A Stranger Grabbed A Woman In A Park & Found Out The Hard Way He Made A Huge Mistake

He didn't know what hit him.

female fighter pilot ninjaMonkeyStudio and zeynep boğoçlu/ Getty Images Signature, cottagecorelife / creationsbyapuruh, and Mat Sheard / Pexels

The reality of what women go through is a lot darker than we like to admit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three women face gender-specific harassment in public places. And more than half of women experience this specific type of violence.

So, how do we push back in a world that often tells us to stay silent and take it? Where do we find the strength and is it all pointless, or is there strength in saying "screw you" to those who try to hurt us?


Martha McSally, a former politician and the first female fighter pilot to fly combat missions, shared a powerful story on the Open Relationships: Transforming Together podcast. In this interview, she recounts a moment when a man tried to harm her and how she fought back.

The First Female Fighter Pilot Attacked In Park 

McSally never expected she would be the victim of an attempted assault at the hands of a complete stranger. She'd faced her fair share of horrors, but they always had familiar faces. Yet, she never imagined someone would try something on her out of nowhere. 


On a speaking engagement in Nebraska, McSally decided to go out for a walk in broad daylight. Walking across the river she had her airpods plugged in listening to an audiobook quietly, so she could be aware of her surroundings. 

Everything appeared normal, nothing out of place, until she heard something strange. That's when it hit her — or rather when a man grabbed her. 

"This was shocking, obviously... He came from behind, jumped me, and bear-hugged me." He was grabbing her all over her body.

"There was something inside of me that was like 'this is not happening today'. It was not even a thought. It was just my essence. Just 'this is not effing happening today'."


RELATED: How I Survived Decades Of Harassment (And A Brutal Attack) In Hollywood

During this moment our body will respond in one of two ways. You'll either freeze or fight. In McSally's case, she chose to fight.

Finding her inner rage and strength she fought the guy off her. Startled the man ran away but McSally did not give up. She called 911 and then chased after him, hurling her things and swearing more than she ever had before. It was pure female rage at its finest. She admits knowing it wasn't smart, but something was fueling her from inside.

Unfortunately, she didn't catch him that time. However, thanks to a few great detectives, they were able to find and arrest him in three days.


According to McSally, this man followed her for over a mile before making his attack. This was terrifying because she had no idea he was following her. 

And as someone who talks about overcoming trauma for a living, she found herself facing a new trauma entirely. But she decided then and there that she wouldn't let this trauma get the best of her.

She addressed it instead of pushing it down. She shared her story with others, and she's been sharing it ever since.

RELATED: 3 Psychological Tips For Changing Your Panicked Fight-Flight-Freeze Instinct

Dear Women, We Need To Fight Back Whenever Possible

As a woman right now, I can admit to being utterly terrified. I don't go out alone, and I'm constantly looking over my shoulder. 


Currently, there's a trend in New York that has gained widespread attention where men hit women in the face completely unprompted. 



However, that's not all. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “The number of persons prosecuted for human trafficking more than doubled from 2011 to 2021." No wonder women are afraid! 

The problem is, nobody wants to live in fear 24/7 and we shouldn't have to. I understand it's terrifying to fight back. And McSally is correct — sometimes your first instinct is to freeze or run away. Your instincts are there to protect you and you are never at fault when someone chooses to harm you. 


But there is something we can do: we were taught to be meek and kind, even if others made us uncomfortable — but we don't have to accept that. We can learn and plan and become empowered to fight back. We all possess a fire within us, just like McSally does. It's a genuine, raw female rage ready to be unleashed. 

Will it always work? No. And you need to follow your instincts — sometimes fleeing or being polite while getting away from someone is the right answer. But you deserve the right to fight back when someone is hurting you. And, if someone harms you, you get to fight back afterward by healing and not letting that person terrorize your life forever. You deserve peace. 

If only we could muster the strength, we could channel that rage into standing our ground. To hurl that water bottle and scream, "Not today!" to that creep.


They don't anticipate us fighting back, so let's give them something that will send them running.

RELATED: Woman Receives Fine For Fighting Back 'Too Much' Against A Man Trying To Attack Her

Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.