My husband posted an article from the Houston Press about teaching our daughters to hit those who touch her inappropriately. I’m a pretty peaceful person and definitely avoid conflict at all possible. Though this article has a point…. our daughters DO need to know how to defend themselves.
“There is an appointed time for everything……A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace….” — King Solomon
After reading the article in entirety, I have to agree with the author…especially the part about the justice system. Women ARE blamed far more than they are believed and I know first hand what that’s like. This is my story…
When I was 18, I traveled to Tampa for college orientation at USF with my mom. It was such an exciting time – I was starting college!! I was staying at a nearby hotel with my mom and the area seemed pretty safe so when I walked to my car to get something out of it I didn’t pay much mind. As I approached my car, a guy approached me, threatened my life. He picked me up with one arm and covered my mouth with his other hand. He told me if I screamed he would hurt me. He carried me behind some big semi trucks and set me down. I was scared for my life and I somehow had it together to paint a picture in my head of the guy. As I stood there facing him and he held one arm behind his back, I looked him up and down noting every little detail I could…. how tall he was, what was the shade of his skin, whether he had an earring. He said if I didn’t do what he asked I would be found in a body bag. Those are strong, scary words.
I prayed I would get out alive. I believed I would get out alive. Not knowing what he had in his hand behind his back, I could only think that I had to do what he said. I wanted to live.
God sent an angel…the guy’s friend of all people who urged his friend to come on out and leave me alone. His words to me were “go back to where you came from”
I ran as fast as I could back to my hotel room, told my mom what happened and we immediately reported it to the police. When they arrived… the officers (including a woman) blamed ME. They didn’t believe my report. They weren’t listening and they didn’t even offer to have an artist draw this guy’s picture. They even tried to send me back inside so they could talk to my mom. I started to walk away and then stood up to them saying “no! this happened to me and you need to do something”…. Instead…. they continued to blame me and even ask “are you sure this happened?” I had a tank top on so I was accused of “asking for it”
It was my story and no witnesses. The guy was long gone.
I was heartbroken.
It’s been 25 years and I remember this vividly like it was yesterday.
For some reason the article my husband shared struck in a chord in me and inspired me to share this story. The author talks about how the justice system fails women and he is right. Many, many times it does. Not always but often. I spent a lot of years untrusting of cops. I respected the badge but I didn’t truly trust they were on my side.
It was not until a 911 phone call in January 2006 (14 years later) reporting my boyfriend of domestic abuse that I would experience a cop taking my side. That time, the 2 male officers showed up and I told them my story. After making my statment one of them uttered three words I thought I would never hear an officer say to me …. “I believe you”.
That very moment and those words began to heal the past. Weird how 2 hurts can almost cancel each other out.
He was arrested and never came back. However his punishment for all the abuse I was put through was that he got a slap on the wrist. Gosh! How hard that is to swallow as the person who endured the abuse.
Fast forward almost 5 years…As I look at my daughter growing up I remark how beautiful she is on the inside and out. I pray every day for her safety. I pray that mom’s and dads teach their sons how to behave. I pray that I can pass along the right words and wisdom to her to protect her as much as I am able. I pray that God has his hand on her always. I pray that she will know what to do if ever in an uncomfortable or inappropriate situation.
Should we teach her to hit someone that touches her inappropriately? I believe so. I plan to teach my daughter how to stand up and defend herself because the authority figures may not always believe her and they may not always be anywhere nearby.
I was never taught to hit or how to deal with such a situations. And this is only 1 story….
Be sure to read the entire article below …. it’s a good read and will get you thinking about your own daughters.
The #MeToo campaign has made me realize that I’m not alone and has enabled me to be more willing to share my story; a story that is not that unusual afterall. After 25 years it’s out in the open and it feels pretty good!
It’s scary and sad that it’s so widespread. Something has to be done to stop it and it has to be 2-fold — teaching our daughters to stand up and say “it’s not ok” and teaching our sons to honor women.