I have a strong self defense background. I grew up practicing martial arts. After practice, I’d have to walk home well after dark in a crappy, half unlit neighborhood. Not once did I ever run into trouble. It wasn’t luck. It was because I was ready. My body language projected confidence, and that I’d be a hell of a lot more trouble than it was worth.
So how does something like this happen not once, but twice in college?
The problem isn’t just an issue of awareness. It’s a flaw in our society that runs much deeper. Women and men with these experiences are often too ashamed or fearful to speak up at. By speaking up, we not only have to relive the experience but now we’re labelled by our peers. We instead bury the experience until in manifests in unhealthy or erratic behavior. People without the experience would rather not think about it, and dismiss the possibility entirely that something like this won’t happen to them or someone they love. The problem is a lack of a well thought out conversation with our children.
Predators look for easy, unsuspecting targets. We don’t our kids to be alert and project confidence in potentially harmful situations. We don’t teach them how to handle themselves if they find themselves in one.
We don’t teach them that potentially harmful situations aren’t always dark and deserted streets or parking lots. We don’t teach children that the greatest threat of something like this ISN’T always from someone we don’t know, but by someone we DO and therefore our guard is down.
We don’t teach our children the many ways that we naturally let our guard down that make us easy targets. Like something as innocent and common as going out for drinks with friends. A BAC of 0.04–0.06 creates a feeling of well-being, euphoria, warmth, and relaxation. It lower inhibitions, causes minor impairment of reasoning, memory, and caution. It’s easy to not realize whats going until it’s too late. Especially if it’s someone we know.
We don’t teach our children to be alert to someone in a position of power. We unknowingly give people with authority more leeway than normal. We don’t teach about acceptable boundaries. After something happens, the repercussions of disrupting the environment we’re both involved in often seems more trouble than it’s worth.
Awareness is the first step. But lets not stop there. Lets teach children the multitude of innocent yet potentially dangerous situations that there are. Lets teach them how to be vigilant and not be easy targets. More-so, lets teach them how to look out for each other.
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