It's important for women to know a few simple self-defense techniques so that they can protect themselves in the event of an attack. We like to think that our neighborhoods are safe, but would you be able to protect yourself if you encounter an attacker? You never know when danger will strike, and while may believe you work and live in a safe area, an attack can happen anywhere.

Statistics show that women are prime candidates to be victims of violent crime. While you can’t go around being suspicious of everyone around you due to some statistics, it is important to be prepared in case something does happen. If you ever find yourself needing to fight your way out of a dangerous situation, try using these self-defense techniques that could prevent you from being a victim.

1. Prepare to protect yourself.

Treat a potential attack like an emergency. You would have a plan in case of a fire, so you make sure you have one in case of an attack as well. You can practice your techniques at home and get mentally ready in case a dangerous situation ever arises. More than anything, you don’t want to be left frozen with fear in a dangerous situation. If you are ready to act, you are more likely to escape the danger.

2. Be loud if you encounter a potential attacker.

Once it is apparent that you are in danger, don’t be afraid to get loud and make noise telling them to back off. Yelling loudly could scare away a potential attacker or possibly alert someone who is nearby. Don’t just accept it — push back and make it known that you are in danger.

3. Know the most effective self-defense moves.

When fighting back, not all hits are created equal. You want to aim for the parts of the body where you will hurt the attacker the most. You may not have much time to react, but try and target the eyes, nose, throat, neck, knees, and groin if possible. Poking or scratching the eyes is great because it is painful and limits the attacker’s ability to stop you from escaping. To target the nose, aim for the nasal bones on the underside of the nose with an open palm to maximize pain.

4. Stay where you are.

Attackers and predators will often try and move you to a location where it is safer for them to commit their attack. Do whatever you can to stand your ground and not get moved to another location. Once the assailant has you where he wants you, your chances of injury increase exponentially.

5. Use your elbows to protect yourself.

Your elbows, knees, and head are the strongest parts of your body when used as a weapon. If you want to cause as much damage to your attacker as possible, hit them with your elbow, knee, or head.

You never know when an attacker will strike, so you always want to be prepared. Not all attacks are avoidable, but if you are ready for them, it could make all the difference in the world.