Danger signs that you might be harmed or hurt
- Someone grabs, holds, pushes, slaps, or hits you.
- Someone touches or kisses you without you saying it’s okay.
- Someone yells, puts you down, or says hurtful things to you.
Things that help
- Make eye contact — Look the attacker directly in the eye to say you are not afraid!
- Breathe — Take a deep breath and calm yourself.
- Focus — Focus on what to do to get to safety.
- Get help — Call 911, report it to the police, talk to your supporters, and/or get help from an abuse prevention center. Keep seeking help until you are safe.
Protect yourself when someone tries to hurt you. Here are some ways to defend yourself:
- Surprise your attacker — Don’t be a quiet, passive victim. Surprise your attacker by making noise, saying “NO,” and/or walking or running away.
- Give 100% effort — When you defend yourself, do one thing at a time and do it with 100% of everything you have whether you yell or run away.
- If all else fails, wait — Let the situation progress, plan, and wait for a chance to get to safety.
- As a last resort, defend yourself by physically fighting back — Use your body “defenders” — your elbow, your heel, your fist, your voice, and your head. A wheelchair or a cane can also be used as a defender.
To get away quickly,
- Aim for a place on the attacker’s body that will hurt a lot.
- Look for a place on the body you can reach.
- Distract the attacker so you can get to safety.
Some examples are included below:
- Hit the attacker in between the ribs with your elbow.
- Use your heel to stomp on top of the attacker’s foot.
- Use your fist to hit the attacker in the nose.
- Use your knee to hit the attacker in the groin.
- Use your heel to kick the attacker in the shin.
- Use your wheelchair to hit the attacker’s legs.
When you defend yourself, do what you have to do to get to safety!