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My wife sent me this link, and I think it’s really well said. Bold emphasis is mine.

The primary goal of self-defense is to avoid becoming the victim of violence

…This is the core principle of self-defense: Do whatever you can to avoid a physical confrontation, but the moment avoidance fails, attack explosively for the purposes of escape—not to mete out justice, or to teach a bully a lesson, or to apprehend a criminal. Your goal is to get away with minimum trauma (to you), while harming your attacker in any way that seems necessary to ensure your escape.

Source link.