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Reposted from [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem's blog, because I think it is just that good and that important: The Truth About Violence.  Though the author lists Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear in place of honor on his Recommended Reading list, I'd actually say that this 1000-ish word blog post is considerably more useful than de Becker's book (which basically comes down to, "You are legally and practically screwed if you have a stalker, unless you hire me.").  Go, read it, learn it, love it, live it. 

Date: 2011-11-17 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vschanoes.livejournal.com
I read this article, and I did appreciate it as far as it went. For me, that was actually quite far, as my gut instinct is to freeze. I don't know about obeying instructions, as I have fortunately not yet had to find out, but I know for a fact that my first instinct is to freeze, and even though the points he makes about burglars making sure that the house is empty before they enter it and somebody who shoots you when you are running being somebody who would also shoot you if you stood there are completely logical, they never would have occurred to me (I strongly suspect gender-conditioning plays a role in this; "If I'm a good girl, I'll be OK"). I do not think that I could leave a child I love alone with a violent criminal, so I appreciate his point that the second best option in that scenario would be to attack.

And yet...the whole time I was reading this, all I could think was "women rarely face these kinds of physical dominance games; we are far more likely to be attacked by someone we know and love. How does this advice help us?" And then, in tiny print in a footnote, he admits that it doesn't:

"Women are almost never the targets of social-dominance games of the sort I describe here. Rather, they must worry about rapists and other true predators. (For the purposes of this article, I ignore the subject of domestic violence.) And women’s attackers often outweigh them by fifty or a hundred pounds. These facts make their security concerns both more pressing and less ambiguous."

Men slip drugs into their female dates' drinks and rape them; boyfriends smack their girlfriends around. This is the kind of violence his advice is less helpful for, and it bothers me that he doesn't think that's a caveat worth mentioning until a small-print endnote.

It does make me wonder about my friend, who came home from a bar late one night and was followed into her building by a man who pulled a gun on her. She was the worse for drink and weaponless. Should she have tried to fight back? Does the fact that he didn't shoot her after he raped her mean that he wouldn't have shot her if she had attacked him and run back out into the street? Or would he have just caught her, beaten the shit out of her, and then raped her?

Date: 2011-11-20 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] circe-pleading.livejournal.com
Yes to the last; he would have beaten the shit out of her, and then raped her. It is a dreadful world, and I suspect your latter assumption would have been true.

Date: 2011-11-20 02:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vschanoes.livejournal.com
I do, too. And it bothers me that the article-writer doesn't address things like that.

Date: 2011-11-17 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] akashiver.livejournal.com
Thanks for posting!

Date: 2011-11-17 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] belecrivain.livejournal.com
thank you so much for posting this, especially since one of his links leads to a discussion of children and self-defense training (vs. martial arts training, which I planned to default to when my girls were old enough). I'm not sure where to find good self-defense training, but I have a better idea of what to look for now.

I hope everything is going well with you, especially in terms of health.

(Note to [livejournal.com profile] vschanoes: you might get more out of The Gift of Fear, as it does have a chapter on domestic violence and another that could basically be titled That Guy Is a Creep, Don't Indulge Him.)

Date: 2011-11-20 11:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] circe-pleading.livejournal.com
Thank you, thank you for posting this. As a victim of a violent crime ( robbery, rape) there is a lot in this article that I wish I had read before; it makes me wonder --- had I chosen to run, without glasses, bicycle, would it have unfolded differently?

Thank you, this article is essential reading for everyone, regardless of geography and class.

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