Can learning self defense prevent domestic violence?
Although there is much more knowledge and awareness today about domestic violence, unfortunately thousands of people continue to endure physical or psychological abuse from their spouse. Thankfully, there are many ways for people to seek out help and stop the abuse they are suffering, whether it is through contacting the authorities, joining a victim’s group or learning self defense.
Often domestic violence begins gradually and becomes more aggressive and frequent over time. Most experts believe that domestic violence is used by a spouse as means to intimidate and control their partner. Signs that a spouse is becoming abusive can include a short temper, persistent jealousy and possessiveness.
While most people think of physical acts, like striking, choking or pushing a spouse when they hear about domestic violence, it can also include psychological abuse like verbal threats and insults.
Many victims of domestic violence are reluctant to seek out help, due to fear of reprisal or the hope that they’re spouse can change. Unfortunately, domestic violence typically gets worse over time, and as a result, victims should seek out help immediately if they encounter any abuse.
Although victims of domestic violence should get help immediately and contact the authorities if necessary, learning self defense can be an effective tool in preventing further abuse. Victims should always try to escape and avoid any physical confrontation when possible, but knowing how to defend yourself when there’s no other option, could prevent you from incurring grave physical harm.
Many victim’s groups and websites offer self defense courses or resources, which teach specific techniques on how to disarm or stop an attacker like HIT Self Defense. In addition, many community centers and martial arts gyms also offer self defense classes. People who want to learn self defense could also enroll in a formal martial arts class, like Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Judo or Kickboxing for example. Although martial arts classes are often more expensive than taking a self defense course, by attending them regularly you will also improve your flexibility, physical strength and conditioning.
Learning self defense for domestic violence, however, also involves learning to recognize the signs of abuse, and learning effective ways to de-escalate or escape potentially dangerous situations. This is why many self defense courses also teach victims how to put together an escape plan, as often domestic violence continues after they have left the relationship.