Isn’t it universally acceptable to feel secure and protect oneself from possible threats?
A woman is going to her home after work and a bunch of men stop her vehicle. What should she do in this situation?
The men open her car door and forcibly hold her hand. They pull her out of the vehicle and start hurting her. It is possible that they might to try to sexually abuse her. Another scenario is when an elderly couple are living alone in a house and a thief breaks in. He brings a rope to tie up the couple and his intention is to steal all the valuables.
What can the couple do in this situation?
The above-mentioned scenarios are serious and require immediate action. A person has the right to protect themselves under tense situations. This is because life is precious. What if the old couple do not fight and let the thief take all their hard-earned money? The couple has spent considerable amount of years to earn everything and a thief just takes it away.
In scenario one, the woman’s body can be misused and it would scar her mind forever. Rape and sexual abuse is not pleasant and it has a negative effect on mental health.
It brings us to the question – Is self-defence legal?
Can a person fight for their own protection? Let’s understand the concept in this elaborate post.
Understanding the Concept of Defence and Self-Defence
Defence could have different meanings. In the military, defence is about protecting one’s nation. In the sports field, defence is explained as the force exerted to stop Team B from scoring points. In the law field, defence means taking the side of the client and trying to prove that they are innocent.
In friendship, defence means you are taking the side of your friend and abiding by them through thick and thin.
Now this is a different concept altogether! Self-defence is more about exerting force. If the attacker is trying to cause harm then self-defence is the only way you can protect yourself. The exertion of force is legit when person A thinks that person B is using illicit force.
When a thief tries to strangle you or the murdered tries to attack you. There are rapists who exert force and try to sexually assault you. These are life-threatening situations and require immediate action. In such cases, you can protect yourself from the attacker by using weapons and other techniques.
Prevention is the Best Move
By using all the precautionary measures, you can stay away from trouble. Why do you want to get into trouble? Could you do things differently to avoid attacks? Life is too short to live with guilt. You could have skipped going to a shady neighbourhood or you could skip the isolated route.
People think about all these factors after the attack is over. For example, you could have locked the door to avoid any form of attack. The doors, curtains and windows are there for a reason. It protects you and gives privacy.
However, you need to know the limit of exerting force. If a person threatens your privacy, it does not mean that they are there to kill you. What if this person’s presence is not causing any harm? In such cases, you cannot use harsh weapons or kill them with judo moves.
If the person is unarmed and does not harm you in any way, then it is best to NOT use life-threatening weapons such as the knife or a baton.
When should you exert force and fight?
Try to talk to the person and get out of the tense situation. If nothing works and the person is committing atrocious crime, then you have the freedom to protect yourself. In case the crime is a punishable offense in your country, then you have the right to use self-defence weapons and save your life.
If someone has come into your home with an intention to kill you and has all the weapons to do so, then you should be vigilant. This is when you can exert force. Rapists should be punished, but in case you have the power or weapons to protect yourself then do everything you can. Blind the person with the pepper spray, mud, sand or paprika.
If nothing works, you may exert more force or even hit them with a baton.
When should you STOP?
In case both the parties are at fault and have mutually decided to get into a fight then one should think before using lethal weapons. You can murder when the fight is mutual. This could be contested in the court and the murderer will go to jail for a long period of time.
The self-defence laws are different from one jurisdiction to another. You must read about it before taking any action.
There is a concept known as ‘duty to retreat’ which talks about escaping from the scene before using lethal weapons. When you talk to an expert, they would suggest that tense situations should be avoided at all costs. While many states have the duty to retreat law, there are some where stand your ground law exists. This is when the person has the right to defend themselves against possible threats or threats. In this case, they can use lethal force.
Is Self-Defence Legal – The Final Verdict
Majority of the countries give you the right to defend yourself. In lethal situations, you can protect yourself and prove to the court that the act was justified.
If protecting yourself from the attacker can save your life then it is justified. However, one should read the laws of different countries. For most of the countries, there are punishable offenses. In case you feel that the attacker was trying to take your life then you have the right to defend yourself.
If it was a mutual find between friends, tenants, or colleagues then it is not legal unless both the parties were ready to take each other’s life. In case you murder someone without any valid reason, you will have to face the consequences in the court for years.