Protecting the Gift

blog2Come see any Fight Back Productions seminar (check out our Second Saturdays program starting in August!) and you’ll hear us mention a book called “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin DeBecker.  It is one of the leading books on intuition and safety in the world and an absolute must read!  I’ve read this book a few times in my life and it always leaves me feeling empowered and educated; like I can see through anyone’s bull.

Throughout the book, DeBecker highlights stories of men and women and their experiences with violent crimes.  While the gruesome tales sometimes make me uncomfortable, I’ve always been able to process them and understand the necessity of telling them.  In order for us to fight back against violence we must first stop living in denial and accept that violence has always been and will always be a part of the human existence.

Somehow, it is easy for me to accept that violence against women happens and that as a woman, I run the risk of being a target.  What I learned from the Gift of Fear, the training I received at the Girls Fight Back Academy, and the work I continue to do in self-defense classes reassures me that I can handle uncomfortable or even violent situations should I find myself in them.

This week I began reading a second book by Gavin DeBecker entitled Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane).  I can’t recommend the book highly enough, but I also can’t express how difficult it has been for me to read.

You see, as the mother of a beautiful 14 month old daughter, I find the horrible tales of child adbuction, neglect, sexual assault, and physical abuse too hard to accept. It would feel so much nicer to pretend that they don’t happen.  When we live in denial, we can pretend that our children aren’t at risk or that we don’t have any real responsibility to ask tough questions in order to protect them.  We can ignore our intuition and say things like “he looks like such a nice guy” or “I’m sure she just fell down.  Children get bruises all the time.”

The downside to living in denial is that some children DO get abducted, some parents DO abuse their children, and sometimes bad things DO happen.  Being in denial means that not only do we ignore the existence of these bad things, but we also ignore any opportunity to prevent them.

Someone once said “with great knowledge, comes great responsibility.”  It has been a difficult and emotional experience to have my eyes opened to the violence that even the smallest beings of our species experience.  But I’m grateful, because now I have the knowledge necessary to protect my daughter and maybe other children.  I’m ready to accept that responsiblity.  Are you?

Pick up one of Gavin DeBecker’s books at your local library or bookstore, check out a Fight Back Productions seminar, and join us in this mission to make our world a safer place for every man, woman, and child.

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