I was just going to comment on a blog until realized how long the comment would be.
Here’s the link: http://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/44817901/ (If you appreciate somebody who will tell it like it is whether is pisses people off or not- you should absolutely check this guy’s blog out.)
I think that I was in the ninth grade-ish when the principal called a “girls only” assembly with guest speakers to talk about eating disorders and assault. They also said to urinate on yourself to deter a rapist and even though I have never heard it anywhere else until tonight, I’ve thought about it every now and then. My challenge to anyone who believes in that theory is to sit at your kitchen table fully clothed and try to urinate on yourself. Let me know how that works out for ya…
I used to work in area with one of the highest crime rates in New Orleans. I took the streetcar back and fourth to work everyday and sometimes I wouldn’t get home until after 2am. I’m a red-headed, soft-spoken white woman on the smaller end of average size and would have to be out in the city alone late at night. Here is my personal experience with practical assault prevention and self protection.
First I carried knives. My biggest problem with a knife is that I didn’t feel protected enough to ooze the necessary amount of “don’t fuck with me” to ward anybody off (which is actually a woman’s best defense anyway).
Then I graduated to a tazer. I would keep it in my hand, turned on with my thumb on the trigger in case somebody decided to sneak up on me. I did have walk towards somebody with it on two occasions to get them to back up and a few times I thought somebody was following me and held my finger on the trigger so they could see I had it and would go away. The problem with the tazor was that the two scariest types of people (drunks and mentally insane people) never seemed to be bothered in the least by the 50,000 volts coming out of my hand.
Experience helped me find my two greatest weapons though and I never leave home without them. The first is a plain old school box-cutter, and I’m not talking about an “easy on the eyes” type box-cutter that looks like something Hello Kitty would be using if she worked at Wal-Mart. Since 90% of its purpose is actually to illicit fear- a $1.99 old school plain one that is universally recognized works best.
- Most people know that is doesn’t take a lot of force or aim to slice a major artery when you’re frantically fighting for your life with a razor blade in your hand.
- If your possible attacker is a rapist- he’s not even going to want his penis on the same side of the street as that razor blade, much less within arm’s reach.
- A scar is a permanent positive identification. What do the police always use in suspect’s physical descriptions? He has a tattoo of a scull on his right hand, a scar on his right ear, ect. Which leads me to my (thankfully) unproven belief that if a woman is attacked, she should have a ready-made plan of a definite method the leave marks. I always felt like, in the event that I couldn’t escape an assault I wasn’t going to let somebody who hurt me disappear into the masses and get away with it. If you bite somebody as hard as you can on the face or dig your nails into his cheek there is no way that somebody is not going to notice that. Not to mention that I would have his DNA under my fingernails.
- A box-cutter make an easy target look more like a colossal pain in the ass.
- It makes you look crazy. Think about it. You’re walking down down Royal Street at 2am and you see a woman walking alone (obviously not a prostitute or homeless) with an extended razor blade in each hand…
Which leads me to my #1 defense tactic if a woman feels like she might be in danger- act insane. Talk to yourself. Scream like you have tourette syndrome and an imaginary friend. I don’t care how bad-ass you are, if you’re about to pass a woman on the street doing that- she could have just a ball-point pen and you’ll cross the street to get away from that crazy bitch.
I’m not saying my methods would work for other people or should be endorced by anyone, but I’m in my thirties and I’ve never beeen assaulted so I must be doing something right. Common sence plays a huge part too, of course. All of those “well lit streets, don’t take candy from strangers” tips are absolutely rules to survive by. Also don’t forget who is most likely to have the most useful information about the local criminals- the police. Ask them if they have a minute and ask them questions.
Now I have to stray off topic for a second before I stop typing, since I mentioned police. Everybody is quick to criticize the NOPD and I have some pretty strong opinions about this. When I think about the NOPD I always think about a line from the movie Training Day. “It takes a wolf to catch a wolf.” Personally, I have never met an NOPD officer or State Trooper that was unreasonable or mean. In fact, I’ve only been in one parish that had those stereotypical jackass police- we’ll call it “St Blamanny,” but don’t get me started on that story. Back to NOLA. Imagine the most horrible, traumatizing, bloody murder scene you can and then multiply that intensity by five, throw in the media constantly giving you crap and the people you’re trying to protect criticizing you. Now think about going through that everyday. That’s what they go through. If you were kidnapped and dropped in the dead center of Hollygrove in your underwear and could have one police officer come save you (if it would take the same about of time for them to get there no matter who you called), would you prefer the NOPD or Barney Fife? I think we’d all take the wolf because guess what? This ain’t fuckin’ Mayberry.