Sunday, March 05, 2006

Women, Fight BACK!

I read this a few months ago, and found it to be very well done, and, from a woman's perspective, contains a better viewpoint on the fear a woman must feel in daily life. I have taught women's self-defense since about 1986, and can tell you that what she is saying here is correct - you need to resist with everything you have, and don't rely on the "humanity" or compassion of your attacker for your survival. First, your resistance alone will probably succeed, but you have also made the scumbag less likely to recommit the crime and victimize others.

Mr. Sam Bertolino has been assisting and teaching with me since the mid-90s, and he always said it best at the seminars when he tells the participants to just "do something!" to overcome the panic or inertia that comes with the extreme stress of an attack. He's right. Key points of the article (read it all):

... Studies have finally dispelled the myth that you cannot protect yourself and that resistance will only make things worse. This erroneous claim has been replaced with newfound data showing that immediate and aggressive responses, including fighting back, are effective. Conversely, pleading, reasoning or appealing to a rapists humanity is not. In fact, the latter is almost universally futile, notes Dr. Judith Herman, a foremost authority on trauma and author of the best-selling book Trauma and Recovery.

By not resisting rape, women may be putting themselves at greater risk, says Sarah Ullman, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Of course, fighting carries risks as though being raped, beaten or worse doesn't constitute injury but Ullman's research on resistance strategies concluded that a womans level of physical injury is mainly determined by the offenders use of violence and initial blows struck, not because she fought back.

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