Updated: Mar 15, 2018
Okay, so we know we are not safe. That’s established. Watching this #MeToo movement explode along with the school shootings and statistics that 1-out-of 3 females will experience violence in her lifetime – my god, are you serious? How can we even walk out the door in the morning knowing that danger lurks around each corner? On the street, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the workplace, the abuses toward women and girls is epidemic.
Years ago while reading the local newspaper, I noticed article after article about female abuses: stalking, domestic abuse, murder, rape, abduction, internet abuses – I was stunned. I decided to cut out every article on this issue to see what was happening. Astonishingly, after just 38 days, I had collected 76 articles. Seventy-six accounts in 38 days - and these were only local reported incidences.
I had been counseling mostly females at the time and knew each and every one of them had been victimized as young girls. So, not only did they live each day with victim-colored glasses but they raised children – daughters - with those core beliefs of oppression, powerlessness, and fear. How can anything change with this dynamic?
As a therapist, I trust in personal transformation. But I also believe in prevention. So, perhaps grown women survivors may be able to heal and turn things around for themselves but girls need more. We must do better. A solid commitment to healing 40-somethings is great but what about preventing such abuses in girls and young women in the first place?
Education is key.
Earning my blackbelt strengthened my appreciation for the power of knowledge. There is nothing like confidence in the face of a threat. Having been a survivor of many gender-based assaults through the years had groomed me for those moments in the ring when I had the skill and opportunity to let it rip. It is beyond thrilling. In fact, sparring against men twice my size with my martial arts skills gave me a jolt I’ve waiting for my whole life.
Embracing the power of education, I began Taking Flight for Girls Going Places workshops to help end this epidemic of abuse. It’s not karate. It’s learning simple preventive measures and self-defense strategies that offer increased awareness, deeper confidence, and various options to the many challenges females face. What is now a safety manual for independence-bound girls and young women, Taking Flight for Girls Going Places teaches information girls will need to move from their parents’ protection to taking responsibility for their own lives.
Girls go to school, begin relationships, spend a lot of time online, make decisions about alcohol and drugs, start jobs, and begin traveling via their own car or public transportation. They need to know how to be safe wherever they go. We all do! How do you keep yourself safe?
As this blog promotes empowerment, independence, and responsibility for girls and women, I am committed to offering practical tools to ensure safety in all that we do. For without safety, everything else is thwarted.
We must spread the word of abuse prevention and safety for females.
What do you need to know to keep yourself safe? There are basic safety guidelines that can make a difference. Raising your awareness of your surroundings can help to avoid and minimize threats. Who can’t learn how to secure their premises against an intruder? Or the red flags of a potentially abusive relationship? Simply knowing of the many abuses alone will allow you to prepare for and avoid from getting caught in these dangerous situations.
Girls and women are not powerless. We have our brains and emotions and gut instincts at our disposal every second of the day, if we choose. Put that together with the essential information and we will turn things around. We will live up to our potential. Imagine that!
Are you committed to your safety?
We take control of our life by taking action. It is your life – you must take action. Protect it like the gift that it is. As long as we neglect self-protection and expect others to watch our back, we are screwed. Empower yourself with the tools you may need to prevent dangers and be more prepared for any threats you may face. You are worth it.
I will continue to pass on crucial information to help keep you safe. This is not about attacking an offender, although I will cover that too. But why would we want to fight for our lives if we can avoid the danger in the first place? No, this is about safety, prevention, and responsibility.
Stay tuned every Thursday at 5 pm when I will pass on the various tips which will empower you with the knowledge needed to journey forward in safety, self-confidence, and freedom.