The Death of Expected Peace

I simply cannot allow the news of the three security guards standing by while a 15 year old girl got pummeled go by without comment. http://rawstory.com/2010/02/security-guards-inothingi-15yearold-girl-beaten/ In spite of a very heavy writing schedule, I feel that I have to address this issue on Women of Caliber in order to translate it into a valuable lesson from which we all can—and MUST—learn.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the story, a 15 year old girl was brutally attacked by another teenage girl all while she was in front of three male “security” officers in a Seattle bus tunnel.  The security officers did absolutely nothing in spite of the 15 year old being thrown down to the ground at the feet of the officers and repeatedly kicked in the head. (see the video footage at the link noted above) This story has a very familiar tune to the event in New York in which MTA employees in Queens New York were legally absolved of any wrong doing for acting as nothing more than spectators while a woman was repeatedly raped at the train station. http://www.nypost.com/seven/04012009/news/regionalnews/subway_rapist_victims_shock_162317.htm  

Both of these incidences as well as others like them should teach us all something very real, but most unpleasant—we must take responsibility for our own safety and peace.

Mass evacuation photo c/o http://www.meted.ucar.edu

Given the litigious society in which we live, many otherwise acceptable and expected human responses are delayed or eliminated as the result of legal exposure.  For example, New Orleans Mayor Nagin specifically delayed issuing a mass evacuation order sooner than he did because he had to consult with the city attorneys, and then the state, and then a national attorney to be sure that his butt . He had to be sure that the city would not be exposed to lawsuits for a loss of business revenue as a result of the evacuation order. As reported by the author Amanda Ripley in her book “The Unthinkable” companies have deliberately not held safety drills (such as evacuation, robbery, etc) because they don’t want to be held liable for someone getting hurt in the midst of the exercise.  It’s a very sad world indeed in which our brains are programmed to act as a responsible human being because instead we feed our minds the horrors of legal liabilities. But the fact of the matter is, that’s the way things are and we simply cannot change them fast enough to protect us today, tomorrow, or even a year from now. So we must take responsibility for our own safety. 

I don’t say that with any bitterness.  I say it in possession of expertise on the legal, realistic, logistical, as well as instinctive responses of human beings. I don’t say this with one iota of pessimism towards human nature. Even if half of all the world thought so inappropriately as those who put the security guards under such an asinine contract, or those three men who were “sheep” enough to follow such guidelines, I still believe in the unadulterated makeup of mankind.  I believe that they are inherently good and have to work hard at being changed into something otherwise. But unfortunately, there are many who have chosen to do so.  Thus I will prepare to defend myself appropriately and so should you. We must take responsibility to care for ourselves and those we love.  We must train our minds to respond with 100% ownership of our safety rather than telling ourselves that someone else is responsible for our peace and comfort. I implore you not to train your body or mind under conditions of panic, rage, or fear. Rather do so with a deliberate conscience in light of the matter of fact reality of the world around us. People have the agency to act inappropriately, and along with that comes our ability and choice to defend against the consequences of their criminal choices. Just because a business entity has successfully been sued for serving hot coffee, not clearing ice or snow from a walkway, or for not properly ensuring the safety of food—doesn’t give us license to surrender our own independence in providing ourselves with safety and peace.

Being prepared mentally and physically in self-defense trainging will be a great asset in any situation photo c/o http://www.sportskarate.net

So that being said, what else could the 15 year old girl have done other than standing next to the three security guards?  Well, by looks of the video, she certainly needed to learn to fight back better.  She didn’t get a good shot in at all and barely made contact.  She could have done so much more while she was on the ground too.  But all of that is pretty hard to teach in a written format such as this.  However, at the very least, she could have  pushed one of the security officers towards her attacker or hid directly behind one of them.  I strongly suspect this would have caused the female attacker to have lashed out at the security guard in response or at least it would have changed her thought process due to an unexpected maneuver. (Interrupting the thought process of an attacker is a highly underrated strategy.) Another suggestion would have been for the girl to have firmly yelled for help repeatedly. Whether a person is under orders to do more than make a phone call or not, the brain of most human beings (human being—the key phrase there) will instinctively respond. We’re simply programmed that way and we have to undergo a great deal of UN-programming to react otherwise. (Which makes the whole incident that much more tragic.) As I view this video tape repeatedly, I see a scared little girl and an enraged attacker.  The gal had the presence of mind to stand near the “security” officers. She also had the presence of mind earlier to ask one of the Macy’s security officers to escort her to a safer location. (which was refused-insert angry words of disbelief here) So she had some of her wits about her. However, I’m sure that when her sound strategy of standing next to the security officers crumbled, her brain couldn’t compute a ready response. Had she trained herself previously to breathe sufficiently to provide her brain with the much needed oxygen in a high stress situation, and be deliberate and strategic in her physical counter moves, the situation would have turned out very, very differently.

Seriously ladies. Can we all live and LEARN from this one?

 Copyright Protected 2010, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

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One Response

  1. Although I am a new subscriber to this blog;I stand solidly with your assessment of this sad,pathetic situation.I am fortunate to have survived an attacker who wielded a knife,at age 20 I found out exactly what my Mother&Father had tried to warn me about.A long story,very common and complex UNTIL one grasps the fact that much in our society has been operating on inverted values…
    So the police at that time,suggested that I might want to wear a hatpin in my lapel.I was stabbed and left for dead…a hatpin….
    It was over three decades ago.

    I am now acutely aware that psychological disarmament always-always-precedes the physical.I am only now fully aware of how much was surrendered early in my life,and how,and why.

    Thank you for,your efforts.

    Walk in Honor and Remain Safe

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