Teach your kids that adults aren’t always right

The last couple posts focused on awareness and protecting children, and since I’m on a child abuse prevention kick right now I’m going to continue on from there.  The truth is, no matter how hard you try, you can’t make sure your child never encounters someone who wants to do something inappropriate.  From a babysitter, to a teacher, or a coach, you can’t always be there to make sure no one does something they shouldn’t.

One of the reasons children are victimized is because they are usually in an environment where the adult is always right, no matter what the child thinks at home.  They are used to doing things they don’t want to do because they are told to, and they are dependent and thus have to follow rules that may not even make sense to them.  Unfortunately, this blind sense of always being wrong compared to an adult leads to tragedy when a sexual conflict comes up.

***Trigger warning*** for anyone reading this who has experienced child sexual abuse, you should make sure you’re in a good place to read this, or come back later.

A child will may not be comfortable with the touching or the abuse that goes on, but if it is done by a trusted a adult, they will have a hard time saying no, or knowing that it’s wrong.  We have to teach our children that there are some things that no one can do, some things that adults can not be right doing, that no one can be right doing.

This doesn’t need to be graphic and traumatic.  For instance, using a doll or pictures in a children’s book to explain that no one should ever touch them in certain places, and if it happens, to scream no, leave, and tell another trusted adult immediately.  Too many acts of child abuse are more mentally coercive than physically coercive, the attack is dependent on the child being too afraid or confused to stop the assault or draw attention to it.  Even if it seems like something children shouldn’t have to face, it’s becoming more and more likely that they will face it, and to be armed, they need to have a rigid idea of what is and isn’t allowed.  They need to be taught that if they feel uncomfortable they always have a right to yell and find another adult.  And they need to know that they have a right to say no to people in authority.

Without going into more detail, I think you get what I mean about telling them.  And you can’t be TOO vague, like that safety kid’s song “stay outside of my line or I’ll tell on you” because kids are awfully literal and won’t understand.  They need to know locations and that touching and even being shown certain things is something to scream about and tell on.  That adults are wrong when they do these things.

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed on damsel in defense are just my personal opinions and not professional or legal advice.

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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

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

http://defenseactions.com/blog/

Hey guys, this is a really awesome and informative blog.  It’s written by the incredible instructor I had for my concealed carry class that spurred me to start this blog.  He’s another one of those special people who just wants to help people stay safe.  He covers a lot of issues with concealed carry, but also has specific tips for general defense, like pet safety, winter safety, and mace concerns.  I really recommend you follow his site, and if you are lucky enough to take one of his seminars, tell him I sent you.

http://defenseactions.com/blog/

Oh come ON

Really, the Provo river trail AGAIN?!

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=13201104

Okay friends.  I’m so very glad this woman fought, and got away with minimal scratches and bruises.  But let’s remember, there are just certain unsafe places, and places where a violent rape occurred in the last year are probably in that category.

So let’s take this story as a reminder that there is nothing important enough to risk your safety walking alone in an unsafe place.  Yes it’s more inconvenient to grab a friend or a guy friend.  But being with someone makes you less of a target to start with.  If an offender is looking for a victim, will he choose the girl with someone when he could choose one that’s alone?  If every girl commits to being the one who’s not alone, attackers will have a much harder job.  That’s always a goal to work for.

And also, kudos to this woman for putting up a fight.  I can’t draw too many conclusions because obviously it’s a different attacker and a different kind of assault from the one that occurred on the trail earlier this year.  But I was told that in one case the victim tried to comply, and she was raped, and nearly killed.  In this case, and one about a month ago in another part of Provo, the victims fought and escaped mostly unharmed.  It’s time to start looking at connections and deciding which you will be.

I want you all to know I don’t blame the women who do suffer assault.  Who knows every situation and how we would all behave.  I just want us all to keep thinking critically about survival.

Take care,

Peach