From Marcus Wynne, who's been there, done that, and come back in one piece:
Random thoughts on principles:
• Don’t be there if at all possible. Avoid crowds, especially crowds of young men, and especially of young drunken men.
• If you’re in a crowd by choice, pay attention to your intuition and your feelings (the atmospherics or situational awareness) of the energy/mood of the crowd. When I was young and getting my first professional fighting chops as a doorman, I could literally feel the energy in the bar shift when things were about to go bad. Everyone feels it; and most can recall it after the fact if they survive. This presupposes, of course, that you are sober enough to notice.
• If you’re in a crowd by choice, have a partner or several friends. Don’t be alone and don’t allow yourself to be isolated in the crowd, especially as a woman surrounded by men. Look for other women or men who will stand with you or stand up for you and ask for help.
• If the crowd gets ugly, get out as fast as you can. The earlier you sense the change and the faster you move, the less likely you are to get caught up in it.
• If you become a target, keep moving. Move away, don’t stop and don’t let yourself be stopped.
• If you are grabbed, you must have previously made a decision about what to do and act instantly on it. A fast decisive attack may dissuade, distract, or delay others for you to get away…or it may incite even more violence. If you are fighting bare handed against a mob focused on beating and or raping you, it’s like fighting a tidal wave. Look at those videos above.
* The greatest challenge(s) are:
a. Knowing the spectrum of violence and recognizing when attention turns into the intention to harm you – the earlier you sense that the more effective any pre-emptive action (escape or preemptive strikes) will be.
b. Being violent enough early enough to stop the first key individuals moving on you to create space to escape.
c. Being able to ride out the panic of being overwhelmed by a crowd bent on hurting you, which is one of the most terrifying experiences any human can feel, and work a plan or improvise one. Which presupposes that you have a plan for such an event, which presupposes you’ve thought about it, and that you can improvise a different plan if your first one fails contact.
Definitely read the whole thing and watch the vids, especially the 60 Minutes piece with Lara Logan. That is "taharrush gamea," the rape game that probably originated in Egypt and spread across the Middle East, and you saw it played out all over Europe New Year's Eve, with the most virulent attacks in Cologne.
I was lucky enough in my impetuous youth to have been a "riot reporter," the journalist guy who got sent to major demonstrations that turned violent, riots, etc. I got gassed ( a lot), beaten, hauled off to jail once, only to be cut loose when I presented my media credentials. I got various and sundry lethal weapons pointed at my head. However, I say lucky because what I learned was invaluable -- how crowds became mobs, and mobs become raging animals. You can feel it, if you're paying attention! I learned about having a bail-out plan. I learned how to hide behind big heavy objects. Mostly, I learned to KEEP MY BUTT OUT OF CROWDS! It's a lesson I carry with me still. I don't go to grand openings and big public events. The idea of eating in a food court in a mall makes me cringe. If I have to be in a crowd, I wanna be on the edges, close to the exit/best escape route.
I suggest you follow a similar plan!