Thursday, December 29, 2011

Women Should be Taught More Self Defense, Earlier

A word of caution, this post contains an adult discussion of rape, of both men and women, and may contain triggers for those of you suffering from PTSD. This post will build upon an earlier post of mine, "Should Girls Wrestle"  which, a year later continues to get comments.

For those that haven't read that post, I'll recap: High Schools should not only allow girls to wrestle, they should encourage it.  A recent report from the CDC on the widespread instances of rape and abuse in this country grabbed headlines for a day, and then of course, vanished from the the collective conversation. The newscasters tsk-tsked the results and then quickly went on to other, less depressing news. Why no discussion about how to stop or mitigate these findings?  Oh, that's right, it's just women, they are weak, and men who get raped, well they are like women right, weak, so who cares.  As you might can guess, I care.

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, based on a survey conducted in 2010. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story—more than 1 million women are raped in a year and over 6 million women and men are victims of stalking in a year. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are important and widespread public health problems in the United States.
1 MILLION women, in the US alone, EVERY YEAR.  So, no, I don't want to hear about how uncomfortable it makes high school boys to have to fight with or wrestle with girls.  I don't want to hear about how they are taught not to hurt girls, so they are at a disadvantage with a female partner.  That's clearly Bullshit.  While I don't doubt that there are boys being taught that lesson, clearly, as men, they either forget it, or the numbers that never learn that social nicety are far too large.
Women are disproportionally affected by sexual violence, intimate partner violence and stalking.
• 1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding the survey.
• Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetime while 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime.

The majority of this victimization starts early in life.
• Approximately 80% of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half experienced the first rape before age 18 (30% between 11-17 years old and 12% at or before the age of 10).
• About 35% of women who were raped as minors were also raped as adults compared to 14% of women without an early rape history.
• 28% of male victims of rape were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger.
 HALF of women rape victims are younger than 18.  That means that there are as many as 500,000 girls a year that could be learning valuable self defense lessons in JR HIGH and HIGH SCHOOL that might help them in escaping a rape attempt before they head for college.

Pushing them out of wrestling clubs, or sparring groups is short sighted and harmful.  Jr High Schools and High Schools on that path should do an immediate about face, and not only allow them in but encourage it.  Even if it means forming female only leagues.  Even if it means making male wrestlers uncomfortable.  Help these girls find ways to fight back against being one of these statistics. Don't just shuffle them through Home Ec, Sex Ed and Gym and delude yourself into thinking you're sending them out into the world prepared.

Sadly, I have no daughters, and no connections with the local Jr High and High Schools. (Yet.) If any of my readers do, please feel free to use this post in it's entirety to start conversations with your school district about this issue.  The CDC report is linked at the top and again HERE if you want to print out some of the facts and figures. Please PLEASE teach your daughters about the realities that face them.  Ignoring it or hoping it won't happen to them are terrible ways to deal with this issue.  If you daughters are old enough, enroll them in a self defense class, not one of those hour long once a year sessions, but something on a weekly basis, learning hands on grappling, breaks, throws and disables. While you pray they won't need it, someday they may thank you.  Send your boys too of course, the need isn't as dire in a personal protection sense, but they'll get other very useful benefits from it.


Jon Lorisen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Lorisen said...

Hi Jennie, good for you to keep addressing this topic.

I agree wholeheartedly on the wrestling, and stand by my comments on your previous post "I always looked for the biggest, toughest, best people to fight and train with, I am more than willing to extend the same courtesy to everyone else - men or women. Anything else would be ridiculous."

Hope you don't mind a little post hijacking, I also have a suggestion for anyone looking for some seminar training on the use of a knife and defense against knives & other weapons. Michael Janich does regular training seminars (and has a lot of DVDs). I had the privilege to train with him, mostly on his counter-blade concepts training but also with the use of a folding knife. I highly - highly - recommend it.

I finally found someone that taught knife defense methods that actually worked!!! Very exciting. We even had someone on the course that had used the method to defend himself at his convenience store job where he had been attacked by two men with screwdrivers.

We did some free form training as well, got some excellent pointers on close quarters shooting. Some people were interested in defense against MMA/grappling training and I did some wrestling shots on Mike (he's not a grappler). I'm hardly the best wrestler in the world though I did scrape by at the Canadian Uni level and I've never been manhandled in quite that manner, it felt like my head was going to get twisted off!!

If you get the chance and your budget stretches to it someday, check it out. Blog post of his you might find interesting:

As women are quite frequently at a strength disadvantage, knives can be a great equalizer - especially with the way Mike teaches there use. Just the simple mobility kill cut to the quad was groundbreaking for me, much more effective than the killing-oriented styles I have been exposed to in the past.

Anonymous said...

what is the source of your data?

Jennie said...

The CDC report is linked twice in the post. All figures and graphs come from there.

Anonymous said...

The "1 in 71 men have been raped" stat from the CDC survey doesn’t tell the whole story. It defines "rape" as the attacker penetrating the victim, which excludes women who use their vagina to rape a man (rape by envelopment) which is counted as “made to penetrate”. The very same survey says “1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they were made to penetrate someone else,” which is far more than 1 in 71. Also, the study says that 79.2% of male victims of “made to penetrate” reported only female perpetrators, meaning they were raped by a woman.

The above, lifetime stats do show a lower percentage of male victims (up to 1.4% rape by penetration + 4.8% made to penetrate = 6.2%) than female victims (18.3%) although it is far more than the 1 in 71 you stated. However, if you look at the report’s stats for the past 12 months, just as many number of men were “forced to penetrate” as women were raped, meaning that if you properly include “made to penetrate” in the definition of rape, men were raped as often as women.