Fighting Back - One Way to Beat a Rapist

               The shadowy figure paused briefly before running across the lawn.  A gloved hand reached out and pushed open the window and he climbed inside.  Nearby, on the bed, he could see the woman sleeping and moved towards her.
               Something similar happened in a small Colorado town recently, just after 1 am.  In this case, the suspect tried to sexually assault the woman, but she fought back.  No, she wasn’t necessarily a martial arts expert nor have a black belt.  She bit him.  On the neck.  As in a vampire-style bite.  This unorthodox self-defense move did just want it should have – it stopped the attack and the suspect fled.
               In 2009, a sex offender attacked a woman in an attempted rape.  She fought back, biting off the suspect’s tongue, severing it.  Ouch.  He was arrested later, but I am sure that his injuries must have made the subsequent police interviews interesting.
               Neither approach is probably the ideal solution.  After all, who wants to bite someone else, especially someone attacking you?  Nevertheless, in both cases, the women stopped the attacker.
               Rape is a violent crime, one that is extremely damaging both physically and mentally.  I’ve known women who equate rape with murder and even some who think of it as worse. 
               In these cases, the victims decided not to succumb to the attack, made the decision to fight back, and did so successfully.  Too often, we hear police department spokespersons and other crime prevention sources warning against fighting back against criminals.  And sometimes that may be the right approach.  Property can be replaced, but our health or wellbeing is not always so easy to recover.  The problem with this approach or mindset is that victims forget that there is a time to fight back and to protect one’s self.  That is opposite of what we are taught and how we are trained, going back all the way to grade school.  We are taught from a young age that fighting is wrong and you will get in trouble no matter the case.  That is a good lesson to learn, but then when you are physically in danger, all of a sudden you are ‘expected’ to undo a lifetime’s worth of lessons and reinforcement.
I teach in personal safety classes that it is not worth fighting for property, but do fight for your life.  However, you cannot expect to be ready for that type of situation without some pre-planning and preparing yourself mentally.  Before finding yourself in a dangerous, life-threatening situation, build your plan and think about how you would respond physically and what items around you that you may use as a weapon.  A lamp on the desk next to you may suffice, or a chair or table where you are sitting now. 
However, the most important weapon is your mind.  Your plan and mental preparation can make all the difference in a survival situation.  That adds to your determination to come out alive.  If it helps your resolve, remember this fact: 80% of victims who are moved from the point where they are first attacked end up being murdered.  If someone ever attacks you and tries to get you into a car or move you somewhere else, it is an extremely dangerous position and you really have nothing to lose by fighting back with everything that you have no matter what.
In the cases above, the victims did fight back.  From the news stories, we obviously don’t know what forethought the victims had, but still both did whatever they could to fight back.  That is the real lesson in these situations.  When faced with violent acts, be prepared to fight back in any way possible and be determined not to stop until you prevail.

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