How to Avoid Being a Victim

Posted on September 2nd, 2013 by Dr. Nancy

Alexis Fabricius founder of Invicta Self-DefenseHave you ever looked at yourself through the eyes of a predator? What does he want? What can make you safe? Alexis Fabricius has done just that and her mission is to empower women by teaching them practical self defense.
She founded Invicta Self-Defense in Toronto, Ontario and volunteers with the Toronto Police Department to help others in her community.
Alexis was trained in various martial arts disciplines and holds a black belt in two of them. Although her strategies are soundly based in technique, her self-defense principles do not rely on strength or fitness. She uses a practical approach for average women based on understanding the psychology of violence and helping women develop the self-confidence to prevent their own victimization.

Is Self-Defense for Women Different than Men?

Unlike men, women fear for their safety almost daily. Men don’t understand why women fear walking in a parking lot at night by themselves. Alexis says that she has felt the fear and anxiety women feel and has developed her program to address those fears.
Dr. Nancy says that women must give themselves permission to defend themselves. We are raised in a culture that says girls should be nice and polite if we want to be liked. We certainly don’t want to be rude and hurt someone’s feelings. We have to break out of our cultural upbringing to say “yes, it’s okay to defend myself.”

Do Most Attacks Come from Someone You Know?

(Only 10% Come from Strangers)
Alexis says that what is wrong with most self-defense courses is that they teach you really good fighting techniques, but when the attacker is a man you’re out on a date with or your next door neighbor, most women won’t use force against them. She teaches women to set their boundaries with clear and concise communication. For example, when you say, “No, I won’t stand for this.” you need to use a firm tone and drop your pitch on the end of your sentence. It is called “breaking rapport.” Alexis says that pitch accounts for 40% of the message whereas words account for only 7%. She compares it to dog training. Say “sit” in a soft voice and the dog ignores you, pitch your voice down and the dog obeys.

What are the Keys for Avoiding Violence?

Dr. Nancy and Alexis give excellent advice for avoiding violent attacks.

  1. Walk confidently with head high and shoulders back. Do not wear the body language of a victim (head down and distracted by texting and other activities while walking).
  2. Be alert and pay attention to your surroundings. Hold your keys in your hand. Know where the exits are and where you are going. Get security to accompany you if available.
  3. Learn about the psychology of violence. Two things need to be present for violence to happen:

Control and vulnerability

Predators are looking for a quick in and out. If you look like you will cause them trouble, they won’t be as likely to choose you for their victim.
Check out Alexis’ website for more information and monitor her blog for posts about more self-defense information. Be sure to listen to this conversation and tell all your women friends, daughters and granddaughters to do the same. This could be the most important information you share this year.

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