Since the core of self-defense law is the use of reasonable force under the circumstances, the question of proportionality is key.
Some physical attacks are part of a robbery, a rape, a riot, or planned. Putting those to one side for now, let’s look at the other sort – attacks that spontaneously rise from anger, conflict or a sense of having been treated disrespectfully by someone. What are some strategies and tactics that can be used to both good practical and legal effect?
The reality is that when people in our culture see two people fighting they’ll generally view them both as The Other, with suspicion. Similarly, when people hear about or think about people fighting they will tend to presume that the people are both guilty of something wrong. This – despite their personal experience that many altercations involve an aggressor attacking or creating a fight with an unwilling, eventual participant, forced to defend herself.