I don’t get it.
Here’s this great story (I translated it for you below) about a woman who fought back against a violent sexual predator . She actually managed, not only to survive, but to prevent herself from being raped. So what is the news story about? The turd that tried to rape her.
Sure. He’s a total jerk and the judges should throw “the book” at him. (Don’t get me started on the pathetically short jail sentences for sex crimes in this country…)
However, with all due respect to the reporter, the real story is the unsung 27 year-old mom who kept her wits about her. Now, SHE could teach us a thing or two about what real-life self-defense against these kind of predators is all about.
Like other professionals, those of us who spend significant time learning and teaching martial arts and self-defense, are sometimes guilty of missing the forest for the trees. We have such a great time working out together, playing with new ideas and debating about which techniques are the best for “this situation” or “that situation”, we forget that, while not visually impressive or demanding, simple and obvious solutions are often what work best.
As my friend and IMPACT mentor, Martha Thompson of Chicago IMPACT posted this week: “I think the important message from Pauline Bart and Patricia O’Brien, (in the study) Stopping Rape: Successful Survival Strategies has been confirmed by follow-up research by Sarah Ullman, Jocelyn Hollander, and others: if attacked, respond immediately, yell, and use multiple strategies. ”
Martha also shared a systematic but unpublished follow-up study collected in the early 1980s from 50 graduates of a full-contact self-defense training program, the predecessor of today’s IMPACT, who were attacked after they had received training. According to this data:
- 56% knocked-out or disabled their attacker
- 34% escaped from their attacker or he ran away
- 6% lost property
- 4% chose to submit because they felt it was the safest choice
The majority used only one technique before the attacker was knocked-out, disabled, ran away or the woman escaped, most commonly, a simple palm heel strike to the nose or knee to the groin.
Martha concluded: “In other words, the specific techniques are most likely less important than dealing with the situation immediately, using one’s voice, and using the tools one has until the attack stops.”
All of which brings us back to our story. This woman fought. She yelled. She reasoned with her attacker. The fact that the indictment claims that her saying “I’m pregnant” was the straw that broke the back of this assault, does not in any way prove that her determined, indefatigable resistance up until that point was not the real underlying reason for her victory. In fact, the research mentioned above tends to support the premise that it was her swift and multi-pronged strategy that won the day.
Though the horrific and prolific stories of violent crimes obscure the fact that successful self-defense and violence prevention are common , if you make the effort to look for them, you will find them. I, myself, have made a fetish of it, combing the Internet for new stories to add to my Self-Defense Success Stories collection.Those stories remind me that there are plenty of us out there who manage to fight back and survive using presence of mind, animal instinct and a swift strike to a sensitive region.
So, inspire yourself. Get started looking for YOUR favorite stories. And please share them. As Clint Eastwood would say: “Go ahead. Make my day.”
Indictment: He Attempted to Rape A Woman In Front Of Her Toddler Daughter.
Gilad Grossman, Walla! News Editor
Monday, September 7, 2009 12:26
Chaim Dohan of Tel-Aviv was indicted for, two weeks ago, following a woman in the center of the city, helping her carry her two year-old daughter’s stroller and, then, assaulting her and attempting to rape her. The complainant fought back against Dohan, attempted to call for help and claimed that she was pregnant.
An indictment was handed down today (Monday) in the Tel-Aviv Regional Court against 33 year-old Chaim Dohan from Tel-Aviv, for Attempted Rape, Indecent Assault and Unlawful Imprisonment.
The indictment alleges that, two weeks ago, Dohan went to a city supermarket where he noticed a 27 year-old woman shopping with her two year-old daughter. Afterward, Dohan followed the woman, helped her carry her child’s stroller to her apartment, and, once there, attacked her, threatened to injure her and attempted to rape her.
The indictment also alleges that the accused Dohan covered the woman’s nose and mouth to prevent her from screaming, pushed her into the apartment and, did all this, against her will.
The complainant fought with Dohan, tried to yell for help and claimed that she was pregnant. As a result of the accused’s actions, the complainant suffered an injury next to her eye.
As a result of the woman’s claims to be pregnant, Dohan decided not to continue and carry out his plans.
The day after the incident, Dohan threw away the shirt he had worn during the attempted rape so it would not be possible to tie him to the incident. The indictment also claims that Dohan turned to one of his friends to ask him to provide him with an alibi, in case the police succeeded in tying him to the event.
Similarly, it alleges that, over the last year, Dohan stalked three women in Bnei Brak and in Ramat Gan in order to access his ability to commit sexual crimes against them.