In response to shocking national statics that reported one in every four women as being sexually assaulted during their college career, 20 year martial artist Helen Anzalone Gordon released the first ever safety app especially designed for women in June.
The app, You Can Fight, is designed to teach women basic defense techniques through step-by-step video lessons. The ultimate goal of the app, Gordon said, is to enable women to escape the most common attacks by learning how to disable their attacker.
“You don’t have to be a martial artist to execute these moves,” Gordon says. “It’s really just for women who’ve never taken classes before, and the moves are so simple that they can actually work.”
Gordon said advice that encourages college women to passively resist an attacker by peeing their pants or vomiting is ridiculous. Instead, she prefers more cutthroat methods.
“If you’re attacked you should gouge the eyes first, kick or slap the groin or punch the throat. Any of these defenses will disable an attacker long enough for you to get away,” she said.
In order to avoid ever becoming a victim in the first place, Gordon suggests safety tips that include: never accepting drinks from strangers, never walking through campus alone at night, never inviting strangers back to your dorm room, never looking down or texting while walking or passing someone on the street and never sitting in a parked car alone.
In response to Gordon’s safety tips for women, ISU Police Chief Aaron Woodruff said, “I think that she’s putting out the same good information that’s been out for years. We keep telling students that it starts with awareness … You’re much less likely to be a victim of any crime if you’re aware of what’s going on around you.”
Gordon agreed, “Self-defense begins with common sense, so there’s a lot of things you can do to make sure you’re never a victim just by using your common sense like always be aware of you’re surroundings.”
Woodruff encourages students to explore free resources offered by ISU such as the Safe Walk Program and Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) course.
“I’d much rather students be overly cautious than have too much self-confidence or a false sense of security,” Woodruff said.
Freshman Brooke Keenan, is skeptical of the You Can Fight app and said she thinks it would be much more beneficial for women to actually take a self-defense class like RAD.
“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” she said about performing self-defense techniques. “People who just watched the video lessons would be thinking they’re awesome, go out on campus and be all tough, and then get raped, mugged or murdered, because they are given a false sense of security.”
Another student, freshman elementary education major Connie Garritano disagreed and said even though she has never felt unsafe on campus, she would definitely download the You Can Fight app. “I think it’s a great thing. Better safe than sorry,” Garritano added.
You Can Fight can be purchased at the iTunes App Store, Google Play, or on You Can Fight’s official website for $1.99.
For more of Gordon’s safety tips especially designed for women, visit her on Facebook and Twitter.