Strategic Living's News & Views
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As humans, we are unique in many ways. You may have learned that we are the tool-building, language-using, naked apes. All these attributes, so we're told, gave us advantages that have led to our dominance over all other species.
But there is one uniqueness that is not so adaptive. We do not, as a matter of routine, teach the female of our species to defend herself. Not only that, we consistently and deliberately spread misinformation about women's and girls' abilities to fend off assailants. But wait, there's more: in some corners on this planet, we punish women and girls who dare to successfully defend themselves.
A few weeks ago I saw this video of a mother deer trying to ensure her fawn's safety. [WARNING: video contains disturbing images. PS: the newscast reported that the dog in the video was okay.] I'll bet that mother didn't have to take a class, or endure disparaging comments from bucks and other does, on her innate inability to assess and fend off threats to herself or her offspring (too bad deer aren't as decisive when face-to-face with automobiles).
Here's biggest secret to safety: most women who do choose to fight off their assailant DO prevail. The studies I've seen indicate that about 80% of women who only yell and run will evade their assailant. Knowing which targets are most effective to strike, being able to identify your choices and tools, and even how to recognize when someone's planning something nefarious, all increase your success rate.
So where do you want to be? Would you rather know how to recognize threats and deal with them (hoping you'll really never need to fight off a thug), or would you rather stand like a deer in the headlights?
There's an App for THAT?!?The Seattle Police Department recently unveiled their new website for looking at neighborhood crime. This graphic-intensive site marks reported crime scenes with color-coded icons. In theory you can tell at a glance the recent prevalence of robbery or drug-dealing or purse-snatching. Interesting and colorful as it may be, I wonder how useful this information is (and that's a topic for another day).
Some of us are venturing off our laptops and taking our information-gathering even more mobile. Can we get the same information via our smartphones? Turns out, sort of. iPhones and Droids readily access information about where we are heading, or where we are, or where our friends are, as we are getting there. Often we're trying to locate a restaurant, a theater, or a friend. But maybe, on occasion, we could be trying to locate security. Can we accurately locate our restaurant, or theater, or friend, while reducing our exposure to assault. Is there an app for that?
Several, in fact.
I spent some time looking at some from the Droid Marketplace. Safe Neighborhood pinpoints your local sex offenders, using information from the National Public Sex Offender Registry. Don't Go There lets you find a destination of interest and gives you a color-code assessment of the neighborhood safety, based on a variety of local and national crime rate indicators. And Layar, the "augmented reality browser" better known for finding local eateries, bands, and Tweeters, contains SpotCrime, a map marking crime scenes (similar to the above-noted SPD map, but not as complete).
Any app (or website) is only as good as the reporting that fuels it. Don't Go There comes with the caveat that "the application is for
novelty purposes." My test kitchen results on these apps is that you are far better off raising your gaze up from your phone to your surroundings.
All that iconographic color-coded comparison left me with a headache. Fortunately, there was a nap for that.
Poster for Self-Defense 101 at the UW Women's Center, Summer 2010
Classes for Summer 2010:
A four (or five) week course that builds progressive skill and prepares you for life's unexpected and unwanted moments.
If you click on these two poster images, you will be able to get the whole poster. Please post them, email them, or hand them to anyone you care about who could benefit from some personal safety classes!
NEW: One-Day Seminar: Offered only this once this summer, on Sunday, August 15, noon til 5:00 pm. In a single 5 hour session you'll learn about real risks, assailant tricks,
crucial targets and how to create an impact, and releases from the most
common grabs. Register online at http://www.StrategicLiving.org/schedule3hour.htm.
Poster for Self-Defense 101 at Bellevue College, Summer 2010 (click to download) Five* Tuesday evenings
, July 20 - August 17, 6:45 - 8:45 pm, through the
UW Women's Center. Register online at http://activenet10.active.com/uwwomenscenter/
Beginning in Fall 2010, all Self Defense 101 classes will be 5 sessions. Assertion, confrontation, and de-escalation skills will be added to the curriculum.
For Teen Girls Only:
Three hours will provide young ladies the
education and awareness to avoid and escape potentially dangerous
situations. We will cover dating violence, how assailants target and
test potential victims, personal safety and much more. Students will
learn physical techniques, strikes and releases to safely remove themselves
from dangerous situations. It is a great class to take with a friend! Classes are offered on:
Visit http://www.StrategicLiving.org/PCT.htm#TG for more info and registration.
- Tuesday, July 6, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, in Seattle.
- Tuesday July 27, 1:00 - 4;00 pm, at Bellevue College.
- Sunday, August 4, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, in Seattle.
KidSafe: Age-Appropriate Safety Skills for Children ages 5-9. A single 1 1/2 hour session works
with young attention spans. Children will practice the 'five
fingers' approach: think, yell, get free, run, and tell. Parents learn tools to continue the conversation, as well
as to sort through all the information and misinformation on keeping
their children safe. Learn about risks facing your kids, how to frame
the discussion with children, and recognizing when someone may be
targeting your family.
Next offered: Sunday, July 11, noon - 1:30 pm in Seattle. Visit http://www.StrategicLiving.org/PCT.htm#KidSafe for more information and registration.
Self Defense for Tween Girls Only! For girls too old for KidSafe but not quite a Teen . . . offered only July 11! Visit http://www.StrategicLiving.org/PCT.htm#TG for registration and more info.
Self-defense skills are like CPR, you should review and practice them annually.
Register for my Refresher Program at http://www.StrategicLiving.org/Refresh.htm
. And if you believe that these skills are crucial for all women, please take advantage of my Referral Program at http://www.StrategicLiving.org/Refer.htm
Do you work with a non-profit or community organization that holds silent
auctions? Ask me to donate a gift certificate for a private 1.5 hour seminar.
Do you work with a non-profit or community organizations whose staff/volunteers/members/clients would benefit from a safety skills seminar? Visit http://www.StrategicLiving.org/donated-class.htm
for information on requesting partly subsidized training sessions.
Melissa W., a Program Manager for Girl Scouting in the School Day, had this to say: "Joanne came to my Girl Scout troop and taught girls important physical skills, but more importantly, she told them to love themselves, be aware of their surroundings, and use their minds. It was a successful approach for any age, and I'm glad to know the girls are more able to keep themselves safe because of Joanne's class."
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