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Would you know what to do if you were attacked suddenly? Seattle resident Kelly tells The Doctors how she defended herself from an assailant.
“I’m training for a marathon right now,” Kelly explains, “And I was about four miles from my house when I stopped to use the bathroom.” Kelly began feeling uneasy and turned to see a man behind her. “His face was covered and his hood was pulled over his face. He lunged right at me and I just immediately went into fight mode.”
The attacker threw her to the floor and tried to undress her – and, Kelly says, “I just turned into a savage beast.” She began swearing and screaming threats at him, then pulled free and made her way into a bathroom stall. She was able to jam the door closed, but the man followed her under the door and began beating her. Kelly escaped back under the stall door and, fighting off a wave of faintness, made her way out of the bathroom before he could follow.
A passerby lent her a carabiner – “It’s the Pacific Northwest, everyone has a carabiner!” Kelly says – and she used it to lock the bathroom latch before her assailant could escape.
“I can feel your adrenaline just in recounting the story,” ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork tells her. “But the reason Kelly knew what to do was that she had just taken a self-defense class, correct?” Her employer had actually brought a self-defense instructor to her workplace!
Breast Surgeon Dr. Kristi Funk notes that Kelly “had a creepy feeling” before she saw her attacker. She says that 90 percent of women will get the feeling that something is wrong before they’re attacked – that feeling can save a life.
Dr. Stork adds that not only did Kelly escape – by locking the door, she allowed police to catch her attacker, who proved to be a level-3 sex offender. He is now being held without bail for attempted rape and assault.
Self-defense classes are not just for women, points out Dr. Stork. “We can all be better prepared. Kelly, kudos to you!”