Female college students are one of the largest groups at risk for personal or sexual assault. Because of this, it’s important that they know how to properly defend themselves in various situations. Below you’ll find some useful self defense tips for female college students. 

Student girl in a library. Looking at book

Situational Awareness

One of the most important aspects of protecting yourself starts with knowing your surroundings, even if you’re in an unfamiliar place. Being aware of what’s around you, which includes not only people and objects but also the terrain and architecture of your environment, is truly your first line of defense.

Being vigilant of your periphery can also help you identify a potential threat ahead of time, which helps your odds. And always be aware of potential exits, especially those that can get you into a large, open, public space where your possible attacker will be seen by others.

If you know of nearby landmarks where people gather or where you suspect there might be security or police, it’s good to have a plan to head in that direction if you suspect you may be chased or followed.

If you feel like you’re being watched or followed but don’t know a specific place that’s patrolled regularly, it’s good to have the local police in your phone’s contacts list. You can dial them as you walk and let them know you’re being followed or feel unsafe, and they can usually dispatch someone to come meet you on your path and either provide assistance or even a ride to your destination.

Sign Up

There are many effective martial arts for dealing with attackers, and most have special classes just for females who want to learn how to defend themselves if ever confronted by any kind of predator.

Check local listings for self-defense classes or martial arts dojos and sign up for the one that feels right to you. Most schools will let you watch or take a free trial class before committing to a membership so you can make sure you feel comfortable in that fighting style, as they aren’t all created equal.

Some arts focus more on empty-handed techniques, while others focus on disarming and even wielding a weapon. It’s never a bad idea to learn weapon techniques since attacks are always different. Check out KRUDO Knives if you find yourself looking for training knives to practice with in and out of class.

Know How to Improvise

Once you’ve learned some disarming techniques, as well as some techniques with a weapon, it’s time to do some homework. Consider how what you’ve learned can translate to other items that make potential weapons.

Just like no two attacks are alike, your personal circumstances are always different as well. Think about how your new skills can be used with different items, such as a ballpoint pen, a set of keys, or even your phone. Also, try to think tactically about makeshift shields, such as an open umbrella or your purse, both of which can distract an attacker and act as a barrier between you and their attack, buying you time to either flee or launch a counter attack.

With the right awareness and confidence in your ability to fend off an attacker, you can make yourself less vulnerable, whether you’re on campus or in the middle of a city.


Hey there, I’m Tiffany! I’m a work-at-home mom of two rambunctious children (Jasmine, 9 + Sean II, 5) and recently widowed at just 35 years old. I've remarried and currently live right outside of Baton Rouge in Denham Springs, Louisiana with two adoring cats and a dog. Let's connect on Twitter @fabulousmomblog.


    • Thanks for sharing the link Gretchen. If everyone would follow those tips then women wouldn’t have to learn self-defense. It’s so true. But so sad that we do have to teach ourselves to protect what is ours.

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