what can we tell girls about #VAWG? "until we change the world, learn to defend yours."
I've heard about the need for collective solutions and for teaching boys not to attack girls, that's great, yet, the figures on #VAWG aren't promising. It's irrational to insist on waiting for patriarchy to stop willingly, suddenly becoming fair and non-violent. So, while I do my share for collective change, I believe in self-defense.
Sexual violence isn't something that happens to others, it happens to most (all?) females, at some point or other in our lives, with different levels of aggression and different rates of success.
Nearly all of these actions are unpunished; and only a fraction of them, reported.
Being the target of it is still a stigma, and that needs to be turned around.
While many of us try to achieve this, we can choose now whether violence will take us by surprise or we'll prepare ourselves to be more resourceful when we come across it.
I'd tell girls to consider this:
1. the fact that you see someone often doesn't mean that they are trustworthy.
2. your trust must be earned, never given as a present.
3. beware of secrets, tell your parents if something isn't quite right.
4. develop your awareness, it's not about if you are at risk, it's about when you'll be.
5. there is a warrior inside you, no matter how gentle you are, she'll react to protect if you get acquainted with that side of you.
6. develop your ability for physical aggression and only use it in self-defense.
7. train your fear to be your trigger for action instead of freezing you.
8. try to get used to running and controlling your breathing.
9. practice a sport just to get used to your strength and your agility.
10. test what the top of your voice feels like, learn to project it with words.
11. don't scream when you are chatting with your mates, there are many of us in the street who are ready to help you and desensitizing us to screams isn't a good idea.
12. the moment you are uncomfortable, get out of the situation - free yourself from the duty of being trusting and polite - danger beats manners.
13. trust your guts and let your body reply (99% of the time there's no misunderstanding).
14. don't ever doubt yourself, if you can imagine it, so can they.
15. once touched, intimidate, most predators go away if it looks like it's not going to be easy.
16. act fast and whatever you do, don't do it half-way.
17. the first seconds are key, don't be predictable.
18. if there's still distance, run.
19. if you can shout while running, shout "fire!"
20. learn to use your elbows - they are one of the strongest parts of your body.
21. you must have heard about your knees and their balls, it's a bit tough to get it right, practice.
22. nothing is like in films, learn about the body.
23. when you bite, do it with everything you've got and pull away from the flesh.
24. look around you for anything heavy or sharp.
25. eyes are a good target.
26. if you can't move, talk; if there's a gun, talk, mention their mothers, your name, your mother,
27. do not plead, hide your fear.
28. look for ways to put them off.
29. research the topic to learn about what you can do, help others to learn if you can.
30. most men will fight the bastards to defend you, but you can't count on a rescue service 24/7.
31. better to apologise than to be left to wait for an apology - or justice, have you seen the ridiculously low conviction rate of rape worldwide?
32. people are not just violent for their pleasure, they're also violent for profit: beware of presents, empty flattery, manipulation, grooming. Do not let anyone come between you and people that love you most, however "stupid" you find your loved ones during a period of your life.
33. being online is like being in the street with CCTV cameras, don't do anything you wouldn't do there.
34. talk about violence against girls with your friends, get support and support others.
35. you can be the best warrior and still lose, it is never your mistake, it is never your fault, and if you stay connected to your warrior, a new way of fighting and healing will come to the surface.