7 Tips to Protect your family from Sexual Assault.

Rape is betrayal.

It's a horrible betrayal to molest a person who trusts you.

And it's a shame to men that women have to learn to defend themselves from those designed to protect them, particularly when those men are trusted friends and family.

Sadly, that's what it's come to.

A lot of men have betrayed their identity as protectors of women, children and those more vulnerable than they are and have become predators— a classic case of a guardian angel becoming a devil.

Here are 7 tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from sexual assault.

Let me know which of the tips best resonates with you, and share them with your loved ones.

1- Educate males around you: This is a responsibility for all of us. To make a safer world we need to teach men, preferably when they’re still boys, to do better.

The boy must be taught that his true identity is not that of a hunter, with women as his prey, but that he’s a defender and a gardener of a most precious garden. (Here’s how you can teach this to males: https://link.medium.com/oCfUbXQgt7

2- Avoid risky situations: Avoid being alone in places that make you vulnerable, like dark, lonely paths. Given our current times, being alone with a man has also become a risky situation- avoid it. And this doesn’t just apply to strangers, often it applies to certain family and friends.

Men that rape aren’t monsters from some alien planet 👽, often they are your relatives, friends or people you actually know.

3- Be Calm & Confident: If you’re ever in a sexually threatening situation, remain calm. Practice being calm in intense situations; it’s hard, but with practice you can become less afraid. Being fearful and timid makes you an easy target for assailants.

Beyond only intense situations, you also have to practice being calm and confident in everyday life. Veteran Self Defense Instructor, Meredith Gold, says it best, "like animals, human predators target those they consider weakest or most vulnerable"

So like self protection instructor, Neal Martin, says, "you have to be confident and assertive when you are dealing with people in your daily life. If people think they can walk over you, they will. Don’t let them and you will lead a much happier life.

It is also important that you carry yourself with confidence no matter where you are. Predators look for weak body language and signs of a victim mentality. Carry a confident gait without walking around like the Terminator, and make a point of scanning your environment frequently.”

4- Learn basic fighting techniques- learn to hit, to duck, to grapple, fighting stances, etc. Particularly learn how to free yourself from a person’s hold and how to effectively hit weak areas of the human body. (Here are some practical moves you can learn now: https://lifehacker.com/basic-self-defense-moves-anyone-can-do-and-everyone-sh-5825528

5. Speak out: If you are ever threatened or attacked, speak out. Your assailant will likely threaten you to keep silent, but don’t comply. Evil thrives in silence, wounds fester when covered. Find someone you trust and speak out. And encourage your loved ones to do the same.

More importantly, create an environment where they don't feel judged, condemned or unheard when they share sensitive issues with you. It's tough enough for someone to speak about such issues, don't make them feel any worse.

6. Set strong verbal boundaries: Meredith Gold says, "An experienced attacker is practiced at using his words to freeze you with fear, thus reducing the chance that you’ll try to defend yourself... you have to be strong enough to show the attacker he’s picked the wrong victim. If you stand tall, remain calm and respond confidently and assertively, you’ll probably "fail" his interview. The power of your voice alone can cause him to seek an easier target."

(For more on setting boundaries, read this super helpful article: https://www.washingtonian.com/2016/11/07/feminist-self-defense-teaching-women-how-to-defend-themselves-all-wrong/

7- Pray: Above all, live prayerful. Make the Bible’s Psalm 91 you and your family’s mantra.

For further reading: Here are 10 Self defense strategies everyone needs to know Protect Yourself from an Assault: https://blackbeltmag.com/10-self-defense-strategies-every-woman-needs-to-know-to-survive

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Till next time, stay safe.

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Dipo Adebayo

Dipo Adebayo

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I am a water engineer, softskills coach, writer & teen counselor. I write on hope and rising above shame, rejection, fear & failure. Follow on IG @dipoadebayo