A female jogger was sexually assaulted by a bicyclist on an exercise path off West Street in Lower Manhattan on Sunday morning, New York City police said. It appears the woman was exercising early in the morning because the attack happened about 6 AM.
The New York Post has a short story here. Police have released surveillance photos of the attacker and are asking people to contact them if they've seen him.
While the story is very short on the basic details of the attack what is interesting to us is this following line:
The attacker pushed the woman down, choked her and sexually assaulted her before swiping her cell phone, cops said. He then fled on his bicycle in an unknown direction.
The attacker pushed her to the ground, then choked her and sexually assaulted her.
This is a textbook example of a sudden, violent rape by a stranger. It's most of our students' biggest nightmare.
And the two phrases bolded above are important to note: "pushed her to the ground" and "choked her". Our preferred method of approaching sexual assault is to address both of these very common elements of an attack and rape.
We don't know how the attacker approached our defender in this case, but forcing her to the ground and gaining compliance through fear and pain are two elements that are almost always overlooked by many women's self-defense courses.
The Bottom Line for Training to Defeat the Rapist
The bottom line is the attacker needs to put you into a position to affect penetration. We must train from the common types of positions their attackers put us in.
For instructors and students, the solutions for these two common elements of sexual assaults are first found in Module One. We continue to build answers for these and other problems through the next three modules. The solutions for the realities of real life sexual assaults are added in a way that your knowledge becomes cumulative. We like to use solutions that are concept based, use gross body motions, and offer the answers to multiple types of attacks -- regardless of the situation we find ourselves in.
Your self-defense program needs to contain solutions for the very real and very difficult realities of rape and sexual assault. Don't be afraid to train in these uncomfortable and frightening scenarios.
Your life may depend on it.