Self-defence is a woman's right

We can provide shocking statistics to highlight the number of women who are raped in South Africa every day, but even that won’t be enough. Rape is a traumatic experience that goes unreported too often and skews official police statistics. This Women’s Month, we decided to fight back and offered self-defence classes at our premises for anyone wanting to own the right to protect themselves.

Unleash your inner fighter

Unleashed is a self-defence course based on the principles of Krav Maga, which is a tactical, mixed martial art, self-defence system designed for women by women. The organisation works with real-world scenarios and teaches women how to get out of dangerous situations fast. The course teaches women how to get away from various attack methods such as being grabbed by the hair, choked or pinned to the ground. It doesn’t matter the nature of an attack, women are always at a disadvantage, but with the right techniques, you can avoid an incident because size will not matter.

At Avis Fleet, we believe in making a difference no matter how small it may seem. this is why we chose to support Unleashed as one of our SED initiatives.  Unleashed works on a 1-for-1 business model: for every course you buy, one is donated to a charity, shelter or a women’s group of your choice.

Here are some of the tips we learned from the Unleashed team;

The first rule of self-defence

The primary objective of Krav Maga is to neutralise the threat. Andy, our instructor explained that the first rule of self-defence was to avoid using self-defence. So you need to make it clear to a potential attacker that you will not be an easy target.

If you are walking towards your car and see someone shady, do not be submissive by lowering your head and avoiding eye contact. Make them aware that you know they are there. Walk back inside the building if you feel unsafe and ask for an escort to your car. If an attacker has already approached you, take a step back to create distance and loudly ask: “What do you want?”.  Once again, this will show you are a fighter and it will draw attention to you and them, which they want to avoid at all costs.

Be aware of your surroundings

Ladies, please do not use your phones in public. You are so invested in what you’re doing on your phone that you become oblivious to your surroundings. Even if you do know how to fight, it won’t mean a thing if you are attacked by surprise. Watch this video to get the message across. When you approach your driveway, did you check to see who was loitering nearby? Did you start opening your gate before driving in? What about at a traffic light? Are you on your phone, listening to music or thinking about all the work you have to get through instead of paying attention? This is not paranoia, it’s a priority.

When you have to attack

If you have to attack, make sure that person is not going to get up. What usually happens in a movie? The woman hits her attacker over the head with an object and runs up the stairs, where he eventually follows her. Don’t be that woman! Fight for your life! If you are attacked on the street, don’t let them take you to that second destination. Focus on the weak spots of the body: the eyes, the nose, the chin and throat. Eye-gouge, slap the ear with the palm of your hand and jab the throat straight across with the skin of your hand that’s between the thumb and the index finger.

How we keep our drivers safe

Making sure you’re safe is our top priority. Our Avis Fleet Telematics solution lets you track driver behaviour and successfully reduces accidents, vehicle maintenance costs and fuel consumption. Read our infographic, What’s not to like about telematics?

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