Let’s face it, as much as we’d like to believe that men and women are equal, men have the upper hand when it comes down to physical strength. According to a study conducted by the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 45% of women in Africa have experienced physical and sexual violence, compared to 35% worldwide. In South Africa alone, 40% – 50% of women have reported violent attacks from an intimate partner or stranger and the numbers show no sign of slowing down. In which case, you need to ensure that your self-defence skills are up to par when confronted with a dangerous situation. Here’s what you need to remember: 1. Prepare yourself mentally Your mind is one of the most powerful weapons that you possess, so don’t leave it behind when confronted with a possible attack. Mentally prepare yourself for situations that may arise; thinking of possible scenarios and what you’d do to get out of it. This will help you greatly when you absolutely need it. 2. Don’t let yourself be relocated Do whatever you need to, but don’t allow your attacker to relocate you to a secondary location. Fact is, you may never be able to make it out alive once he has you in his vehicle. Your attacker has the upper hand at a different location making it extremely difficult for you to defeat him. So scream, hit, bite, and even seriously injure if you can to get away. Read: 5 Useful Boxing Tips And Tricks 3. Trust your gut Women, especially, have a heightened sixth sense, so don’t leave it behind when you leave the house. If you feel something is wrong, don’t brush it off as being paranoid. Rather leave a situation or get away from someone if you feel your gut trying to tell you something. Rather avoid than find yourself in a dangerous situation. 4. Don’t be wreckless Even though you want to live your life fully, don’t be reckless while doing it. Be streetwise wherever you go. Avoid walking down dark, abandoned streets on your own. Avoid putting yourself in a situation with a stranger that you’re not fully comfortable with. Most importantly, be familiar with your surroundings at all times. Lock your doors at night and always watch your back, unfortunately. 5. Learn self-defence moves When confronted with a dangerous situation, the best way to defend yourself is by learning necessary self-defence skills and implementing what you’ve learned. Join a reputable boxing gym that teaches self-defence skills and coping mechanisms to help you out of any sticky situation. It’s important to prepare yourself for situations that may never happen, rather than landing up in a sticky situation and not knowing what to do. Remember, as a woman, you need to be prepared for any situation in order to prevent situations from happening that you may never recover from. Besides, it doesn’t hurt having a few self-defence skills to show off.