Posts Tagged ‘Domestic Violence’

A lady came into one of my affiliate’s gym in another part of the country. She wanted to learn self-defense immediately because she was divorcing her husband and was afraid of him. As my affiliate told it, you’d never know anything was wrong from the outside. He was actually acquainted with the lady for a while and had met her husband. They just seemed like a normal couple to the outside world, but apparently they harbored secrets. One night they had a fight.  The police were called and a report was taken.  She was really scared and moved out.

The husband continued controlling and stalking behavior.  He wanted everyone to believe that this was just a mis-understanding and even contacted the gym owner to “Tell his side of the story.”  This scenario and these behaviors actually play themselves out daily across the country and across the world.  Anyone going through this in the US is actually “Lucky” in that there are resources available and the police are actually helpful. This is not the case in other parts of the world, where a woman objecting to this type of behavior must either endure it, or bring shame to the family.

If you find yourself in such a situation, the only sensible option is to escape. It may seem difficult or impossible, but if you don’t leave, the abuse will continue and there is a high probability it will end with your death.

In the Portland area, women in crisis can call the Portland Women’s Crisis Line at 503-235-5333 or 888-235-5333 or the Domestic Violence Resource Center at 503-469-8620 or 866-469-8600.

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I pay a lot of attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), checking website hits and search terms frequently. The name of this blog post was a search term that led someone to my website.  I didn’t have any tips posted for avoiding domestic violence over the holidays, so maybe it was my post on Tips For the Surviving the Holiday Table, along with a few posts on Domestic Violence, that brought the searcher here. But it really caught my attention, that someone would be searching such a thing.

The only tip I really have for avoiding domestic violence over the holidays, is don’t be around the abuser. Whoever searched this term knows that they will be abused. They know who their abuser is. It is probably her husband or boyfriend and he probably has a track record of this behavior.  He probably gets drunk, and starts beating her. It’s probably something really stupid and insignificant that sets him off, like burned potatoes. Them WHAM! “That’ll teach you to burn potatoes you bitch!”

The next morning he’ll be all sorry and promise never to do it again, and she will believe him, again, because it’s easier than doing what she probably knows in her heart she must do: leave.

I teach Krav Maga as self-defense for both men and women, but it’s not really for the situation you find yourself in every Friday night. The only solution for that is to not be there. I realize it is easy for me blog this from the comfort of my office chair, and hard for the woman who must leave her significant other, with her kids, and possibly her only means of support, to avoid being used like a punching bag. But that is what she must do, and the sooner the better, because things really aren’t going to get better until she leaves, or he kills her. Krav Maga may save you a few times, but sooner or later it won’t.  Whoever you are, I wish you the best, and I hope someday very soon you come to your senses and leave him.

Last night I hosted a Free Women’s Self-Defense Seminar & Girls’ Night Out at my facility.  I tried very hard to promote it through Facebook, Twitter & Linked In, as well as through a Flyer and my BNI Chapter. Although there was a lot of grass roots promotion, and my BNI partners invited lots of guests, very few members of the general public attended that were not related to BNI. The only conclusion I can draw from this, is that most Women are not really concerned with Self-Defense. Perhaps it is too inconvenient, or unpleasant to think about. Perhaps most women feel safe. I try to promote women’s self-defense in a positive way, without scare tactics. Perhaps in the future I should resort to scare tactics? Here goes:

According to United States Department of Justice document Criminal Victimization in the United States, there were overall 191,670 victims of rape or sexual assault reported in 2005.  1 of 6 U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. (according to Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault) [from Wikipedia]

From 2000–2005, 59% of rapes were not reported to law enforcement.[30][31] One factor relating to this is misconception that most rapes are committed by strangers.[32] In reality, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 38% of victims were raped by a friend or acquaintance, 28% by “an intimate” and 7% by another relative, and 26% were committed by a stranger to the victim. About four out of ten sexual assaults take place at the victim’s own home. [from Wikipedia]

Drug use, especially alcohol, is frequently involved in rape. In 47% of rapes, both the victim and the perpetrator had been drinking. In 17%, only the perpetrator had been. 7% of the time, only the victim had been drinking. Rapes where neither the victim nor the perpetrator had been drinking were 29% of all rapes. [from Wikipedia]

In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.1 That’s an average of three women every day. Of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third were killed by an intimate partner. [from NOW]

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year.4 [from NOW]

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That’s more than 600 women every day.6 [from NOW]

Women ages 20-24 are at greatest risk of nonfatal domestic violence8, and women age 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of rape.9 The Justice Department estimates that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years, and that less than five percent of these rapes will be reported.10   [from NOW]

So, can I interest anyone in a Women’s Self-Defense Seminar?

Reversing an earlier decision, the Topeka Kansas DA said he will continue to prosecute domestic violence after saying earlier that he would stop doing so due to budget cuts. On the surface, it seemed like a terrible idea, and I suppose the public outcry made him reverse his decision.

But to me, it just seems like another wake up call to women that they need to take more responsibility for their own safety.  That may sound really harsh, but I’ll never be able to understand why women stay in abusive relationships.  I know there are reasons, like they are in love with their beater for some strange reason,  perhaps they can remember a time when everything was wonderful, they have kids together, they are afraid they can’t earn a living and will be homeless.  But abused women should be afraid that their beater will kill them, because statistically, there is a very good chance that they will someday.

I am of course an advocate for and teacher of women’s self-defense, but rule number one is when bad things are happening, don’t be there.  Rule number two is, if you are there, escape. Rule number three is, if you can’t escape fight, but only until you can escape.  Police, prosecutors, can only respond after the fact. They can only prosecute if they have a good case, i.e., sufficient evidence. Here’s hoping more women will take up their own cause.

I saw a Facebook post yesterday that concluded, women are God’s gift to man.  So that got me to thinking. If you want a child, you will need a woman. Hopefully you will be married to this woman, although it’s not a requirement. Likely this woman will nurture your child(ren). Then there’s the whole sex thing.  If that’s not a gift I don’t what is.  If you are married, your wife may do a lot things for you (besides sex), like cook, clean, do laundry, take care of the kids, and the animals, etc.  She may also work outside the home while doing all this!  She may listen to you complain about your day, snuggle with you, etc. My wife seems like a gift from God; a booby prize sometimes, (emphasis on boobies), but mostly a gift.

So here’s what I don’t get, many men are married to great, loving women, but they beat the crap out them.  And the women stay in the relationship.  Can someone explain this to me?  I have no experience in this.  My wife and I fight sometimes, which is par for the course. She thinks it’s scary when I yell, but I have never, ever hit her (affectionate smacks to the hind quarters excepted).  I don’t plan on starting.

I teach self-defense, and I think it’s really important for Women.  But you shouldn’t learn self-defense so you can win the fight you know you are going to have with your husband or boyfriend every Friday night when they come home and beat you like they always do. You must leave. I know it’s easy to say and hard to do, but that’s what must be done.

I started a Facebook page called Don’t Beat Women, after reading about a Saudi Facebook Campaign calling for men to beat women drivers. If you think beating women is nuts, please like my page.