Experts offer suggestions for surviving a rapist's attack

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Reports of a serial rapist have had many women on edge, wondering what they would do if they came face to face with an attacker.

How you survive a rapist's attack comes down to choice.  You can comply or your can fight, but according to veteran cop and private investigator Marti Miller, there is no middle ground.

"If you're going to comply, then just comply and hope that he goes away," Miller said in a recent interview. "If you're going to fight, you're going to have to really fight, because if you fight a little, he'll either like it or it will make him mad."

Miller says your personality will determine how you respond, but remember, there is no wrong choice - it is all about staying alive.  If you comply to survive, Miller says you have to fight by using your mind.

"If he is balding, if he has gray hair, if he has blond hair, pick out those features," she said. "If he has a mole, pick out those features. Make sure you note that in you mind, and the best way to do that is to take a look him and close your eyes and picture it. Put it on a picture for yourself."

Use your eyes like a camera, and make mental notes about his body frame, height, and his clothes.

"Chances are he's going to change his clothes," Miller said. "But he may not change his shoes."

And you can't change your teeth.  If the attacker opens his mouth. look at his teeth and make a mental note.  Miller says it may be horribly difficult to memorize your attackers' description, but it could make the difference in whether the guy is caught or gets away and rapes someone else.

If you come home and find someone in your house and you choose to fight, you must be ready.  Miller recommends keeping a baseball bat or a golf club near your door, which you can possibly use to keep distance between you and your attacker.  Household pesticides and cleaners can also be used to repel an attack.

Miller says your hands can also be a powerful weapon.

"The finger on your hand is one of the most deadly weapons a woman can come up with," she said.

Charlie Fineberg, who works with Miller, says a man can protect his groin pretty well, but a finger to the eye can bring the pain, and help you get away.

"Don't just poke. Push...You want to push your finger until you touch the back of his head," Fineberg said.

Another weapon is something you can easily carry around in your purse or pocket. Take an old key and cut out a notch so you can grip it with your finger.  Then, cut two jagged pointed edges.  If this comes in contact with skin or someone's eyes, it can do some serious damage.

You can also get a taser for around $50, but you've got to know how to use this against an attacker so you don't end up getting shocked too.

The bottom line, according to Miller, is before you're ever in a situation of being attacked, you need to think about how you would handle that situation.

Fight or comply, you decide how to survive.