A True Story of Fighting Back – Rachael Speaks

Our friend Rachael fought back this weekend and is sharing her story to instill some serious badassery in all of us. Rachael’s experience is one that no one should ever have to go through, but when she did suddenly find herself in a potentially life-threatening situation, she acted on her instincts and fought back with everything she had because Rachael knows that she is worth fighting for.

We are so happy to hear that your warrior spirit kept you safe, Rachael! Thank you for sharing your story (full story below).

“Last night at around 10pm I was assaulted in Logan Square, on a cute little side street off Milwaukee. I am telling Facebook about it because I think there are things to be learned from my experience, and I don’t know how else to tell a large number of people I care about. I don’t think this says anything bad about my neighborhood, I think this could have happened anywhere.

I was walking alone to a friend’s house, with headphones on. Someone grabbed me from behind, showed me his gun, and started walking me to his car, saying if I knew what was good for me that I would get in. Once I processed that I wasn’t just being mugged, I started to fight back. I screamed HELP I’M BEING ASSAULTED as loud as I possibly could. He started hitting me on the head with his gun and I fell to the ground. People started to yell back and ask if I was OK- the guy yelled “This is my girlfriend”- and I screamed “No I am not” (as if being his girlfriend would change this scenario?) The whole time I was thinking about what my friend Morgan had taught me just a few weeks earlier through a program she works for called Girls Fight Back—that these are crimes of opportunity and they aren’t expecting a fight. I screamed and struggled as he stood over me and continued to hit me and tried to silence me until I got a solid shot and kicked him in the balls with my 2″ stacked heel boots– which gave me a chance to get up and run across the street as he fell back. By that time enough neighbors had come out of their homes that he sped away with my purse.

Ladies- be alert and be fierce, you are stronger than you think you are. The police were adamant that you should never let someone relocate you, that it’s worth the fight.
Everyone else- if you hear something or see something that’s not right, don’t shy away. I am so grateful for those neighbors who came out of their homes and let me in.

Special shout out to Alanis Morissette—I truly believe that listening to “You Oughta Know” moments before this happened unleashed a special kind of femme rage in me that helped me fight back (despite the fact that headphones on probably made me a target—duly noted).” – Rachael

-GFB Morgan

Hardcore Improvised Weapon!

Beware you aspiring home invaders, women are willing and able to fight back.  And you never know what they will have lying around their house to club you over the head with!

When is self-defense the answer?

I have Google alerts set up on topics ranging from self-defense to the hottest spring sandal trends. I was going through them to see if I could find any gems and I came by a somewhat unsettling post on Yahoo Answers. If you’re not familiar with that sight, here is the rundown. Basically, if you have a question, you can post it on Yahoo Answers and the wonderful users of the World Wide Web can submit answers to your question. I came across this question: What is the best self-defense that’s not purely on defensive maneuvers?” The person who posted the question also posted more details and said,

“I guess I’m kinda looking for something that teaches yousomething like setting your opponent up, grabbing his arm, and forcing it out of socket . . . kinda gruesome but after all the bull **** I take from kids around school, there’s a lot I’m willing to do to inflict some pain on certain people.”

This post made me think it is a good time to revisit two topics: what self-defense is really about and respecting each other as people. Self-defense is about protecting your physical safety when you think it’s threatened. It’s not about teaching someone a lesson and it’s definitely not about revenge. Whether you agree with it or not, there are certain truths in society. One of them is that a person can stand at an acceptably distance, say really mean things to you, and you are not actually allowed to beat them up. That is what we call assault. If you think your physical safety is threatened, that is a completely story and it is why self-defense exists.

This person’s post also made me think about how we treat each other. I am a firm believer that people are basically good but there are a few bad apples thrown in the mix. However, sometimes even the best of people can cave into something like peer pressure and maybe treat someone else poorly or bully them. The person who asked this question has been bullied, probably pretty severely to make him seek out that kind of information. It is so important that we respect each other’s humanity and their dignity and hopefully that will reduce the number of people who feel like fighting is the only option.

The Bystander Effect – As many as 20 people witness gang rape & fail to report

A dear friend sent me a link to this very sad story.  Basically, a 15 year old girl was gang raped outside a school dance for over two hours while as many as 20 people watched or participated in the attack.  No one called 9-1-1 or reported the crime.  My friend sent me the link with a note attached that read, “why isn’t self-defense mandatory in high schools?”  I don’t have an answer.  I don’t know.

I also don’t know why so many kids stood by and allowed this to happen.  There are already dozen of articles out there hypothesizing about what happened here.  Was it a bystander effect (which is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a large group of people witness a crime and diffuse responsiblity among the group)?  Did they fear retaliation from the group?  Have they been desensitized by the violent and sexual media that surround us? I could go on and on listing the theories that abound on this topic.

I recently took a CPR re-certification class.  We had already learned half of the skills that the class teaches when one young girl in the back raised her hand and said, “ok, I understand how to do this, but how do I know when to do it?”  It is an excellent question.

We teach our children about 9-1-1 from a young age, but do we tell them when to use it?  Do we have them practice dialing the number (with the phone unplugged, of course) and teach them how to answer basic questions that an emergency dispatcher might ask?  When we get in new situations, we often freeze and witnessing a violent crime is no different.  When will we begin to teach our children the basic skills they need to survive and thrive in this world?  Violence happens.  We can’t ignore it or deny it.  We must take responsiblity for teaching our children these skills.  And we must learn to help each other.  Afterall, if we weren’t put on this planet to help each other out, then what are we here for?

Our thoughts and prayers are with this girl, her family, and her community.

71-year-old helps capture her attacker!

It’s not uncommon for women to question their own ability when it comes to self defense. Especially, when they have never encountered a combat situation before. With that in mind, I wanted to post a reminder that when in doubt, act it out!

71-year-old, 3 time Olympic gold medalist, Dawn Fraser, fought off and helped capture a man who tried to rob her home north of Brisbane yesterday. When asked how she did it, Fraser replied “He threatened my life and I got really annoyed. This guy came out of the gate and grabbed me and I grabbed him by the ear and I kicked him in the groin.”

Hats off to Fraser, who is a shining example that you can open up a can o’ whoop ass, at any age!!

Watch the news clip here.