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Something horrendous happened to someone loved by somebody I love.

That someone was a 13 year old girl.

That someone didn't know the first thing about defending herself from her attacker.

Once my tears dried,

I shared what happened with my children.

So they would know,

That that shit can happen,

To people just like them.

Then my brain fired up.

And so what?

What else can I do?

Not just to arm my children,

But to arm me too?

I have long harboured a fear of being attacked.

At 5'3" and 53,

I feared that my strong voice alone,

Wouldn't be enough.

If put to the test.

My daughter found a program

And I signed us up at once.

It’s called Girls Who Fight.

Our first session was a few days ago.

It was the first of six in-person sessions over 3 weeks.

Here are a few highlights...

  1. A practical in-person workshop run by an experienced engaging instructor is an amazing way to learn. You can learn a hell of a lot in 90 minutes.

  2. Gemma, our instructor said that our voice will fail most of us in an attack and we must practice shouting "Get away from me!" so that it will be there for us, when we need it. Because that alone could be the deterrent.

  3. Closing off the session, each of us were asked to defend ourselves from a lure or surprise attack. It was frightening, fascinating and empowering - all at once. One woman was lured into the attack with the question "I've lost my dog. Have you seen it?" She backed up to maintain distance as we were instructed and then she said in a voice that lacked authority "No, I'm really sorry." It was such a vivid example of when not to use Sorry. Unfortunately, it showed up in that moment, like is does for so many of us. Unnecessarily, and not to our advantage. A solid "No." would have been better. No apology needed. Neither to the would-be attacker nor the shedloads of others we routinely say it to.

Here's the most recent post from Gemma's Blog that is packed with insights.


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