Attacks on wheelchair-users are on the rise. It seems that if you are in a wheelchair, you’re wrongly perceived as an easy target. Here are some tips on how to show a would-be assailant that you are anything but!
Your priority in any self-defense scenario is to get as far away from your assailant as quickly as possible. To do this you must first distract or disable your attacker.
When you’re sitting in your chair in a public place, always try to sit with your back to a wall. From here you’ll clearly see anyone approaching you and you can’t be attacked from behind. A criminal will only see the chair, not the person in it, and will assume you’re an easy target. You must be prepared to use reasonable force against someone in order to protect yourself, and that could mean hurting them.
From your low vantage point, you can use the attacker’s own strength and force against him. Your assailant will tower over you in a standing position and will have to lean over in order to attack you, probably grabbing you or your clothing as they do so. In this position they are off-balance and vulnerable. Get hold of their hair and push backward hard. Your attacker will topple forward and probably have to let go of you to stop from falling. Seize your moment and get away as fast as you can.
Your chair as a weapon
The footrest on your chair makes a formidable weapon. You can rake this down an attacker’s shins or slam it down on the instep as hard and fast as you can. This should either remove enough skin to cause excruciating pain or might even break a bone if you do it hard enough.
The handles on your wheelchair are usually just about at groin height to someone attacking you from behind. Push your chair back as hard and fast as you can and there’s a good chance you’ll deliver a disabling blow.
No one leaves the house expecting to be assaulted, but it pays to be prepared just in case the worst does happen. Practice these techniques at home and you’ll be ready and prepared to use them instinctively if you have to.
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