important to use a buddy system when leaving the group, no matter how close or easy your destination is.
- Holly Bobo, a 20 year old student was kidnapped outside her Tennessee home. It seems like Holly did not resist enough, at least not in the initial part of her kidnapping. Traces of resistance were found but it was probably too late. If you feel unsafe, draw attention to yourself. It will lower your attacker's confidence and other people may be able to assist or call 911. Do whatever you can to draw attention and target vital points to maximize damage and pain. Please note that every situation is different and everyone's response is different. When there are weapons involved, it is also a very different scenario so this response may not fit all situations!
- Paula Sladewski had a fight with her boyfriend in a club, it came to a point that her boyfriend was thrown out and she stayed. When she left later, cameras show a man was following her. She didn't make it and up to this day, there is no suspect. Paula made the mistake of making a decision based on her emotions at that time. This affected her safety and it turned for the worst. Always be careful and don't take risks, even if you are upset.
The article focussed on these three situations that were caused by a certain decision. Other people doing the same actions may be fine and many other decisions will also turn out to be the wrong one. Should you lock yourself up and don’t take any risks? No but take calculated risks and please use common sense. It’s better to be safe than sorry. In my mind, every person should take a proper self defense course and know the basics (not because we teach these but I believe things can happen and you should be able to help yourself if needed).
We teach self defense classes 4 times a week and offer punch cards to give our clients the freedom to choose their own times. We focus on every aspect of self defense and make sure you leave with a strong basic knowledge and skill set. All levels and ages are welcome. More info about our self defense classes and workshops here.
By Sander Vanacker, Define Defense’s certified personal trainer and head martial arts instructor, based in Boulder, Colorado. Take a look at www.DefineDefense.com, www.TrainerVanacker.com or check out our videos on YouTube.com/DefineDefense ! Define Defense in Boulder, CO
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Boulder, CO 80302