How Bystanders Can Help Groping Victims

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Say you’re riding home on the Metro, minding your own business, when you just so happen to notice a guy repositioning himself to better rub his erection against a stranger’s back. You’ve just become a witness to a sexual assault. Now what do you do? One commenter posed the question after a recent column: “If I see someone being mistreated like that in public, what could I possibly do to help?”

Excellent question.

Yesterday, I spoke with Lauren Taylor, lead instructor of Defend Yourself, a D.C.-based self-defense organization that shops around “skills for stopping harassment, abuse, and assault.” Taylor, who has over 25 years of experience teaching self-defense, offers some tips for bystanders who find themselves witnesses to harassment or assault, and want to do something about it:

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