Toronto, Ontario, Canada -Very often, I have clients ask me if they should fight to keep their purse or wallet if an attacker demands it. This to me is quite simple to answer, but we will look at some of the aspect of this demand from both sides.
If someone just walks up and says "Give me your wallet", I might hesitate to immediately hand it over. You might want to evaluate what is going on before fighting to keep your purse or wallet. I teach so many people in Toronto which is by other cities standards, a very safe city, but regardless, you need to look at the scenario to decide the best route of action.
What if you are in a crowd and someone approaches you demanding your wallet or they will hurt you? If you believe the threat is not serious and there are people around, perhaps you just start yelling to attract attention. The majority of the time the attacker does not want attention drawn to them because they do not want to get caught. If you see a weapon though, you are best to give over your purse or wallet since it is not worth risking your life. Even if it is a bluff, do you want to take that chance? Another option is to offer to give them whatever they want and throw your purse or wallet one direction. Be sure to run the opposite direction or to where there is the best chance of getting help. Do not run same direction as the purse.
Now, if you are isolated and someone is demanding your belongings, you are best to play on the side of caution and give into their demands for the purse or wallet. In this circumstance you are best to throw it the opposite direction to give you a chance to create distance. I have many people ask if they could keep a second wallet or a dummy stash of cash? Sure, but 99% of people are not going to go to this extent to protect their valuables. I have many say, but my wallet has at least $100 and all my personal information in it. I usually respond by saying, "What if you don't give it and you end up dead". Does it really matter that they have your personal information?
Remember though, that there are only 3 things an attacker wants - your property, your body or your life. So, if you give this person your money and they do not leave, you better be prepared to defend yourself as their last 2 possible wants are much more serious.
I also have many women ask me how they should carry their purse? While having your purse cross ways over your shoulder to the other side might deter someone from going for it, if they do, you are more likely to be dragged or pulled into a car as an example. In public, you might carry it this way with plenty of people around keeping one hand on the purse at all times. Carrying your purse over one shoulder might be easier to grab, but if they do, you are more likely to escape safely without being pulled or dragged. There are advantages and disadvantages to both ways but most important is to remember what is your life worth and should you fight to keep your possessions?
There are many situations where physical defense is necessary immediately but avoiding trouble is always your best priority and by giving the attacker your purse or wallet you may be able to get home to your family safely without any physical harm.
My name is Chris Roberts and I operate Safe International, Ontario, Canada's leader in self defense instruction for both women and men. Please check out our website at www.safeinternational.biz and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org