Posts Tagged ‘heroism’

A Swift Kick & A Stiff Sentence: A Lesson In Justice

In self-defense on April 4, 2010 at 01:44

I can’t believe I somehow missed this news story in September but I can’t think of a better time to share it with you than at this Spring Holiday season, filled with renewal and hope for a brighter future.

Please feel free to share it with the people in your life who could use a little reminder: sometimes women and older adults know their worth and their strength. Sometimes bad guys get hit where it hurts. Sometimes judges ignore stupid excuses and throw the book at criminals.

And sometimes, as I have told many an older student, walking sticks (and knees) sure come in handy…

Older Woman Kicks Robber in Testicles, He Will ‘Sit’ For Seven Years

Seven years at hard labor and two years probation. That was the sentence handed down this morning (Sunday) at the Haifa District Court for 30 year-old Haifa-resident Wissam Ahmadat. Ahmadat was convicted of assaulting an elderly man and the robbery of 74-year-old woman in her apartment. During the robbery, he put a pillow over the elderly woman’s face to prevent her from resisting.

YNet: Sept. 13, 2009

Achya Raavad (and translated by Yours Truly)

The defendant admitted carrying out the acts at the end of 2008 and early 2009. The first case for which Ahmadat was convicted involved pushing a senior adult and knocking him off of the bench on which he sat at a pizzeria in the Hadar neighborhood in Haifa.

The second crime occurred early in the morning at a Nordau Street apartment, where a 74-year-old woman lived.  The defendant and a partner entered the apartment through a window and began looking for money and jewelry.

“During the search, the defendant entered the complainant’s bedroom and purposefully put a pillow over her face in order to rob the complainant or facilitate the execution of the robbery, or to facilitate his escape from the apartment after the robbery,” the charge read.
It went on to describe that the woman succeeded in struggling with her attacker, hit him over the head with her walking stick and even kicked him in the testicles. The two robbers eventually left the apartment with a total of NIS 1,000.

“It Was the Good Fortune of This Older Woman To Be Endowed With Resourcefulness and Courage”

During the trial, it became clear that the defendant had dozens of past convictions, and that he had already served five sentences in prisons around the country. He committed the robbery at the pizzeria less than a month after his last release from prison. These activities, as determined by the testing service, were carried out as a result his addiction to drugs.

Judge Oded Gershon ruled that addiction does not constitute a justification for the defendant’s many crimes. “The defendant’s behavior, over the years, shows that he has no regard for the property of others and he also used serious and dangerous methods such as placing a pillow over the face of an elderly woman to facilitate the completion of the robbery … His action could have caused the death of the complainant… She is fortunate to have been endowed with resourcefulness and courage and thus girded with strength, she fought back against the defendant, “said the judge in pronouncing the sentence.

The judge added that we must give harsh sentences that will deter those who attack the elderly.
“The safety and security of those elderly who are helpless and defenseless, especially those who live alone and are considered by criminals like the defendant to be ‘easy prey’, must not be abandoned. It is proper that every criminal should know that potentially, if he raises his hand against an older adult and injures him or his property, he is liable to be punished very severely via imprisonment at hard labor and being behind bars and locked up for a long time. “

Previously, Judge Gershon gave a six-year sentence to the attackers of elderly victim Malka Yariv, who stole her purse and seriously injured her.

Same Facts, Different Story

In self-defense on March 5, 2010 at 12:41

Editors chose a photo of a women hiding her face to illustrate a self-defense success

The pic that YNET chose to illustrate this story

A young women fighting back

This is the pic I would have chosen

God bless YNET for their ongoing coverage of local stories in both Hebrew and English. Really.

But, take one look at the picture they selected to illustrate the story below and, what do you see? A women shamed and beaten down. Read the headline and you are filled with fear and dread. Is that really what this story is about?

Very few readers will bother to read all the way through this story. If they did, perhaps they would see what I see: an incredibly brave young woman who fought like a lioness with her body, her voice and finally, her teeth for her life and her dignity. A self-defense success story in the truest sense.

The fact that there are predators in the Human Jungle should come as no surprise. What is really important, and rarely reported as such, is that there are also lions and lionesses who are ready and prepared to stand up against them and defeat them like this young woman did. She is a heroine. And yet, the news media, reflecting back society’s own prejudices, chose to illustrate her as a helpless victim and glossed over her victorious battle by choosing to emphasize that it was the presence of by-passers, not her all-out refusal to become a victim, that drove off her attacker.

And if that was not frustrating enough, how about the fact that this was a stranger attack in which the guy actually jumped out from behind the bushes?Do you have any idea how many times I have reminded  self-defense students that 82% of attackers are known to their victims, and that the chances of a stranger jumping out from behind the bushes is nil?

Well, either I can say so much for statistics… Or I can use them to say that, assuming the Lod Police ever find this guy, there is a good chance that the stranger behind the bushes isn’t so strange to his intended victim after all.

Either way, we can be sure of one thing. This guy will look like he has been in one hell of a fight…and will have the teethmarks to prove it,thanks to one courageous young woman.

Unknown Assailant Attempted To Rape a 16-year-old in Lod and Fled

Police began searching for the suspect who attacked the girl in the Ganei Yaar neighborhood. Passersby heard her screams and managed to drive him off.
Eli Senor
YNET March, 5, 2010
An attempted rape under the cover of darkness.
Last night (Thursday), an anonymous man attacked a girl of 16 in the Ganei Yaar section of Lod and tried to rape her. Passersby heard the screams and drove the suspect off. He managed to escape. Police began searching for him.
The girl came to the city police station accompanied by her father. Her blouse was soaked with blood and her body showed signs of trauma. Details of the investigation indicate that the young woman was passing through a dark path, when an unknown assailant suddenly leaped from between the bushes and attacked her. A physical struggle ensued between the two, culminating when the girl bit the suspect and began to cry out for help.
When the suspect noticed passersby, he left the girl and fled for his life. Police officers from the Lod Police Station came to the scene and conducted searched, but have failed so far to locate the man.

The Forest For The Trees

In Crime in Israel on October 30, 2009 at 15:47

'Attempted' Rape'--- Another Name For Victory?

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.

A Story of Courage For An Imperfect World

In Children on October 9, 2009 at 02:39
A Young Girl Who Stood Up To Her Assailant...And Her Parents

So much courage in such a small package

As many of you know, I am an avid collector. I collect self-defense success stories. They are not nearly as easy to find as murder and mayhem stories. After all, who wants to hear about the horrific crime that never took place because the intended victim refused to be a victim? But I keep a sharp eye out for them and keep them at www.delicious. com/senseijs for everyone to see, share, learn and be inspired.

Anyway, I wasn’t planning on adding to my collection tonight, just reviewing today’s share of depressing and disturbing news. However, by some miracle, I chanced upon this gem, from Beit Shemesh, no less. I just had to add it to my collection and  translate it for you so you could marvel at it with me.

This is the story of a little  girl with tremendous courage. Her grandfather’s 76 year-old brother indecently assaulted her, so she kicked him and yelled at him to leave her alone. Amazing! When  she got home and told her parents what happened, they told her not to tell anyone. But she refused to remain silent. She went to school and told what had happened to her. The school’s counselor called the police. The police arrested the suspect (who claims she kissed him!) and are recommending prosecution. And they pulled in the parents on suspicion of violating the Sexual Abuse Reporting Law.

Now in a perfect world, nothing would have happened to this little girl. In a somewhat less perfect world, this girl’s parents would have stood up for her. But this isn’t a perfect world. Not even close. And that is why this story is so compelling. This little girl  stood up to her attacker, an elder, a family member. She stood up to her parents. And she stood before the school counselor and the police and told her story. In the face of  anger, embarrassment and pressure from her family threatening everything a little girl holds dear, she refused to be silenced. She stood up and spoke her Truth.

I am reminded of the  story from the Talmud, Taanit 5b of a man traveling through the desert who comes upon a tree offering delicious fruit, shade, and  a spring of water.

He enjoyed the food, rest and water and, as he prepared to depart, he turned to the tree.

‘Tree, oh, tree, with what should I bless you? Should I bless you that your fruit be sweet? Your fruit is already sweet. Should I bless you that your shade be plentiful? Your shade is plentiful. That a spring of water should run beneath you? A spring of water runs beneath you. There is only one thing with which I can bless you: May it be God’s Will that all the trees planted from your seed be like you…”

So here is my blessing for that little girl and for all of us: Since we seem destined to live in an imperfect world, may there be dozens and hundreds and thousands just like her, ready to stand up and speak their truth. And may we who guide them be wise, sensitive and strong enough to stand up with them.

Senior Tells Police: The Girl Kissed Me

A young girl from Beit Shemesh who fell victim to indecent assault at the hands of her grandfather’s brother decided not to remain silent. Even though her parents told her not to tell anyone, she reported it at school and the suspect was arrested.

Yafat Reuban (ynet)
October8, 2009

The girl told school officials that her grandfather’s brother had committed indecent assault while driving her on his motorized cart. Her parents told her not to tell anyone and the school immediately called the police who arrested the suspect, a man in his mid-70’s.

A counselor from one of the city’s school reported to the Beit Shemesh Police Department about a girl who told her that her grandfather’s brother committed indecent acts on her. When the girl was interviewed by a member of the Child Investigation Team, she reported that the 76 year-old suspect drove her on his motorized cart to one of the orchards in the area and asked her to touch his intimate organs, groped her and kissed her on the lips.

The girl also reported that, in response to his actions, she kicked her grandfather’s elderly brother and told him to leave her alone. When she yelled, he became alarmed and agreed to return her to her grandfather’s house. The girl explained that she revealed what had happened to her parents, but they requested that she not tell anyone about it.

The suspect under arrest denied during his interrogation that he had committed indecent acts on the girl and insisted that it was she who kissed him. It appears that the police will recommend to the prosecution to issue an indictment against the suspect. The parents are also under investigation, suspected of not reporting the incident to the police.