By Cranford Blackmon
If you have read our website (www.LaBCaF.com) or taken our classes, you know we created LaBCaF to teach women to help themselves avoid danger, AND to stop someone who is actively trying to hurt, kill, or abduct them. We don’t teach sport combatives, or fitness classes.
Our belief is that the prime responsibility of keeping someone safe belongs to THAT person! I am responsible for MY safety. You are responsible for YOUR safety. The only instance where this belief of ours changes is in the protection of children or those who cannot protect themselves due to physical or mental reasons. In that case, we are all responsible for protecting those who can’t protect themselves.
I was wondering how many programs our government and other national or international organizations there are to help women protect themselves. I turned to the wonderful internet and began searching.
I looked at organizations like the Office on Violence Against Women, Department of Justice, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Amnesty International, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and more.
I think it is absolutely wonderful how many organizations are raising money, conducting studies, and offering programs to
1) bring more awareness to the problem of violence against women
2) help law enforcement professionals in dealing compassionately with victims
3) teaching men (and boys) how to value and respect women
and so much more.
But then I realize that there is a huge hole in the world of these programs: none of them help a woman stop the man trying to rape her.
Don’t get me wrong. I think they are all great programs. I’m not being sarcastic about that.
The problem is that none of those programs stopped the violence my wife experienced, or that my daughter experienced, or that my mother experienced. Many of the programs focus on helping victims of violence. That means women and girls who have already been attacked. Many of the other programs focus on changing the perception of violence and women or the root causes of violence against women. But those are long-range efforts. When a woman is being attacked, there is no study or government program that can help her. There are only 3 people who CAN help: the attacker, a helpful bystander, or the target/victim.
Chances are, the attacker won’t suddenly have a change of heart in what he is doing. Plus, bad guys generally try to conduct their attacks where there won’t be any bystanders. So we come back to the only person who really has the motivation to stop this attack: the target. But, to be effective, the target must have some idea of what to do. She might get that from something she saw on TV or on a movie. However, to REALLY have a chance of stopping a bad guy, she needs some form of training that specifically, and realistically, teaches her what to do.
Sadly, with all the millions of dollars spent on increasing awareness and better prosecution of offenders, there’s no money spent on teaching women how to save themselves. Women must do that on their own. They have to find and fund that training themselves. And as much as I hate to say this, if you’ve found a free training class, you may be getting exactly what you paid for. That being said, you may learn something in that free class that really helps you.
There are several good programs out there across the US, and personally, I think ours is the best. If I didn’t, I would teach someone else’s program. But, since we can’t be everywhere, you might not have access to our program. Find what is available to you and in a price range you are comfortable with. Any decent training is better than no training.
We focus several courses on avoiding danger, making your home safer, what to do when away from home, increasing awareness, and more. We teach all of that first, since we would much rather you avoid and escape a dangerous situation instead of having to fight your way out. But we teach the fighting portion too.
Regardless of what training programs are available to you, none of them will help if you don’t actually sign up and take the classes. You must be accountable for taking care of yourself. In an attack on you or your children, no one will be as motivated to get you out of that situation as YOU! But motivation without training may not be enough. Choose to be responsible. Take the actions that will keep you safe BEFORE you face trouble.
I never want any of you to face trouble, danger, or violence. But bad guys don’t generally check with me before they choose to do something that can leave permanent physical and psychological damage to someone. When trouble comes knocking at your door, personal readiness will win out over government programs every time. Even the police, as much as they would like to stop crime and protect every citizen, can’t show up BEFORE a bad guy does something terrible.
Learn what you can, wherever you can. Do what you can. It REALLY is possible to drastically decrease your chances of ever being attacked or even targeted. But only YOU can decide to do what it takes to be prepared, to be safe, and to win the fight for your life.
One last thing, if you’re not in our area and there’s no other classes close to where you live, at least take a look at the blog on our website where we regularly post articles about being safe.
Until next time,
Legs And Brains, Claws And Fangs!