Active Self Protection isn’t about owning guns (though we’re pro-2A all the way), it’s about being able to protect yourself in the moment that evil comes your way, from sexual assault or any other assault. This woman fought back and escaped with only minor injuries, and for that we applaud her!
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video with some details here: http://get-asp.com/vbw6
How do I protect myself from sexual assault:
1. First, it is worth mentioning that we do not blame the woman for this sexual assault. The blame rests squarely with the perpetrator, not with the victim. She didn’t “earn” her sexual assault or “deserve” it in any way, so do not take any of the advice after this as blame. Instead, it is learning from her experience for the rest of us to make proactive strategies and plans to protect ourselves from harm. That’s why we do the narrated videos at ASP, to learn from real-life incidents so that we can be better prepared if they happen to us.
2. You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you. This is the foundational core of spiritual fitness and the first step in taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you live in a fantasyland that nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has happened in the past, you’re setting yourself up for a terrible letdown. Accepting that danger existed in her life in the moment gave this woman courage to defend herself against this sexual assault!
3. If you can win “the fight before the fight,” you win. You win that fight by minimizing your potential for being attacked in the first place! That means making smart decisions and living a life of awareness and readiness so that you don’t take unnecessary risks. In this instance, ask yourself if it was wise for this woman to go somewhere secluded and private with a man she had only just met. Again, that’s not blaming her for her sexual assault, but simply asking if we can recognize “off-ramps” in the encounter to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
4. To defend against a sexual assault, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. The attacker here was using slaps and (I am fairly certain from body language) his voice to try to overwhelm his intended victim emotionally so that he could have his way. She found the emotional fitness to fight back and get away, and that was excellent!
5. In the moment of attack, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the attacker is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. This sexual assault was stopped because the victim found a moment when she had time, space, and opportunity to get out, and she took it. Again, that is highly commendable!
6. You must establish some “bright lines” of when you’ll fight for your life, no matter the odds. Sometimes it might be best to give in, but there are some situations that are so dire that any odds are better than none. Sexual assault is, in my opinion, one of those times. Studies definitively show that intended victims who fight back are not injured more than those who don’t, and the chances of the rape being completed are far less (http://get-asp.com/601c for the study from DOJ). Only you can establish that bright line for yourself.
7. An important part of spiritual fitness is knowing what you are willing and able to fight for. As bearers of the image of God, humans are uniquely valuable and it is always acceptable to protect human life, whether your own or someone else’s. Your person is infinitely valuable, and it is entirely acceptable morally, ethically, legally, and spiritually to stop an attacker from harming you. This certainly extends to sexual assault.
8. As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)