CBS News recently reported that nearly 90,000 women reported they were raped in the United States last year. It’s estimated another 75,000 rapes went unreported. But while rape convictions are up – a five month CBS News investigation raises questions about just how many rapists are actually being brought to justice. Read the complete article Exclusive: Rape in America: Justice Denied.
When a rapist forces a woman onto the ground, he is not planning to fight her. His intentions are that of conquest and humiliation. Your body is yours, and no one has the right to control you—to hurt you. You do have the right to do whatever is needed to stop them from hurting you.
It’s time to get serious and learn how to defend yourself. Stop thinking about it. Stop worrying. Start doing it.
Violence Against Women: Facts and Problems
- One in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years and less than 5% of these rapes will be reported, according to the United States Department of Justice.
- One in four women has experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
- The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence research indicates that in Connecticut in 2005:
- 20,102 cases of domestic violence were reported; 40% of these incidents involved children.
- 75% of the 17,928 domestic violence victims were women.
What can you do to stay safe and to protect yourself?
- Learn the basic techniques of self-defense. Attend a women’s self defense workshop or program series in your community. Stop making excuses. Just show up and do it. You’ll discover that every part of your body is potentially a weapon that you can use against your attacker;
- Learn advanced techniques of self defense. Join a martial arts academy in your area. You’ll benefit from the exercise, increased flexibility, meditation…and learn important self defense techniques that could save your life. For women living in the Farmington Valley, CT area, check out Yu’s Academy of Martial Arts;
- Find your voice. Forget the ladylike behavior. Now is not the time to be quiet and polite. It’s time to roar and add vocal power to your self-defense. This takes courage and practice at first, but once women and girls find their inner warrior voice, they add a new weapon to their self defense arsenal…and their self confidence goes up several notches.
- Avoid potentially dangerous situations. Listen to your gut and don’t put yourself in harms way. If this means that you risk looking like a party-pooper, so be it! Don’t get in that car; don’t go to that next party; don’t drink that drink. Be smart – stay alert and in control – stay safe. Chant the mantra “A lady knows when it is time to leave.”
- Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to escort you safely to your car. This includes mall security, airport security, police officers. It’s their job to keep you safe.
- Stay together. Make no assumptions about your safety or the safety of others. Never drive away when another women is waling to her car. Make sure she gets in safely, the car starts and she is safely driving away. This also applies to going to the public bathroom, working at the office late at night, or other isolated places and times where violent attacks may occur.
- Be aware. Learn to use your peripheral vision. Consider different scenarios and how you would handle yourself. This does not mean to live in fear, but to be “on guard” and in the ready position. Make sure your hands and feet are ready to move at a moment’s notice. Don’t bog yourself down with heavy purses, packages and other items that prevent you from defending yourself when needed.
“Strong.” “Stronger.” “Empowered.” “Useful.”
These are the single words that our participants used to describe their experience at our 2-hour women’s self defense workshop. Contact Mikael Anderson of Yu Martial Arts to inquire about the date for the next community workshop and also about ongoing training classes. Call 860-693-0025 or visit http://yumartialarts.com/