November 18, 2005
With two women possibly attacked by the same armed robber, you may be wondering how you can protect yourself if you were ever in a similar situation, especially if you have never taken a self defense class.
"I think that it is important to not freeze up and to fight back," said Evelyn McCafferty, a victim of an attack.
Years ago, Evelyn McCafferty was out jogging when a man started chasing her.
"I just picked it up and ran as fast as I could," said McCafferty.
Evelyn was aware of what was going on around her and she responded quickly. Police say just like Evelyn trusted her instincts, so should you.
"If it doesn't feel right, then it likely isn't right," said University of Virginia Sgt. Melissa Fielding.
If you are attacked, police say stay calm, wait for an opportunity and if possible fight back.
"Remember that you have personal weapons with you at all times. [Use] your hands, you can use your feet and know what potential vulnerable locations are on an attacker," said Fielding.
The best locations to strike are the groin, shin, or nose.
Defense experts say look for things around you that can be used as a weapon. If there are cars in the area rip off a windshield wiper or an antenna and fight back. Or start banging on cars until the alarms go off. This should generate enough attention so someone will come to your aid.
Ultimately you want to escape. Yell and scream for help. Not only will it attract attention but it will add power to any technique you use.
"If you decide that resisting is the way you're going to go then do it with everything you got," said Fielding.
Do so, before your attacker takes you away from the scene or into a car.
"Run and [don't] just succumb," said McCafferty.
Don't under estimate your power to protect yourself.
For more information on how you can defend yourself or to take a defense class, call University police at 434-924-7166.