Understanding Reasonable Force – The Myths Revealed
Many people think the law is an arse. They have been conditioned to believe many things that are just not true. For example, on a course last week someone actually told me that you could only begin to defend yourself once someone has struck you first, otherwise you will be seen as the aggressor. Really? So if someone has a knife you have to wait for them to lunge at you first? That simply isn’t true. You can strike pre-emptively provided it is justified, but many people do not seem to know this.
Another myth I hear perpetuated is that if you use force that hurts someone you are guilty of an assault. Therefore, you can only use force that is “non-harmful” because if you cause injury to your aggressor you will be guilty of an assault. Really? So if you are trying to strangle me (a life threatening attack) and I strike you with a shin kick and bruise or break your shin, or deliver a groin strike that would be seen as unreasonable in those circumstances? I don’t think so.
God forbid you if you defend your home. Controversy over homeowners’ rights to self-defence has raged since the case of farmer Tony Martin who was jailed for shooting dead 16-year-old burglar Fred Barras in 1999. As a result of that case I continually hear people say that if you defend your home you will get into trouble. Apparently (according to one personal safety trainer) you actually have to drag the burglar upstairs to stop being arrested by the police for defending your property.
The problem with this type of advice is that it manifests itself in people becoming confused about what they can and cant do. It also manifests itself in physical techniques taught by some trainers that are designed to promote these myths. Sadly, many of these techniques will actually fail when tested in real circumstances.
So what are the true facts?
To find out go to: http://www.nfps.info/_webapp_229846/Understanding_Reasonable_Force
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