My Wish – 100,000 Women Strong

By Kellene Bishop

Owning a handgun does not offer women any benefit for self-defense.  KNOWLEDGE, on the other hand, of how to use a firearm for self-defense is the ultimate equalizer.  And to me it’s the ultimate sign of freedom and liberty. 

There are a great many female gun owners in the U.S. at present.  Unfortunately the fact that these same women don’t actually use their firearm for self-defense merely gives fodder for the anti-gun crowd who claim, “See?  Firearms don’t help women prevent rape.”  Now that’s a shame. 

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

If I had my wish come true, it would be that an additional 100,000 women not only possess firearms in the U.S. this year, but also get expertly trained in handling them and carrying them on their person.  While my wish may sound a little far fetched, I firmly believe it’s a worthwhile one.  Imagine the hesitation in a violent criminal’s mind: “Geesh.  (Censored, of course)  Is THIS one of those 100,000 armed women who know how to use it against me?” or “Am I really ready to go up against a skillfully armed woman?”  I believe that the number 100,000 is sufficient to thwart millions of crimes all over the U.S. and make criminals think twice before assuming a woman is a vulnerable target.  I believe that that impact of 100,000 confidently armed women will alter the wrongfully perpetuated societal stigmas that many have about armed citizens.  And I believe that 100,000 armed women will make children more safe, not only against firearm accidents, but against perpetrators who target them.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have my wish granted and see 100,000 women competently quick-draw their weapon, shoot accurately, and reholster it.  It nearly gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!

Photo care of

Photo c/o northshorejournal.org

Can’t you just hear the beautiful symphony made by the sound of the action after the slide is released all over the nation?  Ch-chang!  (I LOVE that sound!)  The patriotic sight and sound of “the rockets red glare; the bombs bursting in air” would be akin to the sound of double-taps all over the practice ranges in the U.S.  Can’t you just imagine the new level of confidence as women walk and talk strong and powerful knowing that they no longer will play the role of a helpless victim?  While my wish of 100,000 women is barely a dent in the number of the population of adult women in our nation, I believe that it’s sufficient to suitably rally against the crimes against women and their children and to accomplish what our law enforcement and government officials simply can’t or won’t do.

Independence isn’t just a benign word to be associated with our nation.  It should be a state of being that we women embrace every day.  We can be independent in our own effective protection and security and in doing so, literally impact the protection of women all over the nation.  This is my wish. 

Will you be one of the 100,000?

Will you be one of the 100,000?  

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

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An Indulgence Worth Dying For?

By Kellene Bishop

We’ve all heard of individuals who have “die hard” hobbies, but does anyone have a hobby, or an indulgence that’s really worth dying for?

Indulge me for a moment here, as I do have a point.

indulgence-shoesI love books.  Can’t get enough of them.  I love shopping for shoes.  No matter what my weight, shoes always look good.  I love scrapbooking.  It allows me to indulge in a creative and relaxing outlet.  And I love going to movies—especially action adventure ones with my hubby.  But like all of you, I’m on a limited budget, especially as of late.  In fact, I think for the first time in my life I actually HAVE a budget.  So, where is my money being spent?  Well, I can’t remember the last time I splurged on shoes.  And I haven’t bought scrapbooking supplies in over a year.  And the few books that I have indulged in have been “used” and great finds at garage sales.  I haven’t paid to see a movie outside of matinee times for well over a year.  Why?  I realized that for myself and many of the women I know, these indulgences are taking the place of some more important matters in our life.  And these are indulgences that could literally cost a life. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m certain that there’s NO indulgence I have that’s worth dying for.  When I think about it this way, that movie, shiny pair of shoes, newest marketing book, or the easiest way to cut a teddy bear shape no longer seems all that important.  I realize that NONE of my indulgences are lifesaving.  And yet the amount of money I spent on scrapbooking supplies every 6 months would easily buy a new firearm.  The amount of money I spent on shoes each year would purchase a thousand rounds of ammo, even at today’s prices.  For some, their daily run to the convenience store would quickly supply their local police department with enough ammo for an entire month!

9mm-roundsEach sheet of scrapbooking paper I could buy nowadays is the same cost as a 9mm round.  A crafty little cutting machine is now the same cost as a lifesaving firearm. A single night out to a great restaurant (ok, I admit that I miss Ruth’s Chris and The Melting Pot) will also pay for a firearm!  With attendance at only 10 movies I could easily pay for more expert training on self-defense.  While a book or the heel of a shoe, or some great paper scissors may be used as a weapon of protection, neither or these tools were made specifically for saving a life or protecting a community.

So, here’s the question.  Do you really think you can’t afford a firearm?  I say you can’t afford NOT to have one.  Those daily coffees or sodas you purchase aren’t going to prevent a rape, a mugging, or a violent robbery.  But a firearm and some skills training definitely will. 

Those DVDs you purchase are great for the grandkids, but they are useless in protecting them from a kidnapper in the middle of the night.  

When you want to find the money to spend on something that you adore, you usually can find a way.  As women though, we rarely try to find ways to increase our self-defenses, let alone spend money on them.  And that simply has to change.  We literally cannot survive in peace without taking the responsibility of protecting ourselves and our loved ones more seriously and making it a priority.  So the next time you indulge in one of life’s little pleasures, ask yourself if the indulgence is taking the place of something more critical?

Photo c/o stevensadmissions.typepad.com

Photo c/o stevensadmissions.typepad.com

The good news is that due to the state of the current economy, a lot of folks are selling their firearms and even ammo privately.  You can usually get a GREAT deal using your local classified ads.  So not only has there never been a more needful time to take responsibility for your self-defense, but there’s never been a more cost effective time to do so either.  Additionally, once you have purchased a firearm, it’s usually a one-time purchase.  You can then go back to indulging.  What would be even better is if you caught the bug, so to speak, and firearms became your new indulgence.  OK, OK.  I won’t get too carried away.  But I can dream, can’t I?

If you think about it, claiming that you can’t afford to protect yourself really isn’t about the money.  It’s most likely about the priorities you’ve set, the fears you may have, or the education you still require.  

While indulgences are great, and even necessary in my opinion, I must put them in their proper place so that I can consistently stand for what really matters to me—safety, peace, security, competence, and confidence. 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Multiple Attacker Self Defense

By Kellene Bishop

Recently one of my readers sent me a real life sexual assault scenario involving multiple attackers and asked me for my advice.  I feel that understanding the necessary defense skills and mindset against multiple attackers is a valid subject to address.  And so I’m going to share her question with you as a perfect segue.

“Here’s the scenario; a young lady was raped while in the bathroom at a party. The door was locked but the first animal used something to open the lock, which is not hard to do. He came in part way (probably to see if she was alone), said ‘excuse me,’ started to leave but came right back in, letting the second animal in. They immediately turned the lights out…and that was that. She cooperated and wasn’t beaten, strangled or had any other manner of horrible things done to her, but being raped is horrible enough.

My question is, what do you suggest be done when there are two attackers? Having a gun (yes I’ve seen the sharp shooter videos) or some other weapon, and/or knowing some self defense techniques may lessen the likelihood of being assaulted by one attacker, but two? I’m scratching my head about what to do in that case. Unless someone is sitting on the toilet with a gun on their lap (unlikely), they are extremely vulnerable. Pants and undies are pulled down, so charging toward the door or the attackers is also unlikely. I read a suggestion of wearing a whistle around the neck (or some other noise maker), but with so many people talking, etc. and loud music, the sound may blend in.

The likelihood of this happening again to the same person is slim, but if it happens again to anyone, that’s one person too many.”

Understand that the likelihood of multiple attackers occurs once out of every 24 rape attempts in the U.S.  That’s not exactly a small number in my opinion. Thus mentally and logistically preparing to defend against this evil is realistic.

Your first line of defense against multiple attackers is indeed a firearm.  I keep one of mine on the waist of my pants or skirt. Thus even if I’m “indisposed,” if a person were to enter the bathroom as this scenario plays out, I could easily retrieve my firearm.

Another great place to keep a firearm is in a belly band.  Even the most fashion-conscious woman will appreciate how unobvious and well concealed they are.  With a belly band you also have easy access. 

belly-band-holsterbelly-band-holster-2

AspThere’s no limit on the number of actual “weapons” you can have on you.  I have a great knife, which is always handy in my purse.  I would hope that that would be nearby if I was in the bathroom, but I’m certain that it should be nearby everyone especially if it houses a weapon with which to save your life.  I have an Asp in my purse as well.  This particular weapon will literally crush a skull, break a wrist or arm or knee cap when brought forcibly into contact with an assailant.  (My concealed firearm permit allows me to legally carry both of these items in the state of Utah.)  Last, but not least, I also have my red-dyed pepper spray on my key ring.  This is usually tucked into the front of my waist regardless of where I am.  ALL of these weapons are easily usable, and readily available.  I don’t rely on just one because life doesn’t exactly work out that way.  Perhaps this approach causes some of you to think I’m crazy like Dwight from The Office, but I assure you that the likelihood of my being able to save my life against multiple attackers is suitable.  At some point they will get tired of my pulling out weapons, don’t you think?

However, all of these weapons are not the most important aspect of preserving your life in the event of a multiple attacker self defense scenario.  There are two components that you literally cannot live or hope to survive without.

be-awareAwareness is one of two most critical lifesavers when it comes to preserving yourself from multiple attackers.  You can never afford to be disengaged from your surroundings.  Not at a party.  Not in a bathroom stall.  Not in a movie theater.  Not while you’re grocery shopping.  In all seriousness, the likelihood of you being attacked when you exude a confident awareness of your surroundings goes down significantly.  Those who attack in a group are actually the most cowardice of them all.  They can’t even “rape” on their own without all of their buddies to watch and help control one girl.  Thus keeping this in mind, remember that they are looking for the easiest target.  Your job, in order to stay alive and NEVER have to overcome such an instance is to stay aware!  All of the things you’ve been told to do (use a buddy system, park near a light, ask for an escort out to your car, etc, etc) are all valid deflectors of an attack.

Your second and most important defense against a multiple attacker scenario is your mindset.  And no, I’m not talking about some kind of Anthony Robbins or Deepak Chopra fluff here.  There is something that you must understand if you are ever attacked.  You are NOT being attacked by a human being.  Don’t let your instinctively compassionate mind tell you otherwise.  The moment they choose to take your virtue, your life, or any of your freedoms in any way, they have become sub-human.  They are literally nothing more than a vagrant animal.  And just as you would willingly shoot a rabid stray dog attacking your child or someone else you love, you MUST be mentally prepared to shoot an attacker.  Stop thinking of your attacker as a human beings, because they are NOT!  Stop thinking about your impact on their life!  You are not responsible for that impact in that moment.  They made that choice be attacking you.  They ASKED for the consequences.  Don’t wait and see how much damage they intend to inflict upon you.  Remember, it’s NEVER just sex.  It’s violent control.  And if you allow it to happen because you don’t suitably fight back, it can quite possibly control who you are for the rest of your life.  So be prepared to fight it at ALL costs.  My attitude is if I’m going to die, someone is definitely going with me!  

Understand that an assault encounter typically takes between 2 and 12 minutes.  However, most women have never practiced physically and mentally fighting for their life for a full 2 to 12 minutes.  Practice some unfettered “whoop A$$” on a pillow or a mattress for a full 2 to 12 minutes.  Attack that pillow or mattress with all of the fire you can muster.  Yes, it will tire you out.  But you need to practice it again and again so that you know you can endure the time and the energy necessary to save your life.  You need to mentally AND physically be prepared to put up a fight.  

Lastly, in a multiple attacker scenario, don’t worry about taking them all down at once.  Yes, that’s possible with a firearm, but if you lose that option, know that you have a Plan B.  Statistically speaking as well as with psychological considerations, focus on ONE of them to destroy… and I do mean destroy… and the rest will desert their mission.  If you don’t have a gun, go for the throat muscles.  Grab them and literally pull them out.  Most men have a prominent Adams Apple.  Put your claws in there and YANK!  Be prepared to do the same with their eye sockets if necessary.  I know, that sounds absolutely awful.  But remember, this is your life and your sanity that you’re fighting for.  This is war in its truest form.  As I said before, psychologically speaking, when you defeat one violently and the rest will flee.  Remember you have FEET, HANDS, and TEETH to use for your defense.  But most importantly you must have the determination to survive under the best of circumstances, not just barely.  The same goes for the use of a firearm or any other weapon you choose to use.  Don’t use it mamby pamby.  Use it with direct and controlled rage.  You need to let them know that they chose a fierce and deadly creature to mess with.  One who is NOT fragile, NOT passive, and who’s NOT willing to be a victim.

self-defense-throatself-defense-eyes

Multiple attackers need not result in victory for the sub-human body masses.  You can combat it and yes, you can survive victoriously – even from multiple attackers.  

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Permission vs. Skill

By Kellene Bishop

Photo: Galco Gunleather

Photo: Galco Gunleather

When I ask various people if they feel they are capable of stopping a charging drug-crazed assailant, or prevent a break-in attempt into their home by a lawless gang, or to save the life of a person being mugged, the response I hear all too often from both men and women is, “Oh yeah.  I have my concealed carry permit.”  Clearly some confuse Permission with Skill. 

A concealed carry permit does not ensure that you will be able to shoot straight, shoot fast, shoot accurately, and shoot to stop.  It only gives you Permission that you may have a loaded firearm nearby should you need to do so.  In most states, this Permission is not even necessary to protect your home, but the Skill sure is.

A concealed carry permit cannot save a life.  But Skill will never let you down when it really counts.

Permission merely tells you that someone who doesn’t even know you is willing to allow you the mostly unfettered access to the tools you need to protect yourself.  (Arguably a permission that should not even HAVE to be granted to mankind—in my opinion it’s an unalienable human right to defend oneself with effective tools. *heavy sigh*)  But Skill ensures that you know how to use life-saving tools. 

All the Permission in the world won’t save your life or the life of those you love.  
Only SKILL can accomplish this.

Permission does not provide you with sound firearm safety.
Skill ensures that a firearm is a purposed tool, not an accident waiting to happen.

Permission is regulated by government.
Skill is regulated by your access to experts and your willingness to apply a foundation of knowledge in order to protect your family.

Permission without Skill is barely worth the $30-$100 bucks you paid for it, and that you will continue to pay so long as you continue to renew. 
But the right kind of skill will last a lifetime.

Permission does not stop a would-be rapist.  
Only Skill can do that.

Permission does not protect you from an abusive husband, or an out of control ex-boyfriend.  Not even a protective order can do that. 
Only Skill can provide you with the safety and peace you ultimately seek.

So while I wholeheartedly support individuals in obtaining their concealed firearm permit, I implore you not to confuse it with Skill.  Spend the time and the money on acquiring Skill.  Remember, it’s worth a lifetime of confidence and peace.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Are You Prey for a Rapist? Part II of II

By Kellene Bishop

Continuation from Are You Prey for a Rapist Part I from yesterday…

If you do have to encounter an assailant up close and personal, make your hits count.  Most women go for the groin first and foremost, but understand that every would-be rapist is very familiar with this “knee-jerk reaction” and prepared to thwart it. 

  • My first physical shot, if necessary, would be a solid hit to the throat where the likelihood of collapsing his windpipe is high.  At the very least, he will be distracted long enough for me to make my next move.  
  • Next move, is right between the eyes on the bridge of the nose.  Such a strike will stun them and cause their eyes to naturally pool with blood.  This will impair their vision. 
  • THEN I do a hit to the groin.  Understand that you’re not hitting the groin as a sign of disregard for their manliness.  This particular hit is connected to the core of their senses, especially when they are heightened with rage or arousal!  It will debilitate them and can even kill them.  No matter.  Make the hit count.  Regardless of how fit they are, each of these strategies aims for a vulnerable spot that even the “Terminator” can’t easily absorb.

I’ve heard instructions from other “experts” to pinch the under arm as hard as you can between the elbow and the arm pit.  That can work well on someone who does not have strongly defined biceps.  However, if they have defined muscles, you will have wasted your energy and just made them mad.

I also highly recommend that women practice the leg sweep defense:

  1. Lay on your back.  Have someone get on top of you resembling the rapist.  Most rapists will have their hands on your throat or mouth until at one critical point in which they will only have one hand there.  Have your helper put their hand on your neck as if to strangle or prevent movement.
  2. rape-prevention-hand-neck

  3. (At some point they will HAVE to reach for their offensive body part, belt buckle, or something else.)  At this moment you want to grab his wrist with both of your hands. (It’s a natural reaction, so hopefully you won’t have to think twice about doing this.)
  4. Then bring up your leg that is on the same side of your body as his hand/arm is.  Cross your leg in front of their neck to the opposite side of his head and then pull them down towards the direction of their arm.  (If you’re using the left leg, pull them down to the left.  If you’re using the right leg, pull them down to the right.)  You’ll be surprised just how strong your thigh muscles are.  Do this quickly and without hesitation. 
  5. rape-prevention-leg-sweep

  6. Be sure to bring the leg directly across your body.  They will have to flip on their back and will be at approximately your 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock position.  Your leg will be directly across their neck, thus inhibiting air flow.
  7. rape-prevention-flip

  8. While you are flipping them on their back, keep their arm extended, in your grasp, and tightly in between your breastplate. 
  9. rape-prevention-arm-breastplate

  10. Once they are flipped over, slide over as fast as possible so that your groin is planted just under their shoulder and your other leg is across their chest.  You will then be perpendicular to them.
  11. rape-prevention-perpendicular

  12. Keep their arm close to your chest and then raise your pelvic area for all it’s worth.  (I couldn’t do this in the picture or else I would have broken my husband’s arm.) 
  13. rape-prevention-lift

The power is not in the legs.  It’s not in the arm hold.  It’s in the pelvic raise right under their shoulder.  This will break their arm indubitably. Yes, keep your legs strong on their neck and chest, and yes, keep your grip on their arm firm.  But remember, that the key is for you to be squarely under their shoulder with your pelvic area. A little goes a long way with this move so don’t worry about your back strength. Between the broken arm and accompanying pain as well as the lack of air supply you will have defeated your assailant sufficiently for you to get help, get your gun, or at best—get away.

Here’s the most important part of this exercise though—putting yourself in a position in which someone is on top of you with their hand to your throat and you having an exit strategy.  If you will do this, the likelihood of your surviving a rape attempt goes up NINETY percent, simply because you have done the necessary mental exercise to NOT be defeated.  (By the way, when practicing this at home, please be careful of the pelvic lift. You WILL break someone’s arm. When my husband and I practice this, I raise gently until he “taps out” with his other hand letting me know I’ve caused him sufficient pain.)

So in a nutshell, be aware, be ready, and be armed with the right tools of self-defense.  Let’s stop showing these blankety-blank cowards that we’re easy marks.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Are You Prey for a Rapist? Part I of II

By Kellene Bishop

I’m going to share with you some traits that rape predators look for in an ideal target and how you can counter their efforts.  This is NOT an all inclusive summary, it’s merely a highlight of a few of the considerations I teach in my Women of Caliber self-defense course.  Understand that my pointing out a physical trait does not mean to say that you should alter your dress or hair, etc.  But you should indeed be sure that if you posses some of these traits that by arming yourself with the knowledge and the tools to successfully fend off an assault, you eliminate all odds of you being raped. 

  1. Photo c/o stalecoffee.blogspot.com/
    Photo c/o stalecoffee.blogspot.com/

    You are a target to a rapist if you have long hair, a pony tail, or some way for the psychopath to control the rest of your body by pulling your head.  If your hair can easily be grabbed, you pose as an ideal target.  Now, here are the facts of things.  I refuse to change my personal appearance just because there are scum bags out there.  I won’t let them intrude on my freedoms in this manner for one minute.  This is why I also exercise my freedom to be armed with a suitable firearm and other weapons that are easily accessible to me.  While they are pulling my hair, I’m pulling my firearm from my side or belly holster—end of story.  

  2. Your clothing makes an ideal target if it is easily removable.  Some rapists even carry scissors to aid them in this effort.  Again, dress as you will, but if you’re going to wear something that will pop off with the flick of a finger, I suggest you either quickly become a master sumo wrestler or you become familiar with flicking YOUR finger on a ready trigger. Also, keep in mind that involuntary nudity really disrupts a woman’s ability to think clearly.  Don’t worry though.  You don’t have to practice random acts of public nudity to become immune to this vulnerability.  Simply putting your mind through a legitimate mental exercise of what you will do if your clothes are violently removed from you is a HUGE asset.  Most women forbid themselves to even think of such a thing.  As a result, their mind turns off if it happens.  This is NOT what you want to have happen.  Stay focused on your rehearsed self-defense and determination and not on the spontaneous breach of modesty and you will very likely survive mostly unscathed.
  3. Photo c/o smarthome.com
    Photo c/o smarthome.com

    Do NOT disengage from your environment.  Rapists look for women who are on their cell phones, walking, loaded down with bags, etc.  Such women are typically disengaged from their surroundings.  Not only can you not afford such a state of cluelessness for your own safety, but you’re useless to helping others as well if you indulge in this manner.  This isn’t about being paranoid.  This is about being aware.  I never get into my car absentmindedly.  I carry my keys with my hand ready on the trigger of my red-dyed pepper spray.  I am aware and ready.  If I’m going to be on the cell phone, I’m still mindful of my surroundings—to the point that my friends and family ask that I call them back when I can be focused on THEIR conversation.  A quick chit chat is not worth my safety and they know and respect that.  I never go out to my car at night or walk the dogs mentally disengaged.  I’m particularly focused when I’m in a parking lot of ANY kind, day or night.  While most reported rapes occur between 3:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., it doesn’t diminish my level of awareness at high noon.  Any person aware of their surroundings also comes across as a confident, ready woman.  Shallow useless excuses of a man are always repulsed by such an image.  

  4. Remember, rapists are cowards.  They are specifically preying on what they deem to be an EASY target.  As such, the majority of them do NOT have a gun on them (only 2%). Of those that do carry a gun or any other kind of a weapon, they rarely expect to have to use it as they rarely expect a woman to be armed with anything more significant than a random right hook or pepper spray, let alone the knowledge, skill, and willingness to USE a weapon.  Statistically assailants will give up and flee when confronted with a determined fight.Do NOT fall for the ridiculous notion that submission is safer.  It’s not.  Even if you aren’t killed during a rape, do you really want to end up pregnant with the child of a rapist?  Do you really want to have to corrupt every intimate relationship you will have thereafter because of the rape?  Regardless of your moral standing, I assure you that a rape is NEVER just sex.  It’s violent.  It’s a nightmare that will take superhuman strength to heal from.  I’d much rather use my superhuman strength to prevent a rape than to have to heal from such an incident throughout the rest of my life—wouldn’t you?
  5. Photo c/o Getty Image
    Photo c/o Getty Image

    When you’re fighting for your life, 5 minutes can seem like forever.  One of the exercises I highly recommend you doing is to punch at a pillow, mattress, dummy, or punching bag non-stop with all the fiery will you can muster for an entire timed five minutes.  Keep the fighting at a high, fevered pace.  Work up to this if you have to.  Most women are not accustomed to such a workout.  Sure women can run for 6 miles without so much as a sweat, but fighting for their lives with arms and feet moving feverishly for 5 minutes is a whole other matter.

Part II of II in the “Are You Prey for a Rapist” series requires some specific instructions and some photos to aid in that effort.  So tune in tomorrow to learn of a highly effective exercise and defense method for you to use in rape prevention!

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

The Mostly Silent Destroyer

By Kellene Bishop

Silence.

Loneliness.

Darkness. 

Fear.

Most humans feel such troubling emotions at some point—however brief or extended—in life.  We struggle to fight against their powerful grasp.  In desperation we look to others for comfort and love and support, and when achieved, we eventually move forward stronger than before.  But what if those people we trust to pull us out of the misery are those who darken and destroy—the very manufacturers of our fear? 

This is the reality for more than 200,000 American women every year. 

Rape is a disgusting and horrifying crime, and to most women, their greatest nightmare.  The very thought of the word repulses most.  According to FBI records, more than 90,000 attacks are reported every year in the U.S.  That number, though high and unfortunate, pales in comparison to what’s really happening.  The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that more than 300,000 women are forced to survive a rape each year.  But according to other studies, less than one in three women reports their real-life nightmare to police or other authorities.  Additionally, it’s important to understand that the numbers which the FBI reports are conveyed to them by police stations all over the U.S.  Unfortunately countless police stations are found to be inconsistent in properly reporting rapes as well.  To me this is akin to assault on the woman.  And it’s nothing short of shameful.

shame-by-jfqIn addition to the callous approach the police departments employ in reporting rape statistics to the FBI, “shame” also has a lot to do with many women not reporting such attacks.  Alcohol consumption and drug abuse are often familiar prequels to rape, and no women would want to be labeled as an abuser or out of control.  And due to natural side effects of substances, it’s common the victim is entirely unaware of what, if anything at all, even happened.  Also, in some micro-cultures which have filtered into the U.S. from regions worldwide, rape victims are inexplicably seen as dirty, shamed, and of less worth to their families, recognized as being at fault for having lead-on the attacker.  Having to relive the horrors of the incident to fill out a report and even testify in court understandably seems too much to handle.  Ironically, many take an even more difficult path which requires silence, but ultimately does more damage emotionally, as well as physically and subsequently financially.  

As is presently reported, the majority of rape victims, 52% in fact, are females younger than 26.  Many are in college and pursuing goals and careers.  These are independent women with oft-heard opinions and strong voices.  So why are they suffering their assaults in silence?  Because two-thirds of all perpetrators are either friends, regular associates, or even intimate partners.  Sixty-four percent of the time the woman is raped by a trusted companion!  That’s a particularly dangerous problem because the ripple effect brutalizes them once again at close range.  Oft times the woman victim has deep emotional feelings and even sincere love for the attacker so the crime is never reported, opting instead to give the perpetrator another chance. 

According to the justice department, it’s rare that attackers use extreme force or brutality during the rape, even though psychologists believe it to be an act of dominion and power.  Consequently, it’s rare that there is an abundance of physical evidence surrounding the attack.  This is another reason why more rapes aren’t reported by victims and police departments, and why more perpetrators aren’t taken to court.  Without physical evidence, and because of the commonality of alcohol and drug abuse during the act, the charge seemingly amounts to little more than a victim’s personal vendetta against her attacker.  It’s her word against his, and he’s innocent until proven guilty.

The nightmare continues.  The survivor sits alone in silence, darkness, and fear… unless. 

What if women stopped relying on the police departments to protect them from this heinous crime?  What if, instead, women took their safety into their own hands by becoming fully informed and educated on how to recognize a looming rape occurrence and how to successfully thwart it?  A physical self-defense series.   A self-defense firearm training class.  All of these are ideal counter-measures to ensure that you never have to become a survivor and be left to simply dance to the present music that’s played nationwide.  If a rape is fought back with skill and a pre-conditioned mind, then the survivor will be able to much better cope with the incident, leaving it behind with a sense of conquering evil rather than being trampled in its path.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
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