Misinformation is incredibly harmful to personal preparedness. There are several self-defense myths and misconceptions that if taken as fact, could ruin your freedom, finances, and future. Let’s uncover the truth behind some of these common self-defense myths so you can be better prepared for life-threatening situations, and not fall prey to bad advice.
What Is Self-Defense?
First, you should understand what self-defense is. The law defines self-defense as the use of physical force to protect yourself or others from a threat. It’s important to remember that while self-defense is a basic human right, there are still laws surrounding it.
If you want a detailed breakdown on the art of self-defense, including topics like:
- Is self-defense legal?
- Can you go to jail for self-defense?
- Are self-defense keychains legal?
- Is wasp spray better than pepper spray?
And more… check out our helpful guide: Self-Defense Frequently Asked Questions
Otherwise, keep reading to see why believing these popular self-defense myths could end up ruining your life.
Can a Man Hit a Woman in Self-Defense?
Yes, a man can be justified hitting a woman in a self-defense scenario. Self-defense is a right granted to everyone, regardless of gender. However, there are certain factors taken into consideration in every self-defense claim that can impact whether using force is ultimately considered to have been justified. The main considerations are whether the use of force was necessary to stop another person’s illegal use of force and whether proportional force was used. Assuming the man needs to use force to prevent a woman’s violence against him and the physical force is proportional given the totality of the circumstances, a man can be justified hitting a woman in self-defense.
You can hear more on this from our Independent Program Attorneys: The Truth About Self-Defense
Always Run Away
The self-defense myth that you should always run away from an attacker is a dangerous one. While there are times when running away is the better option, it can have fatal consequences if it isn’t 100% safe to retreat from the situation you find yourself in. In fact, while many states have some form of a duty to retreat built into their self-defense laws, every state recognizes that an individual’s duty to retreat only applies if a person can do so safely. So, while it’s true that people should always try and avoid any situation that may require use of force, there are times when running away isn’t an option.
Martial Arts Is Bad for Self-Defense
While it’s not a very satisfying answer, the truth about whether martial arts are useful for self-defense is that it depends. No two self-defense scenarios are the same, so it’s difficult to make blanket statements regarding which physical skills will be effective. Certain martial arts, such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, are highly regarded by professionals whose careers frequently include physical encounters with non-compliant people. Conversely, some other martial arts are little more than stylized movement routines with little practical utility during a violent encounter. At the very least, martial arts can be an entertaining and engaging way to improve your physical fitness, and being in better shape never hurts your ability to defend yourself.
Learn more about martial arts self-defense and non-gun safety: When Your Gun Isn’t Enough
Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
Many people assume their homeowner’s insurance will cover them if they hurt or injure someone on their property in self-defense. While personal liability coverage generally covers accidental injuries to someone else, companies usually include an “intentional injury provision” that basically excludes acts of self-defense. Plus, they typically won’t cover criminal charges or investigations—which is likely to happen if you shoot someone to save your life.
You might find a “reasonable force” exception, but it’s usually vague and typically covers only civil liability after everything is decided in court. Meaning, all upfront legal costs are left up to you. This is a huge reason we recommend getting Legal Defense for Self Defense® coverage!*