Thursday, May 26, 2011

COMMENTARY: Be Prepared for Rape

Kansas representative Pete DeGraaf (GOP) believes women should be prepared and plan ahead for rape. As he was quoted on the Kansas House floor: "I have a spare tire on my car." He went on to add: "I also have life insurance. I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for."

Good thing he has a spare tire. If I lived in Kansas, I’d consider finding out what kind of car he drove and where he parked it….

“How in the heck do you plan for rape?” I’ve heard that question more than once since the Representative’s comments. Most women answer that you can’t.

I believe the Rep is right. Yeah, it can happen. You know what Lewis Carroll said about clocks, right?

I don’t watch a lot of daytime television. I’m not fond of the drama dependence it seems to foster in viewers. I made an exception one day many years ago when I was home from work and Oprah Winfrey’s program advertised testimonies from crime victims and how they survived.

All of these women maintained that they’d planned ahead. No, they didn’t know the specific nature of their attack, but they had it in their mind how they were going to fight back should they be attacked.

One woman in particular’s story stuck in my mind. I wish I remembered her name and the date, I’d get a copy of that video. She was a middle-aged Black woman who lived out in the country with her aged and ill mother. She was concerned some man might break in and rape her. She fixed in her head what she’d do.

One night, she woke up to see a naked man standing over her bed. He ordered her to perform oral sex.

Remembering her plan, she grabbed his male organ as tightly as she could, looking like she was going to comply. Then she gave him a mighty twist. She didn't scream because she was afraid she'd awaken her Mom and give her a heart attack.

She kept hold of him, while he screamed, pled, threw up, and nearly passed out. She got up and led her attacker to her door literally by the short hairs, unlocked the door, and kicked him naked outside in the cold and dark. Just to make sure he was leaving, she picked up her shotgun and fired a few rounds after him.

Then she called the police.

When the police arrived, they found her attacker at the foot of her drive.

“Get me away from that crazy woman,” he was begging them. From the police officer's reports, the guy was in a lot of pain.

I don’t ever want to be in her situation, but if I am, I want to be that woman. I want my would-be attacker to beg the police to arrest him so he can go to a nice, safe jail and get the hell away from me.

From what the other crime survivors said, they all survived various kinds of attacks because they had some kind of plan as to how they were going to react when they were attacked. Yeah, ladies, you have to have it fixed in your head that you’re going to be that crazy lady.

Now, I’m suspecting that Representative Pete DeGraaf has a more ‘commercially viable’ option than I’m proposing. Rape insurance--I think not!

If you're going to spend money on rape preparation, think rape prevention and saving your own life.

If someone attacks you, you need to learn how to survive. One self defense expert, Jerry Van Cook, who wrote "Real World Self Defense" suggested that you fight. Anyone who's going to rape you, is going to contemplate killing you. After all, it's your word against his in a rape and he'd rather not have you as a witness.

So, how do you plan for a rape? Get some self-defense training for a start. Check with your local YWCA or Rape Crisis Center, they'll usually have some free or low-cost classes you can take.

Meanwhile, YouTube to the rescue.

Worst case, you're grabbed and on your back. This video shows you how to defend yourself. Practice with a friend until the moves become instinctive:

Or maybe your nightmare is having someone come to your bed. Here's how to protect yourself:

You may contemplate weapons. I'm not one of those liberals who doesn't believe in our Second Amendment right to bear arms. However, you don't need a gun, per se if you're not comfortable having one or can't afford one. I keep a Maglite by my bedside and I can whip that flashlight upside an attacker's head without any remorse. My Mom used to walk with an umbrella. As a kid, I've seen her point that bumbershoot at someone and threaten to jab it into their mid-section if they didn't leave us alone.

Pepper spray's another good option. Just make sure you know how to use your spray and don't get yourself. Your own cosmetics can work, too. Ever spray yourself in the eye with perfume accidentally. OUCH!

If you're think you'd like a Taser or stun-gun, get the pink one. What? Me suggesting pink? Heck yeah, imagine your attorney holding up your cute little pink Taser in the court and seeing the jury laugh.

If you're a reader like me, you may want to check out some books. Jerry VanCook's Real World Self Defense is a good place to start.

The thing is, think about what you'd do if you were attacked. Get a plan that works for you, practice the moves you need to make, and keep that plan in your mind so it's a reflex if you have to defend yourself.

If your life's anything like mine, what you plan for so carefully just doesn't happen--but if a rape attack does happen, you'll be better prepared to deal with your assailant and avert your own rape.

Be safe, sisters.

1 comment:

  1. Self defense is excellent for women and yes, we all should learn it. If you're attacked it can be very useful in helping you get away from your attacker. However planning to physically fight your rapist is not always the best plan. Many women have been killed doing that because they inflicted some pain and made the rapist angry enough to want to kill them. I remember a well known serial rapist who only killed one girl --- she fought back & hurt him. I also remember a couple of cases of serial rapists who killed most of their victims but one or two survived the encounters, lived to tell about and go to the police and helped catch the guy and put him away for life. That's a better outcome. How did they do it? They actually used their brains and their mouth and talked him into letting them go without killing them! One was a young teen too, I believe she arranged to meet him again, then handed him over to the cops! Now there is smart young lady! It doesn't always work out that well of course. But there can be better options than fighting if you want to live. Getting away or not being taken in the first place is the best choice, self defense can help you a lot there. There is an excellent man, former detective, that gives lessons on how to handle various situations --- he makes very good common sense. I'd recommend his book. I've given you his name before, forget it now!