An interesting study of the physiological changes within the body when threatened with a life endangering situation: "In the study of combat human factors, one of the most challenging problems has always been how to validate the survival stress response."
One of the most groundbreaking books do deal with the affect that the stress of combat (or being the victim of sudden violence) has on the nervous system was, Combat Human Factors: Triggering the Survival Circuit.
Bruce Siddle’s early research into Survival Human Factors, leading to his publication of "Sharpening the Warrior's Edge" in 1995, helped bring a scientific perspective to the survival field.Science now understands how a threat perception activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which has catastrophic effects on the visual system on fine and complex motor skills, and on the ability to cognitively process threats.
The major focus of this work is to detail the effects of psychological and physiological stress on the nervous system and one's fine motor skills. It makes a strong case for using gross motor skills to defend oneself as well as reality based scenario training to condition the limbic system and brain's amygdala to increase reaction efficiency under extreme and sudden stress, such as when one is being physically assaulted.