Sunday, February 8, 2009


It seems to me that I need to revisit this topic (covered previously in this post) since I've gotten several questions about it since I posted it.

Many of the suggestions I made in that post were accepted with minimal explanation, but I keep getting questions about the part where I talked about screaming.

I figured I covered it pretty well there at the time, but since I'm still getting questions, I'll address it again.

Some of the folks who have now met me can attest to the fact that I am not going to win a real wrestling match. I can take all the classes I like, any martial art you care to name, and the pure-dee fact of it is, if an attacker is big enough, they can sit on me and pretty much neutralize any real physical threat to themselves.

Not that I'm not going to make them pay in pain for every inch on the way there, but cripes folks, I'm little.

Being a practical kind of girl, I sat down years ago and thought about it. What would I do, if I were attacked?

Then I formulated a basic set of contingency plans (which seems to me to be the thing to do, think about it before you have to put those plans into action, so that you don't waste time) and went to the Farmparents and discussed them.

Farmdad had some good input, as did Farmmom, and I incorporated those things I thought would work for me into my battle plan, so to speak.

Slow-speed runs on certain self-defense moves with Farmdad were an occaisonal evening activity for several years.

But the one thing that I always run across that people question is the effacacy of the scream.

"Save your breath for fighting," some folks say... or "No one pays attention to a scream."

Ok, then, if no one pays attention, why don't you try going into downtown (city or small town, it doesn't matter) and screaming your head off.

Me, I tend to be a worst-case scenario kind of girl when it comes to self-defense. I figure if I plan for the guy who's too quick, too tough, too hopped up on something or other to really care what I do to him physically short of breaking the brain-nerve circuit, then I'll be pleasantly surprised if it winds up being the wussy little dude that cries as soon as you yank on his wedding tackle.

Part of that worst-case plan is this: he's going to get ahold of me in such a way that there really isn't much I can do to hurt him. It's possible, cops do it all the time, to much bigger people than me.

So, the plan says scream. I have practiced my scream, and the effects seem to be two-fold. One, everyone within hearing range comes to see what the hell is going on. Two, everyone in close range complains that it hurts their ears.

Hell, it hurts my ears. But, that's a good thing.

It's a distraction. And, long shot but still worth trying for in the worst case scenario, it may distract the attacker enough that I can manage to squirm free, and/or hurt him in some significant way.

It seems to me that any chance of getting away or getting some of my own is worth while in a situation where a person is attacking me. If it comes down to the point that I feel the need to defend myself, Big Hairy Bad Guy sure as hell ain't trying to take me home to meet his mother for tea.

If I can make enough of a nuisance of myself, or draw enough attention, there's a chance that he'll give up.

If nothing else, it's likely he'll try to shut me up to stop me from drawing said attention, which means taking one of the hands that's restraining me away and putting it over my mouth. That results in a better chance of me getting away or causing damage.

I can take being beaten. I might even be able to take being raped. What I can't stomach is the thought of doing nothing to stop someone intent on doing me harm.

I've made my scream a part of my arsenal of self defense. I've figured out what it takes for me to make it truly ear-grating. I've spent time on this because I think that it is a valid tool....

Because sometimes, the best you can hope for is a good samaritan a couple of blocks over.


Anonymous said...

Great post. Going to send the link to my little sister and all of my female friends.

Any advantage you can use.


Farm.Dad said...

I just want to point out , or rather re-affirm that noise is not farmgirls only recourse. If you have ever seen a couple of stray cats going at it you have a good idea what grabbing her would be like . While in a sense i almost pity " Mr Meth-head " if and when he gets a hold on her the racket will at least bring that " good Samaritan " to get her off of him, and quite possibly from further than " a couple of blocks " . Screams alone are not something to bet a life on, so get any training you can , and more importantly develop a mindset where not matter what you will not submit . On the " scream " volume in both senses is the key , and i suspect that " You cum gargling fag bait , i am going to pull your crotch monkey off and feed it to you " would be as effective as rape , fire , or any of the other standard recommended things.

Ike said...

A small pistol, such as a Macorov, or a PPK. And yell FIRE!!! People will run to a fire, and away from a scream usually. That's what I tell my girls...

Aaron said...

I'm also forwarding this link to several of the women in my life who matter. Thanks.

Crucis said...

Screaming does no harm. In fact it keeps your oxygen levels up. Just might give you that extra spurt if you have to/get the opportunity to run.

Farm.Dad said...

Crucis bud ya said and i quote lol "Just might give you that extra spurt if you have to/get the opportunity to run."

Run happens when they cannot pursue you . If they can give chase you might be better served by continuing plan b ( plan a was not to be involved anyway ) . Now at 6-0 and about 220 lbs i cant really do the emotional thing with small ladies such as my wife or daughter . However at one point i was somewhat saught out to train ladies with firearms , a bud of mine was similarly busy for physical defense . Since we both taught LE courses well we worked a lot together and came to some hard rules .

1. a trained woman ( or man for that matter ) cannot whip a fresh off the iron pile release .
2. the felon you fight is likely trained on your tactics better than you are on his .
3. criminals look for " easy " victoms , and at least 3 of the indicators will make farmgirl " easy " . She is not lol .
4. if you happen to be seen as " easy " and accosted by a criminal well attention is a bad idea for the crime intended so make noise , be it by a handgun or your lungs . Folks there are several reasons that the " bradys " can quote a limited " gun use " . One of the first is that unless there is a toe tag involved they dont see a gun use . altho they shure use adult gang members for the " children killed by guns " stats lol . i could go on , but i must stop here , this is not a " gun blog " . and i apologise to the #1 daughter for the comment , but i will leave it as it sets .

Old NFO said...

Good points FG, and yes, use ALL the tools in the basket.

knitalot3 said...

Hey, whatever works. Having two older, bigger brothers gave me lots of experience and ideas.

chuckr44 said...

...if an attacker is big enough, they can sit on me and pretty much neutralize any real physical threat to themselves.

Have you considered joint locks? I believe Jujitsu uses a lot of joint locks. They are the great equalizer, sans gun. A tiny/weak little person can take on Mr. Steroid.

I'm not saying you won't do jail time though. In Michigan defending yourself is called "assault".

Or perhaps your issue is not a strength or training issue. Perhaps a confidence issue. Just sayin.

Farmgirl said...


No, no confidence issue. Just practicality. I prefer to plan for things going very, very wrong. That way I can be pleasantly surprised when my other tactics work and an attacker decides they really don't want to mess with me.

This post only covers the scream because that's the part I kept getting questions about after I wrote the first self defense post.