Sickened and saddened

What can I say today?  My heart is heavy fellow damsels in defense.  I came across some very disturbing news that doesn’t need to be shared, but I want to leave with you the following tips for keeping your children safe.

These tips are copied and pasted from the following site, not written by me.

http://www.kait8.com/Global/story.asp?S=13512256

Child molesters typically target vulnerable children. Keep your child safe with these tips:

  • Never leave your child unsupervised in a public place or even in your front yard.
  • Don’t allow your child to roam the neighborhood by themselves or even walk down the street alone.
  • Don’t leave your child at places that are havens for children, such as public parks, video arcades or even the mall.
  • Be sure you talk to your child about their body and their right not to be touched.
  • Continue to educate your child as they grow and start early

These tips are copied and pasted from the site, not written by me.

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With peace in your heart

Someone asked in a class where we are studying conflict if you can defend yourself in a violent way, yet still be at peace within yourself and towards the person.  My answer was a definitive yes, and I shared an experience as a damsel in defense to illustrate my opinion.

When I was 18 I was waiting at a bus stop.  An older man was there, and he didn’t speak a lot of English, but he was obviously trying to communicate.  He pointed to me and asked my age, and wrote his on a piece of paper.  79.  He guessed mine at 30, and I could only stare at him incredulously.  Things took a turn for the worse when he put his hand on my thigh.  I froze, and then started to scoot away.  He continued, moving his hand up my waist, saying “very nice, beautiful, very nice”.  He moved towards my chest and held me with his other hand so I couldn’t merely squirm away.  My mind starting flashing through scenarios.  I could kill him, I thought, a normal attack on a 79 year old man could have devastating consequences, for instance a normal strike that could hurt a young male could trigger a heart attack in an older man.  It may sound weird that I was worrying about him at a time like that, while he was invading my space and wouldn’t pull away or let go, but the truth is, even as you are deciding that you must take action to stay safe, you don’t have to have hatred, you don’t have to WANT to do harm. But let me be clear, I would not have even been considering his welfare if I truly felt endangered and not in control of the situation.

I feel that we as women are compassionate by nature.  We aren’t cowards, but truly we do not like the idea of harming others.  There is no reason we have to let go of the compassion to defend ourselves.  That’s what it means to be a damsel in defense.  Especially in a case like the one I was in.  I fully support grip it and rip it in a dire straight, but in lesser situations I believe that the least force necessary to escape is the right way to go.

So I grabbed his hand, and pulled it away as I stood up to go.  He wouldn’t let go, and the way I had grabbed him is a way I was taught to move an offending hand, so that if they let go and let their hand drop away, they won’t be hurt, but if they resist, it will start to break bones.  Sure enough I heard a crunch, and I figure I probably broke his wrist.  And I ran.  Was I happy?  Yes, to get away.  But I was sad I had to hurt another human being, I was sad that I couldn’t stop the assault through words and pulling away.  But I would have been sadder if I hadn’t fought back at all.

A lot of factors went into my fairly non-violent reaction.  His age, his relatively minor level of assault (at least to start), his lack of weapons, the fact that it was broad daylight and in public so the assault was unlikely to go beyond a certain level.  I’m not suggesting that you act the same way as me, but I am suggesting that you weigh your defense options against the nature of the assault and the offender.  If you aren’t like me, and think you’ll panic, then forget it and defend yourself to the fullest of your ability.  As I heard in concealed carry, it’s better to be tried by twelve (a jury) than carried by 6 (pallbearers).  The law will hold you accountable if you use excessive force, but if that’s the only deterrent, then play it more safe towards protective your life and your privacy.

I don’t want this post to stop women from defending themselves, but I do want them to realize that you don’t need to be a hate-filled or violent person to stop someone from hurting you.  It’s okay to feel reluctance to cause pain and damage, as long as your first priority is stopping pain and damage to yourself.

Thanks,

Peach

Another website and a few tidbits

http://www.safetyforwomen.com/mydefence.htm

I like this website a lot.  It’s clearly done by a woman who cares.  There are some interesting articles.  I wanted to point out two things.

1. That moment you can’t defend yourself won’t only affect you, as in the case of this woman, who lost her child as well.

2. There are so many resources online for learning to defend yourself, with all the time we spend on the internet, just an extra five minutes looking at defense sites can make a huge difference.

I also recommend picking up a book, like one on Krav Maga, which is really excellent and easy to learn self defense.  There are just no excuses.  Even if you are a busy mother with very little time in the day, I know your free time is precious.  But so are your children, and making an investment in time to give yourself an extra chance to make sure you are safe and there for them as they grow up, and that you can protect them, is worth it.  A few ideas.

Take a self defense course in your area.

Go to the gym.

Work out at home, cardio for running away, weights for fighting someone off.

Go take a concealed carry class, if nothing else to become familiar with guns and safer around them.

Buy mace, and then read up on how to use it. Defense actions has a great post on it here:  http://defenseactions.com/blog/defense-buys/macepepperspray-1-do-they-really-work

Feel free to message me with questions about specific scenarios.  If I don’t have the answer, I’ll find it for you.

Sometimes a lot of things I know about defense are so familiar to me I don’t think to write about it, so if you have an idea for something you’d like me to post on, let me know.

Thanks,

Peach

Veteran’s Day: The Cost of Freedom

We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the difference between us two.
Osama bin Laden

We studied the movement of the radical Muslims yesterday in political science, and while I knew a lot of the info, I hadn’t realized just how much they want to annihilate us.  It is a culture of suicide-bomber hopefuls, of women who raise their kids with the hope that they can be martyred while killing non-muslims (us).  Here we have a generation of young men whose only hope for a life with any happiness is the next life.  Many suicide bombers went with the promise of paradise, of women, of happiness and all things they are not allowed here.  They were indoctrinated from birth, and it is still happening today.  Regardless of your political inclinations it is important to realize that we are still under attack, that we have been under attack, and we will be under attack.  That’s why we must be damsels in defense, not damsels in distress.

We have so many freedoms we don’t think about.  In Iran a woman who is raped must be killed by her family to regain the family’s honor.  A woman must cover her body because it is “dirty”.  The only reason we have the freedoms we are granted in the constitution is because we have men and women who put their bodies and souls on the line to defend our country and all that it stands for.

So today remember those that have died, and those that live with invisible and significant wounds for our sake.  We are so lucky to be here in America, and we need to recognize a high price is being paid for us in a fight we don’t see.  I recommend looking for a veteran’s fund to donate to, and of course, thank the vets you know.

And since this is a self defense blog, remember that we should fight just as hard as they do for our safety and well being.

Thanks,

Peach

Mental Defense

So my main purpose in writing this blog is to give women tips that don’t require them to do much more than think in a different way about their safety.  While I encourage self defense training and looking into concealed carry, those options are for you to explore, and I only have a few minutes of your attention each day to tell you whatever I can that may help.

A couple of thoughts on mental defense, by which I mean ways to stay safe through intelligence.  Knowledge is power, and all that, so knowing a few new things about escaping predators should empower you.

1. Confidence.  Attackers look for women who look like they won’t fight back, women who look away nervously and act afraid.  If someone is being odd and creepy, make eye contact and glare.  This is no time to be polite, and try to avoid hurting feelings.  Trust your instincts.  If someone is following you, don’t shyly shuffle forward hoping you are wrong.  Turn around and face them, and let them pass.  If they are a normal person, they’ll probably give you an odd look and go on ahead, but if they are a bad person, it’s better to show them up front you have noticed them.  They may decide you’re not a good mark and move on, or they may attack, but either way is better than you allowing them to follow you until you are somewhere secluded enough that they feel safe attacking you on their terms.  I was once on a date and we sensed we were being followed.  My date, nervous, sped up and started towards the parking garage.  I turned around to face the man.  If there was a confrontation, I wanted to happen out on the street, not in a dark garage.  As it happened I startled him and he walked off mumbling.  You never know, but I would rather have someone look at me odd than bet that nothing would have happened.  Plus when you turn around and face them without fear they think “why isn’t she scared, what does she know that I don’t” and that throws them off.

2.  Fitness.  This sounds more like physical than mental defense, but it takes some thought to put together.  Other than learning self defense something that will really help you is working out.  1. It makes you faster, stronger, and better able to fight off an attacker and escape.  But more than that, it gives you confidence, and confidence also deters attackers.  Double whammy.  So work on cardio for running and weight training for strength and muscle endurance.

3.  Be smart.  First this entails being careful about where you go in the first place.  If there is a dark area that you have to walk through, keep your cell phone handy, or even pretend to be talking to someone on it, it will give the impression you are less alone, and an attacker will think you have someone that will hear if anything happens.  Yes, I thought that one up with my own paranoia.  Once I had someone following me and I made sure to say over the phone to my friend “I’m so glad I learned a dozen ways to maim the genitalia of a man twice my size.”  He disappeared.  Yeah it sounds funny and in retrospect it was, but being followed is scary, however you cut it.  Also keep your mace or keys handy if you are being followed and about to turn around and start a confrontation.  But even better is avoiding dark areas alone.  Period.  Nothing is worth that late night trip.  Even if you are driving, you will be getting out of the car at one point, right?

See?  There are things you can do just to trick an attacker into thinking your dangerous, or in my case above, to let them KNOW you are dangerous.  I’m sure if you think about it you can come up with more as well.  If you do, please share them below.

Thanks, and stay safe and protect yourself damsels.

Peach

A New Kind of Rescue Fantasy

You walk outside the party, towards your car.  As you turn to unlock your door, you feel a threatening presence behind you.  You turn around, frightened, and see a cruel looking man lean over you, one hand on either side.

“Let’s have some fun” he says.

He grabs you roughly and presses into you, you try to scream but he covers your mouth.  For a moment you think about Damon, who you left inside, mentally willing him to save you…and then…

You slam your head forward into his nose.  As he falls back reeling, you follow by slamming your foot as hard as you can in a pushing motion into his abdomen pushing him away from you.  Not a damsel in distress, a damsel in defense.  As he stumbles back you pull your mace from your keychain and spray directly at his face, making sure to quickly turn around and away from the spray so you aren’t affected too.  At nearly the same time you run.  Either back to the party or the nearest group of people, or if you had nearly opened your car, into the front seat where you quickly slam and lock the door.  And of course then you call the police.  You were expecting a damsel in distress.  He got a damsel in defense and it left him the worse for wear.

I know, it’s not romantic.  It’s not the fantasy that fuels the sales of thousands of romance novels.  If you find rescue fantasies erotic, the kind where a handsome man appears just in time to deliver you from danger with his “always stronger than 10 other men” strength, you don’t need to be ashamed.

A psychologist told me once that in polling thousands of women, he had discovered that what women want more than anything is safety, and what they fear in connection with that is rape.

He explains that women, from a young age, accept many things.  From the time they play with dolls they know that they will grow up and give a lot of what they are to a man.  They will take his last name, have his children, and go where he goes.  I know this isn’t all little girls, but it certainly applies to a lot of the women I’m reaching out to.  Women raised in gentle and conservative environments.  He says that women are fine with this because the man they are with will provide safety.  I know this is going to upset feminists and liberated women, but I really do feel that there is something in a woman’s nature intrinsically connected with wanting protection.  From a biological standpoint it makes sense because we are smaller.

Men have a hard time understanding this.  They think romance novels are about the sex.  They aren’t.  The twilight series asserts this, with it’s frequent rescue fantasies and extremely limited physical intimacy.  If you took the time to open romance novels at the drugstore, you’d notice far more rescue fantasies where a man saves a woman from another man than you would see sex scenes, in my experience.  No women like talking about it, and no women like admitting it, but it’s still a reality.

In the mental image at the beginning of this post, I’m sure there was excitement, and then a letdown.  Even if it isn’t erotic to save yourself, there should a be a rush because taking care of yourself is empowering.  The next time you are reading or thinking a rescue fantasy, I encourage you to take a moment to visualize the same moment, but with you taking control of your own safety.  Even if that’s only screaming.  Picture yourself hitting and kicking and fighting for your life.  And if this inspires you to go take a self defense class all the better.  If nothing else, it will help you be more prepared mentally, because if your only mental image of being attacked is erotic helplessness, how will you be ready to fight for your life?  As I mentioned in my Your Own Knight post, men can’t be everywhere.

Besides, being able to take care of yourself is super hot.  Imagine how happy Damon in the above fantasy was when he came outside to see his lover ensuring her own safety.  It’s fine to still let yourself have rescue fantasies at times too, but I hope you’ll mix it up and let yourself be the hero sometimes too.

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed on damsel in defense are just my personal opinions.  Damselindefense.com is not liable in any way for actions arising from reading it.  Additionally, damselindefense.com is not affiliated with the recent company damselindefense.net that was founded nearly a year after my blog.

Fighting Dirty Part 2

Okay now I’m going into techniques.  As I mentioned in the previous fighting dirty post, these are kind of nasty.  You’ve been warned.

To start with, forget about punching.  Your hand is good for much more.  It’s best to avoid an attack, by not walking alone or in dangerous places.  It’s better to have a gun or aim a kick.  But I’m going to talk about what to do in the worst case.  If you end up close enough to their body that you are in striking distance with your arm, throw an open palm to their face, with your thumb to the side and your pointer finger slightly bent.  They will think a punch or strike is coming, but your real aim is to get your fingernails near or in their eye socket.  My Krav Maga instructor explained it thus:

“Have you ever had an eyelash in your eye?  It is hard to think of anything else.  Now imagine it’s a finger.”

Good point.  Don’t just launch and withdraw your hand, you throw it like a punch and the second you are close enough you go for that eye.  If he’s on top of you or fiddling with your clothing, try to get in his eyes.  Even if they are closed if you keep scratching and pushing you are likely to hurt him.  Other great places to scratch are the inside of the nostrils if you can hook one, or the side of the cheek.  No one really thinks about these places but they should because they are places that are extremely sensitive but also aren’t typically expected.  He things you are going to be scared, lying with your eyes closed, praying not to die.  HECK NO you are going to be digging in his eye like there’s buried treasure in there!  Surprise!

Now here is a trigger warning.  If you have been a victim of sexual assault, this may be sensitive and cause ptsd symptoms, so you are free to leave if that seems unsafe.  But please come back when you can handle it because this is stuff I feel should be understood.

If he is sexually assaulting you, and all else has failed: you have no weapon, you didn’t get the eye, etc, it’s time to realize this is a fight for your life.  You have to assume someone who will rape you can and may kill you.  Don’t assume if you lie there he will let you live.  That is playing roulette.  Also if you know a rape victim, you know the effects are lasting and very, very ugly, and soul deep.

The other thing to realize, is that if he plans to sexually assault you, at some point this conceited monster is going to present you with his genitalia.  That’s right, this man is so sure of his power over you he is going to bring out the most vulnerable part of his body.  And this empowers you.  Some men will even go for an oral assault.  Really? You are going to put that near my teeth?  We’ve all heard the stories of rapist carrying their balls back to the police station to be reattached, or if you hadn’t, you have now.  Something to think about.

“But Peach”, you say,”I don’t want to bite a —–“.

I know.  And no one says you have to.  But as a damsel in defense I’m just suggesting last ditch efforts at fighting.  And I have heard of less violent ways to deter a rapist.  Like peeing yourself, or feigning mental disability.  But in my opinion the ol’ “grip it and rip it” method is something everyone should think of before hand.  Get your hands on it and don’t let go.  Bite, scratch, tear.  Twist.  Yank.  Be creative.  Some women will argue that they could be beaten or killed.  But I’m reminded of the rape that happened in Utah where the woman was completely compliant and thought she would be let go, but instead was dragged into the bushes, raped, and then had a football sized rock dropped on her head in an attempt to finish her off.  This broke my heart.

In the end it’s your choice.  Check out this website as it has some good explanation on “grip it and rip it”.

http://www.crime-safety-security.com/grip-it-and-rip-it-rape-escape-article-bank.html

I’ll have more posts up about specific defenses soon but I need to figure out a way to have pictures to help explain.

So think about it, take care, and stay safe.

Peach