Friday, 25 March 2011

Self-defence tips and techniques, courtesy of the GLF

I would hate to think that any of my readers would feel themselves in danger of physical violence because of the way they choose to dress; but we all know that such attacks have taken place before and it's far better to be safe than sorry.

Source: Tumblr
I'm making this post so that if someone is violent towards you, you can defend yourself. I don't want to find out that one of my charming, delightful readers (yes, you) has become another Sophie Lancaster. Some of the self defence techniques listed below were sent to me in an e-mail from the UK branch of the GLF (Gothic Liberation Front); some are just common sense.

Your Auntie A is feeling just a little bit like an overprotective mother hen today.

Really Obvious Disclaimer: I am not a martial arts teacher; I cannot turn you into Xena: Warrior Princess or male equivalent. These are basic tips which I hope might help you in extreme situations. Please do not go around breaking the fingers of anyone who looks at you funny. Neither I nor the person who sent me these tips can be held responsible if you damage someone or are damaged. Violence is never the answer; avoid situations of physical violence if AT ALL possible.

If someone is being abusive towards you:
  • First and foremost, IGNORE THEM. They want you to retaliate so that they have an excuse to take further action. If you don't give them such an excuse, they shouldn't persist.
  • Walk away. Run if you have to. Avoiding a fight is always the best option.
  • As we all know, sometimes people don't need a reaction to carry on with the abuse. If you are threatened in any way - including verbally - shout for help. That way you raise alarm and people may come to your aid. If that fails at least some witnesses can be obtained. Remember - by calling for help you are not being a coward. You are taking action to defend yourself.
  • If the attacker persists then take off any jewellery and/or accessories you have on, i.e chains, belts, possibly even boots, ANYTHING like that, especially if it's heavy, metal, sharp or spiky. (This is because if there is a physical fight and you accidentally injure them with these items, this will be considered assault with a weapon and if you end up in court, you are likely to be the one getting in trouble. Remember, people often like an excuse to blame things on the 'freaky' one.) Also, if you are wearing long necklaces or chains, these can be used against you. Get them out of the picture.
  • Prepare to defend yourself.
If you are attacked physically:
  • If you can, run to a populated area. Shout for help. Always run to a place where there will be more people. Hiding from your attacker in an isolated area may seem like a good idea, but it really isn't. There will be no witnesses and no one who could step in and defend you.
  • Defend yourself and fight back - but always avoid the other person's face. If you give them any head injuries they can press charges whether they started the fight or not.
  • DO NOT START the fight. Avoid the altercation if at all possible; defend yourself, do not attack.
  • Aim below the waist (especially if your attacker is male). You need to inhibit the person and/or distract them from hurting you, so for example if you were to hurt their leg you can get away.
  • If someone grabs you, break their little finger. This is actually taught as a self defence technique in some workplaces, because the little finger is a useless part of the body. It serves practically no purpose, and breaking it causes no lasting damage to the other person. Not to mention it bloody hurts and so is very likely to prevent them from attacking you further!
Bear in mind; I have warned against head injuries, attacking with weapons etc. - but again, you do not want to be the next Sophie Lancaster. If it comes down to it, defend yourself at all costs.

Apologies for this very serious post. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow; same bat time, same bat channel.


Laurence 'The Beard' Williams said...

Important advice here Amy, and I agree wholeheartedly. After the Sophie Lancaster tragedy, it's even more important to learn how to defend yourself, although having said that the police may be more responsive after what happened to Sophie. Some goths are pacifist, but when it comes down to it, you shouldn't have to suffer because of other people's hostility.

One thing I would reccomend in the clothing department is to wear boots. Now, I'm not saying to wear those big massive goth boots which can brain an elephant. I mean more innocent yet hard boots, which can be an asset in self defence. I recently purchased a pair of German paratrooper bootsfrom a market in Lancaster, and are as tough as anything. If it's something as normal as that, you have even more means to defend yourself, as well as avoid being called out over offensive/harmful clothing.

Thanks again for this :)

Lucy Diamond said...

It's sad to say sometimes I am deterred from dressing as I would at times because of this very reason, but also the area I live in.

This post helped quite a bit though! Very well written. :D

MissSpastic said...

This is all valuable advice. I never knew that chains/boots etc. could be considered "assault with a weapon." Would a court of law really prosecute someone for something like that if say, the case was between a young girl and an older man? With all the self-defense accessories a girl can purchase (mace keychains, tasers, etc.) I'd imagine they'd be a little more forgiving about those situations (although who knows, they might assume goth chicks are into attacking people twice their size for no reason)
as a side note, how exactly do you break someone's pinky? lol

Jacqueline said...

First off I'd like to say I love your blog!
Second off, I know this is completely unrelated to this particular post, but I've been looking for someone to do a post on foundation/makeup for lighter skintones. Being very pale, I have a huge problem matching up my color with drugstore foundations and not looking bright orange. Of course, I could google "pale skin foundation" but their "goes on like a dream! Highest quality!" could translate to "somewhere between melted marshmallows and chalk" when I buy it.

Shiken said...

Chav attack? Simple, bite off the ear, never again have I seen that guy at the Slime or any Goth nights Ha ha!
No seriously don't do that, you'll only risk losing your teeth.

With these attacks I've noticed as you grow older Chavs or angry ilk alike tend to become more....less?
I remember when I first started my dark wannabe jounrey at 15 and everywhere I went someone pushed me around or generally just wanted to kick my ass.
Now I'm 20 they avoid eye contact and will wait until they are X amount of metres away before shouting "Batty Boy" or whatever there small intelligence can canconjure.

ultimategothguide said...

@ The Beard - good advice, funnily enough I feel more confident wearing my steel-toed combat boots than my heavy, spiked New Rocks - the combats are light enough to run in but if I had to I could leave a nasty bruise ^^

Thanks very much, and you are welcome.

@ Lucy Diamond - thanks very much =) Sorry to hear that, but I can empathise - I tend to only be really outrageously dressed if I am in company.

@ Miss Spastic - bend it back as hard as you can! If it doesn't snap, it will at the very least cause some hardcore pain...

Very interesting point - I would like to think that no one would accuse us freaky chicks of 'asking to be attacked', but in a day and age when women who wear short skirts are accused of 'asking for it' if they are raped, I wouldn't like to judge... :-/

@ Jacqueline - thanks very much! Request noted, I will go hit my make-up artist coursework with some hardcore studying, get my research on, and get back to you =)

@ Shiken - what is it with you and ears? o.O

I agree, I could hardly go anywhere on my own when I was fifteen but now I'm nearly twenty I don't get half as much crap. I think the fact I'm taller than most of the pocket-size chavs in my area probably helps. ;-)

Unlacing the Victorians said...

I have heard that if you want to shout to get attention, don't yell "Help!" simply because people don't really respond to it. They'll either think you're making it up or stay safely indoors to not be a part of what happened. Yell "Fire!" Everyone will want to see what's on fire and come running out of doors.

Kitty Lovett; A Charming Notion said...

My ex boyfriend (total alphagoth) got the snot beaten out of him when he was out one night, the night after he got his drink spiked. He got his nose broken - they were targeted because of the way they dressed.

In retrospect, he probably deserved it. He liked to yell at muslims to take their headdresses off. Once I ripped a chunk of his hair out for it and went and apologised to the woman - coz he hates people saying things about his clothes, so it disgusted me that he would say something about theirs.

Cherry Divine said...


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