Posts Tagged ‘physical skills’

In Case of Rape, Throw Up??

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Has Colorado lost its collective mind? First, Democratic State Representative Joe Salazar warns that women should not carry firearms for personal protection because, wait for it… they might shoot someone. “[I]f you feel like you’re going to be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, then you pop out that gun and… pop a round at somebody.”

He would have us believe that he knows what women are thinking and whether they are really in danger, even if the women themselves don’t. In a life-threatening situation, he wants us to wait for others to come save us, recommending we make use of call-boxes, whistles, and ‘safe zones.’ In other words, “Don’t you worry your pretty little head, missy. You just wait for a big, strong man to come riding in on a white steed and rescue you from another man who wants to bash your face into the sidewalk, rip your clothes off with a blade, torture and maybe kill you. Heh, heh.”

As if that insult to women’s intelligence and judgment wasn’t bad enough, earlier this week, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs posted a 10-point “safety list” entitled What to Do If You Are Attacked. They refer to these so-called techniques as “crime prevention tips,” but the fact that they are all reactions to being attacked, rather than proactive measures to avoid an attack illustrate their lack of effectiveness in a rape/mugging/domestic violence situation.

Topping the list is “Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.” This patronizing warning tells women they just aren’t smart enough or strong enough to defend themselves against an aggressive male, hell-bent on harming them. It’s also downright untrue. Hundreds of thousands of women realize that they have more than enough power in their bodies and minds to save themselves in an attack. They understand, first and foremost, that they are not weak, helpless waifs whose lot is to suffer simply because some criminal has chosen to mess with them. They also know that a solid punch, kick, or elbow strike to certain vulnerable targets will put a dent in an assailant’s plans and afford them an opportunity to escape.

Also recommended as “survival techniques” on the University’s list are vomiting and urinating, to convince the attacker to leave the intended victim alone. So, seeing a woman doubled over, hurling in the bushes, he might think… what? “Oh, gee, she’s having a bad enough time already. I’ll go ruin someone else’s life.” Not likely.

Also, I must point out that it is difficult to force oneself to vomit or urinate on demand–especially in a life-and-death situation such as a rape attempt. Not to mention, while one is trying to accomplish these acts, one can neither fight off the attacker nor run to safety.

Two of the tips on the list actually contradict each other: “Yelling, hitting, or biting may give you a chance to escape. Do it!” is immediately followed by “Understand that some actions on your part may lead to more harm.” In other words, little lady, let him do whatever he wants. Don’t try to fight the Big Bad Man or you’ll just make it worse for yourself. The US Department of Justice reports that women who actively defend themselves against a rapist are more likely to minimize the attack and/or escape than women who don’t fight back. And, they are no more likely to be injured than women who don’t fight back. Note: in some instances, compliance may be used as a survival technique. For example, women who have been told by a rapist with a weapon, “Just be quiet or I’ll hurt your kids” have used compliance to save their lives and those of their children. However, compliance as an option is not the same thing as making yourself helpless in the face of sheer hell.

There are quite a few women’s self-defense classes available on college campuses, at martial arts dojos, in cities large and small throughout the country. Most are good; some are excellent. The instructor who developed these so-called “survival strategies” is not someone I would want teaching my sister, my daughter, or my friends. These tips would seem to teach how to become a victim rather than a strong, empowered woman.



Equip Your Kids for Real-Life Trouble

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

In the news, a sexual predator in Philadelphia followed a teenage girl into her school and attempted to rape her. He had been walking closely behind the 15-year-old for over 4 blocks–security cameras at neighborhood businesses tracked his movements–and then grabbed her once she entered the school. Her screams as he began to expose himself alerted a dean who rushed to the girl’s aid and removed the man from the building.

It can be hard for a decent, law-abiding citizen to realize just how brazen some sexual predators’ behavior can be. They don’t always hide in the bushes, waiting to jump on an unsuspecting victim. Rather, they engage in inappropriate to downright dangerous and unlawful behavior right out in public, in broad daylight. Therefore, keeping your young daughter safe at home after dark, or letting your children play outside only on your street may not be enough. What will happen when they leave the borders of the safe world you’ve cordoned off for them? When they head to the store with a friend on an errand, or when they walk to school in the morning?

Jails are overcrowded and sexual offenders are often slapped on the wrist and released. So, it’s vital that we, as parents, find ways to make our kids as safe as possible. We can teach them that no one has the right to hurt them, and that they’re worth fighting for. We can help them learn how to immediately determine a safe place to run to, where there’s an adult they can trust to help them. And we can give them the physical skills needed to break an attacker’s hold on them so they can get to that safe place. Kids safety and self-defense classes like radKIDS aren’t “extras” anymore. They’re essential, because stories like this one from Philadelphia happen everywhere, every day. Child molesters and rapists are stalking their next victims. And no child should be up for grabs.