Warning: This video depicts the initial stages of a sexual assault. While it is footage from a movie, it is still powerful and disturbing.
The video was posted with a discussion of what Amy (Kate's character) could have done differently. I started working on my own response to that, but something kept bugging me. I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I took the dog for a walk yesterday afternoon (side note: having a dog grants you an amazing opportunity to have some thinking time every day. Surprisingly useful, that.)
The thing that bugs me is this.
All of the responses were about physical tactics: lock the door, get an improvised weapon, strike, use a triangle choke...everything proposed was a physical response. Which is fine, except that this video is a perfect example of how self-defense is not solely a physical problem.
Amy doesn't fail to defend herself because she lacks a physical skill set. She fails to defend herself because she lacks a psychological skill set. All of the strikes, eye-gouges, and triangle chokes in the world wouldn't have availed her anything, because she didn't understand how to work past her fear and get motivated enough to DO something.
Look at the dynamic of the scene. Amy knows (hey look, intuition at work) from the moment she opens the door that there is something wrong. If she didn't, Charlie provides plenty of clear pre-contact cues, from forcing his way inside, to repeatedly ignoring Amy's demands that he leave, to comments about her appearance and smell, sexual innuendo, and insults to her husband's manhood...short of wearing a sign that says "I am here to rape you", Charlie is pretty clear about his intentions from the moment that door opens.
The issue isn't that Amy doesn't know that something is wrong. It isn't that she lacks a physical skill set. The issue is that Amy is too paralyzed by fear to be able to do anything. She could have been a ninja commando MMA goddess, but without the knowledge to motivate herself and act, any theoretical skill set is useless.
The psychological, not the physical arsenal is the one that is lacking here.