Alleged Rihanna Abuse May Persuade More Women to Fight Off Assault

Self-defense gurus offer tips to fend off attackers.

ByABC News
March 6, 2009, 1:02 PM

March 6, 2009 — -- The alleged beating of pop star Rihanna by her boyfriend Chris Brown could prompt other women to learn how to protect themselves in the event of an attack, according to self-defense experts.

"As much as I hate to see a story like this glorified and get so much attention, at the same time if it means people are raising their own awareness and they're going to get a little bit better about the positions they put themselves, then absolutely that's a benefit," said Chris Wright-Martell, the owner and head instructor of the Modern Self-Defense Center in Middleton, Conn.

One in four women will become the victim of domestic abuse during her lifetime, according to statistics by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eighty-five percent of those who are abused are women, according to the same statistics, and an estimated 1.3 million women a year are physically assaulted by their partner.

Wright-Martell said that the first thing anyone who is a victim of an attack should try to do is put space between herself or himself and the attacker, "whether that means pushing them away or causing trauma that makes the attacker want to seek space."

In the affidavit released yesterday from the alleged dispute between Brown and Rihanna, the attack was reported to have occurred in a small car.