There are many, many ways in which you could be attacked. Drunken brawls, knife attacks, gang-related violence, street robbery, car-jacking, and so many more. It can be tremendously dangerous world out there, and preparation is the key to survival, hence the need for effective training in techniques to protect yourself.
How can you prepare yourself for an assault that you cannot realistically anticipate? How can you know in advance if your attacker will be carrying a knife, or a gun? How can you face multiple attackers and escape unharmed? There is no way to know what kind of attack you could be subjected to, but by learning self-defense you are putting yourself in a far better position to escape unharmed if the worst does happen.
Something that most people do not realize is that by learning how to defend yourself you are also learning how to avoid being attacked in the first place. When an attacker picks a victim, whether it is a split-second decision based on anger, or a more measured approach based on suitability, he wants his chosen target to offer as little resistance as possible. A drunken bully is far more likely to be violent towards you if he is convinced you cannot fight back effectively. A street robber may spend some time watching people, waiting to choose somebody who appears to be an easy target before attacking them.
If you are walking through a quiet street at night then your senses and reactions, because of your training, should be working at a heightened level that will enable you to protect yourself if you are assaulted. If you are in a bar, and somebody is starting to get aggressive then you will be aware and alert, ready to act if needed. These are the types of situations that you will prepare for when you train. They are the scenarios that you picture in your mind when you think of yourself being confronted with an attack. However, violence can be thrust upon you almost anywhere, and there is no way you can be fully alert all the time.
This is where your self-defense training plays a vital role, and it's usually without you even being aware it's happening. The more you learn self-defense the better equipped you are to fend off an attack. Knowing that you have the ability and skills to successfully evade serious injury gives you a confidence in yourself that carries over into everyday life.
Once you are comfortable with your ability to defend yourself, knowing that you have the advantage of not being a soft target, your body language, the signs and signals that you give off, your general demeanor, will often be enough to force an attacker to move on to a different target. He wants the easiest prey possible. What he does not want is somebody who might out-think him, out-move him, or humiliate him. He does not want to be in a situation where he becomes the victim because you are well-trained and expecting his next move. He wants somebody who is off-guard and powerless to protect herself, and you will be projecting an aura that tells him that you are not that person. In a fraction of a second he will make a decision to choose somebody else, or nobody at all.
Some people are fortunate enough to already project themselves in such a way that they will never be a victim or a violent attack. For the rest of us ordinary people, who want to stay as far away from violence as possible, effective self-defense training can give us the crucial edge that means we are overlooked when an attacker decides who he will attack.
Your confidence and self-belief will rise as you learn more about how to defend yourself, and the more you train the higher that confidence will be. Preventing an attack is always a better option then having to defend one, and there is no better way to stay safe than to not be selected as a victim at all.