Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Myths of Sexual Violence

Working with my friends at I often receive emails from young ladies who have suffered the horrible crime of “date rape.” The accounts are startlingly similar. Most of the accounts involve the use of date rape drugs like Rohypnol. Also known as “roofies.” For the victims I can only offer a word of care and guide them in how to take legal action and seek out counseling. For the victimizers I can only hope that what they have sown to the wind will be reaped in the whirlwind. Those that have stolen from these ladies what no one has the right to take, perhaps someday when they are caught, they too will learn, the hard way, what that feels like. Shortly after lock up.

There is an email that circulates, one of those “forwards” that talks about what rapists look for. Such as women with long hair and clothes that can be removed easily. Nonsense. If you’ve had the internet very long, you’ve likely already seen this one. The alleged research in the email is a complete falsehood. Don’t take defense lessons from forwarded emails. Rapists do not care what your hair looks like, what you are wearing, what you look like, or how old you are. Rape is about power and control. It is not about sex. Sex is only the vector that these weak and pathetic parasites utilize to gain a feeling of power over the impotent circumstances of their sorry excuse for a life. What follows are some common rape defense myths.

Above all, if you go to a party, DO NOT leave your drink unattended. Not even for a second. DO NOT accept “gift” drinks from some man. Don’t think that just because you think you know a guy, because he “seems” sweet, because he’s a friend of a friend, that you can trust him. The majority of women I have consulted with online through the Gangstyle website reported that they were raped after being drugged. The simple fact is, most women are raped by someone they know.

Always be aware of your surroundings and who is in them.

In the terrible event you should find yourself a victim of this kind of crime. DO NOT blame yourself. No matter what you say or do, no one has the right to put their hands on you without your direct and explicit consent. Even if you change your mind about sex and tell them to stop, they had better, or else it is rape. Report the crime immediately. Do not bath or wash yourself as this can remove vital evidence that can be used to prosecute the criminal.

Common Rape Defense Myths:

Just Run Away: Of course if this is a viable option by all means do it. But keep in mind some things about running away. Studies by the LAPD show that criminals will elude the pursuing officers if they can keep up the sprint for over 200 yards. Can you sprint 200 yards? Run, not power walk or jog. If you fail and the predator catches you at the 150 yard line, will you have enough strength to fight back? Not so much running, but escaping is your best option.

If you can successfully run to a crowd, public place, or police station in less than 200 yards and in a distance your cardiovascular system will endure, by all means do it. If not, and there is a high probability the attacker will be able to out pace you, then you must first INCAPACITATE the attacker. Escape can mean damaging the attacker enough first, so that he cannot actively pursue you. It can also mean using strategy such as running a short distance into a crowd, police station, or inside your vehicle, (if possible.) Keep in mind that by your natural defensive instincts you will want to flee, this is why it is vital to learn and train for self defense. To get your brain to function with not only fright and flight mechanisms but with a FIGHT mechanism. Run if you can, but think carefully about it. "Just " running may not be enough.

You should vomit, defecate, or urinate on yourself: Yes, some ‘experts’ recommend this as a viable tool for rape defense. Be advised, even if you can mentally force yourself to do these things on cue, there are plenty of demented individuals who would find this even more arousing. This tells them that you are in such utter fear that you cannot control your bodily functions. Fear, domination, manipulation, and control are key components of a rapist’s drive. By doing something as foolish as this, you may have only increased his desire to rape you.

Just Yell “fire”: The first thing he will likely do is slam his fist into your mouth. Likely no one will respond as the rapist is generally clever enough to “make sure the coast is clear” before he begins his assault. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t yell. Something, anything, even “fire.” But putting all your eggs in one basket, “Just” yell fire, may be dangerously ineffective if this is the only tool in your self defense kit.

Buy and carry Body Alarms: These handy little items are junk. Sold by people who lack even the common sense to understand the dynamics of assault. The first thing the predator will do is rip it out of your hand and stomp it to pieces. Like car alarms, people will likely ignore the whistle anyway, if there are even people within hearing range.

Total dependence on any “gadget”: Mace, pepper spray, and stun guns can all be useful tools and are always better than nothing. But totally depending on any tool such as these or any one tactic for that matter can have serious repercussions. Tools break. Some people are resistant to pepper spray, especially those who may be high on drugs or severely mentally impaired. You should always have a back up plan.

Telling them you have AIDS, some other venereal disease or are pregnant: So what, he may have AIDS as well. This is an individual who is intent on raping you…do you really think he will care if you are pregnant or not? Furthermore, then he doesn’t have to worry about impregnating you. Or he may choose to rape you orally. Most likely he will believe you are lying.

Talking your way out…appealing to his humanity: This is a rapist. Get over it.