CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The headlines we see are frightening. Women become victims every day.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

Attacks can happen anywhere from parking garages to dark streets, on a run, or even at the mall. Would you know how to fight back?

Ryan Hoover, owner of Fit to Fight, says women simply aren’t as strong as men so they have to fight smarter.

“Most criminals aren’t looking for a fight, they’re looking for a victim,” Hoover said.

He demonstrated three moves women can use to escape an attacker. First, the most common way women are grabbed: by the wrist. You might be surprised when you learn you shouldn’t simply pull away from your attacker.

“It is counterintuitive,” Hoover said. “The weakness in my grip is in my thumb. So, take your elbow towards our attacker’s elbow and out towards your thumb.

“So, pull through the break, don’t try to pull away.”

He said you can use your power to actually move toward your attacker, knocking them off balance. That’s when you turn the tables and fight back, hitting them in the groin or face, whatever is easier.

The same technique works if you are being pulled by the hair, he explained.

Move number two is if you’re attacked from behind.

“Be explosive, be fast,” Hoover said, explaining that as soon as you’re grabbed you should forcibly and quickly pull down on your attacker’s arm before ducking your head and turning to run.

One in every four women is sexually assaulted. That’s every 98 seconds, so there’s one more move that could save your life.

First, fold your arms and chop down as hard as you can to break the choke. At the same time, buck your hips forward to throw your attacker off, strike a counter and run.

Hoover said in every move, training matters. And nothing can truly prepare you for those dangerous moments.

“You see, the moves and movements are not hard, but until you put yourself in those stressful situations, your heart rate gets elevated and that’s when people kind of shut down,” he said.

If you’d like to sign up for Ryan’s self-defense classes, click here.