What is Self Defense?

There is a Fine Line Between Self Defense and Assault

As a citizen, there is a universal understanding that you have the right to protect yourself from harm’s way.  However, there are some people who are not aware of the limitations of that rights. So what is self defense? Self defense is the use of reasonable force to protect oneself from bodily harm from an attack. There is so much to know when it comes to self defense such as, what needs to happen in order for you to defend yourself, what type of force can be used as self defense, and much more. In this blog post we will cover everything you need to know about self defense.

The first thing that needs to be present is an imminent threat. An imminent threat means the threat was close to or about to happen. This means that if an attacker is about to do harm, you have the right to defend yourself. However, this right runs out after the attacker has stopped. For example, if an attacker has finished his assault and is walking away and you react with force, that is no longer self defense. Self defense ends at the point after attack.

The next thing that needs to be present is a reasonable fear of harm. This is where the law can get tricky, because what seems like a reasonable fear to one person, may not be reasonable to another person. The term “reasonable” in this case refers to what a “reasonable person” would do. For example, if there are two strangers passing by each other on the street and there is a bug on one of the persons clothes and the other reaches over to flick the bug off, the person with the bug on them could think this person is reaching to assault them and could use force to stop them. In some cases this could be called self defense because any reasonable person who has a stranger’s hand moving swiftly toward their body would believe to be in imminent danger.

The use of self defense must be a proportional response. Essentially, this means that the nature of your forceable self defense, must match the level of the threat or attack. This means that if the attacker is using deadly force, then the victim can use deadly force to protect themselves. This can also be used in the opposite way, if the attacker is using minor force, then the victim is not permitted to use deadly force to protect themselves. While this can sometimes be hard to prove, it is a very important part of your self defense right.

Along with these situations, there are some other tips that could help you when you need to use self defense. One thing you can do is to tell your attacker you will use self defense, also saying out loud that you feel like your life is in danger could give someone around you the chance to help you. While you can never predict when something like this will happen, it is important to know your rights and learn some self defense moves.

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