sexual assault

Sexual Assault: A veteran cop shows you how to survive

Fight to survive a sexual assault

Up until now, most of my articles have been mostly “feel good ah shucks” type of personal and family safety topics.

I have covered topics like cyber bullying, burglary prevention, online scams and other worthy tips uniquely provided from my experience as a cop.

Not to sound overly cliche but the gloves are coming off with this one.

And that is meant to mean more than just hyperbole.

Sexual assault.

I am talking survival at its most primal. While this article is intended primarily for my female audience, men can also learn from my experience.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a debate about fighting styles. Please, save those comments for Dana White and Joe Rogan and other MMA experts.  Yes, I will be discussing specific techniques and fighting styles but the overriding theme for this topic will be more centered on mindset.

Also, I will make every effort to be politically correct in the words I choose for this article. Moms (or Dads), it is ultimately your decision to share this article with your daughters or sons if you so choose.

Note: this post contains affiliate links 

Is this really happening?   

Yes it is.

I have been in many fights (sorry, physical confrontations where the suspect did not comply with my commands).

For the most part I had time to know it was going down before it did. Many times the bad guy would give pre-assault indicators that gave me just enough time to get ready.

Unfortunately, you will not have such luxury.

Now get over it because it’s happening!

The next several seconds will most likely decide the outcome. This starts LONG before the encounter and sexual assault ever takes place. You will not have time to come up with a plan once it starts.

It will be too late.

This may sound a bit extreme but I used to have a supervisor who would randomly call me while on patrol and give me a scenario. It usually went something like this;

After answering the phone, my boss would loudly shout the following,

“You are dispatched to Smith Elementary reference to shots being fired inside the school. You then get an update that there is an active shooter inside with multiple victims. You have one available officer because the rest are in court and there were 4 sick calls. What are you going to do?”

If I did not, within two seconds, start giving a tactical response, he would loudly exclaim that I had failed. He would then go on to say that because of my hesitation and lack of planning, many more people died.

This was harsh but he was right.

Don’t wait until you’re in the moment of truth to come up with a plan.

It will be too late and you will lose.

I believe these self defense products could be useful if used correctly during an attack. I highly encourage you to practice using these self defense weapons so they are second nature when the times comes to actually use them.

The single most important factor in how you will come through an attack. You have to resolve yourself to having just one thought.


Survival with dignity.

In my career I have seen what these attacks do to their victims. The toll is much more than physical. It literally damages the soul of the victim. Just typing these words leaves me enraged at the acts committed by these cowards.

The one single thing that a woman must know to understand their attackers are this.

They don’t care.

They don’t care about right or wrong. They don’t care about women. They don’t care about the law. They don’t care about themselves.

And they certainly don’t CARE ABOUT YOU. 

Your nurturing nature will try and convince you that if you just talk to them that it will stop. This way of thinking and approaching the situation will get you seriously injured or killed.

Stop. You are in the fight of your life. The time for interpersonal skills and effective communication are over.

It’s go time.

The following fighting styles are what I consider to be the most effective and most practical. But let me be very clear.

Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, takes place of having the proper mindset.

It is that warrior, never quit fighting mind set, that trumps almost everything in situations like these.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga is considered to be one of the most realistic forms of self defense. I really like this style of fighting because it most resembles what a real fight may look like.

Krav Maga is a fighting system developed by the Israeli Defense Forces or IDF. Krav Maga prides itself on intense, realistic training that most resembles a real world scenario that any person could face on the streets.

It also focuses on more of an offensive system of fighting which is the mindset you must have to survive. It’s overriding philosophy is that of threat neutralization and aggressive counter-attacks.

One organization that has adopted a variation of this style of fighting is the United States Marine Corps.

It also teaches, unlike a lot of other martial arts, how to neutralize an attacker who may be armed. Please DO NOT attempt to disarm an armed attacker unless you have at least practiced that maneuver a minimum of a thousand times.

Muay Thai

There is a reason why this style of fighting is used and practiced by almost every professional MMA fighter today. Muay Thai or the “art of the eight limbs” can be brutally effective on an attacker.

Muay Thai originated in Thailand several centuries ago and focuses on kicks and strikes with fists, elbows and knees. My first encounter with Muay Thai happened in the late 1980’s. I was on deployment in the Marine Corps and one of our stops was Pattaya Beach, Thailand. All along the sandy beaches were several what appeared to be boxing rings.

As I approached I realized quickly that this was not boxing.

Yes the fighters would throw the occasional fist punch but would mostly use their elbows, knees and kicks to defeat their opponent. Several drunk sailors and marines thought it a good idea to fight these tiny Thai fighters for money.

Not one of the sailors or marines made it through one round.

I want you to stop what your doing right now and and touch one of your elbows and then touch your knee. You should immediately notice how incredibly hard both are.

Now imagine striking your attacker with a precisely placed elbow or knee to the jaw or other sensitive area. All it may take is one of these blows to your attacker to stop a sexual assault.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Krav Maga and Muay Thai are effective forms of fighting that could save your life.

In my opinion and experience as a veteran cop, both of these styles pale in comparison to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

And it’s not even close.

Let me break this down as only a street cop can.

You are suddenly and without warning being attacked by a sadistic sexual predator. Of course, to complete this act of sexual assault, he will need to get you to the ground.

If you are trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, this will be the worst mistake of his life. Matter of fact, if you are a practitioner of this style of fighting, the ground is where you are most comfortable.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes getting an opponent to the ground. Once there, the practitioner will execute either a joint lock submission or choke hold. Size is usually mitigated when the fight goes to the ground for someone skilled in this form of fighting.

We have all seen the videos. A much smaller victim is taken to the ground by an attacker. You hold your breath because you know this will end badly.

Before you can say Bart is all wrong on this one, the smaller opponent has submitted their attacker or opponent into a submission, or even worse, left them unconscious from a choke hold.

I know all of you boxing apologists are simmering from these words. An attacker of this nature has no intent in punching their victim into unconsciousness. Mostly they are trying to get their victim into a position where they can complete the sexual assault.

There are exceptions to everything but this is what I know after many years of investigating and interviewing these devils.

Here is one of the better instructional videos I have found teaching women the basics of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Please feel free to let me and the other readers know your thoughts on this topic. Also, if there are other important factors you feel should have been mentioned in the article. I would love to hear from you.

Some of you have reached out and want to share your story with others. A blog like this one is a great way to reach those who could benefit from your experience and interests. Blogging has changed my perspective and my life.

It could do the same for you.

I have partnered with HostGatorwhich in my opinion is the simplest and fastest way to get you started on your blogging journey. If you have any questions about starting a blog or a website, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me directly at

A 23-year veteran police officer, Bart spent time as a patrolmen and a violent crimes detective (specialized in strategic intelligence and research analysis). Aside from this experience in high profile case investigations, he has received training from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in Advanced Intelligence Analysis. Bart also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Strategic Intelligence (Magna Cum Laude) from Liberty University. As a father of four, husband and law enforcement officer, he wants to share his knowledge on safety with you. Bart is also a contributing writer for Law Enforcement Today.


  • Marilyn Woodall February 23, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Good read Bart. It would be good to be able to practice this technique with a partner. Thanks for the personal safety tip.

    • Bart Proctor February 24, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Thank you Marilyn. And yes, these techniques do require a partner but the pay off is high. Like I said, the mind set is the most crucial element when it comes to survival. These fighting styles were mentioned to spark an interest and to get women thinking about their own safety and not just sitting idly by waiting for a rescue.

  • Lili February 24, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Great breakdown of the fighting styles, BUT what about women who aren’t skilled in any of those fighting arts? Are we just doomed? Not everyone has the time or the money to invest in fight training. What are some PRACTICAL things that ANY woman can do?
    As a teen, I always WANTED to learn a form of self-defense, but there were no resources available to me. Now I’m an adult with no budget for extras luxuries like self defense classes.

    • Bart Proctor February 24, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Great comment Lili. The main point of the article or message that I was trying to convey was attitude. Attitude that prepares you for encounters such as these and mind set. And no, you are not DOOMED. These fighting styles were meant to spark an interest and to get women thinking about their safety. I strongly believe that more emphasis should be placed on teaching young people these skills the same way we support organized sports.


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