I've recently caught some episodes of a standard issue police procedural. In it, several people get killed by serial killers. And while that's awful, some of 'em kind of are asking for it.
One scenario: The ex-wife of an FBI agent has been abducted by a known
killer. He's openly announced his intention of killing her; but is
allowing her to talk on the phone with her ex-husband. He's standing
behind her, breathing on her neck. He's armed, but the weapon isn't
Why isn't her elbow almost instantly in his throat? He's going to kill
her eventually, why not go down fighting. An explosive, aggressive
attack can go a long way before he can respond. Elbow in the throat,
turn around, grab the weapon hand to control or destroy it. Sure, maybe
there's only a 10% chance that she'll win, but if she doesn't fight,
there's a 99% chance he'll kill her.
To top it off, years earlier, the killer stabbed himself repeatedly as a
scheme to avoid detection. He's weak and doesn't breathe well (no
endurance). And he's not a big guy to begin with. She's healthy and
in-shape. What's restraining her is emotional rather than physical.
Scenario 2: Woman is being held captive at knife point in her own home by a killer who wants to pretend they have a romantic relationship. She's playing along with it as a means to survive (reasonable enough). Then her real boyfriend shows up. The killer only has a knife, and is a room away. As soon as the boyfriend comes in the door, he sees what's going on. She runs towards the door, and he charges the killer creating an opportunity for her to get away (way to go!) Boyfriend charges killer and shoves him into a wall, girlfriend can't get out the door 'cause boyfriend locked it behind him. All she needs is a couple of extra seconds, and she's out.
Boyfriend disengages from killer, turns around, and tells girlfriend to run upstairs. Killer knifes boyfriend in the back and then runs upstairs and kills girlfriend. What the hell, boyfriend? You've gained an advantage that ex-wife in scenario #1 didn't, by a sudden unexpected attack. You've comitted yourself to buying time for your loved one to get away. Follow through on it! Chances are the killer is stunned a little by being slammed into the wall; stay in close contact with him and go for the weapon hand. Control or destroy it. Maybe you win, maybe you lose, but either way you give the woman you love the couple of extra seconds she needs to get away and survive. And isn't that what you signed on for?
Doesn't "I love you" mean "I'd take a knife or a bullet for you" anymore? Fight, dammit!