Women-fight-back every day around the world against oppression, crime and brutality. But these stories rarely ever make headlines.

Instead, the media continues to push the "helplessness" theory of women by continually reporting on the negative.

Therefore, we've started a new series: Women-Fight-Back to update you with stories of women who have taken responsibility for their own personal self defense safety and have found the courage to defend themselves and their families.

Our next story demonstrates what being prepared and having a self defense plan looks like. It doesn't take much to take back control of your own safety. Enjoy the read!

Our story today comes out of Ontario, Canada reported by the Windsor Star where a woman's awareness alerted her to danger. The full story can be found here.

Refusing to be robbed by 2 men, woman fights back
By Trevor Wilhelm, The Windsor Star, September 18, 2009

WINDSOR, Ont. -- They hit her, they knocked her down, but Melissa Codling wasn’t going to be a victim.

When two men ambushed Codling Wednesday night as she walked alone near Victoria Avenue, she fought back. They wanted her purse and iPod. She had other plans.

“He’s not going to rob me, that’s all I kept thinking, all I was feeling,” said Codling, 21. “I’m not going to be a victim. It’s not going to be me. You hear about people that are victims of crime and all I was thinking was I’m not going to be that person.”

Police said the attack appears to have been a crime of opportunity.

“These guys happen to be lurking around the area, they see her walking by herself and next thing you know they jump her,” said Sgt. Brett Corey.

He said struggling against the attackers was the right thing to do.

“Do everything you can do,” said Corey. “Scream, yell, fight, draw attention to yourself. She was obviously able to break free and call us.”

He added you can help protect yourself by walking in pairs and sticking to well-lit, well-travelled areas when possible.

Codling was walking down Pelissier Street toward her mom’s place after getting off the bus at Ouellette Avenue and Shepherd Street around 9 p.m. She was headed toward Tecumseh Road while scrolling through songs on her iPod.

There was a guy leaning on a fence near a church at Tecumseh and Victoria Avenue.

“Really staring at me, giving me the creeps,” said Codling.

She immediately thought of her pocket knife, which she bought because it matched her purse. Codling slipped it into her sleeve and cut through the parking lot behind the church.

“The first male starts moving really fast toward me,” said Codling.

She didn’t panic, she didn’t scream. She ignored the flip-flops on her feet making it hard to run. Codling just bolted.

“It was total tunnel vision,” she said. “All I could see was me going forward. I wasn’t thinking about anything else.”

But she didn’t see the other guy coming. Codling turned back to see where her pursuer was, unaware a second man was hiding, waiting to strike.

“He jumped out and I hit him like it was a brick wall,” said Codling.

She’s not sure where he came from. He might have been hiding behind a church wall that jutted out.

“I walk through there all the time,” said Codling. “When I do I always kind of lean sideways to look because you can see a shadow. But I was dealing with the guy behind me. I didn’t have time to check around. I didn’t think he had a buddy waiting in the dark to creep out on me.”

She ploughed into him and backed up, staggering. Her attackers were relentless.

“The guy behind me was screaming, ‘grab that bitch’s iPod, grab that bitch’s purse,’” said Codling. “Then the second male pushed me.”

She slipped out of her flip-flops and tumbled to the pavement. One of the men climbed on her chest to hold her down.

For the first time, she felt panic. Codling was becoming a victim. It made her angry. She told herself she was strong. She mustered her courage.

“I started swinging my knife around, just trying to put distance between me and them,” said Codling. “I think I got the second male because he went ‘aahh’ and moved back. I was going every which way with this thing. They backed up away from me.”

She saw her opportunity.

“I got up and I ran.”

Codling didn’t stop running — still clutching her purse and iPod — until she got to her mother’s house.

“I was fine until I walked in the door and I saw my mom,” said Codling. “Then all the emotion started coming. I started crying. I just needed a minute to understand what had just friggin’ happened. Then I had a couple cigarettes, told her what happened.”

Police said the one of the attackers was white, bald, clean shaven and 25 to 30 years old. He was about 180 pounds, five foot seven with a medium build and wore a black hoodie, black pants and was clean shaven.

The other man was also white, about 30 years old and six feet tall with a muscular build. He was bald, clean shaven, and wore a tight, long-sleeved black shirt and dark pants.

Police ask anyone with information to call their investigations branch at 519-255-6700 ext. 4830 or Crime Stoppers at 519-258-TIPS (8477).

The key here is that she TOOK action, USED the element of SURPRISE and turned her FEAR into ANGER. Women are capable of fighting back and making a difference in the world. Don't underestimate your own powers.

To learn more on how you can become a woman who fights back, check out our upcoming classes.

**Angie M. Tarighi is the CEO & Founder of Women’s Self-Defense Institute providing self defense training, education awareness & personal protection products empowering women to fight back against crime.

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