Trauma, abuse and bereavement / Category / Emile Du Toit / October 19th 2014
This 9th blog in the series of 10 discusses effectively arming women. This blog begins by reiterating that women are under no obligation to carry weapons in case they are attacked by an assailant! With that out the way we consider the effectiveness of both armed and unarmed victims fighting back against an armed rapist. We also consider reasons why currently many women choose not to carry weapons with them, before concluding with 7 tips that will help us to purchase the most appropriate weapons for our unique situation.
Let’s get this clear from the outset. There is no earthly reason whatsoever why a woman should feel compelled to carry a weapon around with her. It is entirely a choice that she alone gets to make around what she feels is most appropriate for herself. Exactly the same decision needs to be made by all of us in terms our risk of being robbed, assaulted or raped. We make a very personal decision on how much freedom we take away from ourselves in order to be safe.
In fact, women SHOULD be able to be safe wherever they go. Humanity SHOULD have embraced a whole different level of consciousness and morality to what it has. But she isn’t safe, and humanity isn’t! And being armed with a weapon is definitely an effective resistance technique against rape.
Only 11% of rapes involve weapons
This demonstrates a high level of arrogance and overconfidence on the part of the assailants. They believe that women will just give in to them, and some even (extremely inaccurately) convince themselves that women actually want to be raped. It also demonstrates that (for the large majority of rapists) sexual assault and humiliation are the goal as opposed to physical violence itself.
Research on the effectiveness of resistance against armed assailants is mixed. Some shows that (unarmed) resistance strategies against unarmed assailants are equally effective for avoiding rape by armed assailants, 3. whilst some show that (unarmed) resistance against armed assailants is not effective. 1.
When faced by an armed assailant women who have a weapon themselves are less likely to suffer completed rape. 2. 3. 5.
I assume that this is partly because men are expecting a soft target. Partly though this might also be because (in many cases) the weapon is there to force the victim into not resisting, rather than to do physical damage to the victim. Put differently, the mind-set of the assailant is often geared not towards physical assault but rather towards sexual assault. Obviously there are some atrocities committed that fall outside this generalisation!
One of the concerns expressed in terms of women resisting rape is that despite the fact that on average women are less likely to suffer increased physical harm, there might be a particular rapist personality type (e.g. potentially the sadist) where increased resistance is met by increased violence. However, current research using a valid classification of different types of rapists has not shown this to be the case. 4. More research needs to be conducted on this topic.
Either way though more violent rapists begin their assault with higher levels of violence, and most rape victims tend to respond to more violent rape attempts with more physically forceful resistance.
So basically women being subjected to higher levels of physical violence tend to defend themselves more physically anyway!
Although some women carry some sort of weapon with them in their car, bag or keychain, they are seldom actually able to bring it to bear when they are attacked. They are neither mentally nor strategically prepared enough to use them.
This series on How to prevent being raped will conclude next week with part 10 of 10 when we sum up all the skills necessary to defend oneself against rape as we look Towards a comprehensive rape prevention program.
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