6 Female Views on Women’s Safety Programs

“Why would I take a women’s self-defense course?”

The RIGHT to be safe

Here at LaBCaF we believe EVERY woman has the right to be safe.  We also believe that the VAST majority of women in the world don’t know how to be safe.  What might be worse is the number of women who actually believe “safety” isn’t an issue for them.  Yes, there are really women out there like that.  How do I know? They’ve told me so.

Since we believe every woman has the right to be safe (and knowing that most aren’t) we talk to a lot of women about safety.  We talk to them at networking groups, association meetings, corporate meetings, and in places where we frequent, like the grocery store.  We have found that there are 6 categories that women fall into when it comes to women’s safety.  We’ll label them by generalized responses we get when telling them about the services we offer through LaBCaF:

1 – “Thank you, but I’m really not interested.” 

This one is sad to me.  Why?  Because even though they know we’re talking about saving women’s lives, they refuse to even take a moment to see if what we have is worth it for them, or their daughters, or their mother, or their friend at work who has been the victim of violence.

2 – “I don’t need your program. I carry a gun.”

I have to bite my tongue when I hear this one.  The first lady that ever told me this had a bag of merchandise in one arm and was carrying a small child in her other arm.  The purse that contained her concealed firearm was tucked beneath the child she was carrying.  But she didn’t see the problem.  I want to ask these women “Do you have your gun with you in the shower? While potty training your toddler? While at the school play? While at work?  Do you train with it weekly?  Could you accurately shoot an intruder who is already holding your daughter?”  A firearm is a powerful tool that can save your life, IF you know how to use it; IF you’re willing to use it; IF you can get to it in time; and IF you actually have it with you when attacked.
(click here to read “The Hammer in Your Holster”)

3 – “No thanks. I’m taking karate classes.”

I don’t have an issue with anyone taking martial arts classes (or even fitness programs pretending to be martial arts). It’s great exercise and a great confidence builder.  Plus, if that program has full contact sparring, it helps you to understand just how disorienting and frightening it can be when you actually get hit (even wearing pads!).  That being said, it takes YEARS of constant training to learn the many techniques and movements to actually be effective in a fight.  The way that men attack women (or abduct your children) is much different than the way men attack and fight other men.  It is far better (and easier) to AVOID dangerous criminals than it is to defeat them in a physical fight, but it IS possible.  That’s why we teach both: how to keep yourself and your children from ever being targeted AND how to fight off an attacker (without complicated techniques).  Click here to read “The Problem with Women and Martial Arts,” an incredible article by a woman who has years of martial arts experience in several different styles – not to mention being an instructor!

4 – “That sounds great. Women really need what you’re teaching!”

She heard us.  She understands what we do.  She knows it’s affordable and convenient.  But it’s summer and her family is going on vacation.  Or it’s autumn and she’s trying to get the kids ready to go back to school.  Or it’s winter and there’s family coming and there’s gifts to be purchased.  These are the women who, even though they understand the importance of learning to be safe, they can’t seem to get it onto their “to do list.”  These are the women who will buy themselves a skirt for MORE than it would cost to learn a self-protection program that would last the rest of their lives.  This group makes me the saddest.  They know and understand, but just don’t find it important enough to pursue.

5 – “This is awesome.  Where do I sign up?”

These women usually have a keen awareness of the dangers women face.  Sometimes it’s from keeping up with the news.  But for others, it comes from an experience in their past.  It might have been their experience or that of a close friend or family member.  The kinds of questions we get from these women are about their age, their physical challenges, or their fitness level and how that might affect their experience of our program.  Many are very excited to learn that our program was developed for everyday women of all ages, sizes, fitness levels, and even those with physical challenges (like bad joints or even amputations)!

6 – “Can you teach this to the women in my church? We really need something like this!”

These women are excited about taking care of themselves, about being strong for themselves and for their children.  They are the ones who want to make others safe as well.  They believe in the strength of women and their right to protect themselves so intensely, they can’t help but think of the other women in their families, churches, schools, and their workplace.  They want their entire community to be safer and stronger. They can’t stop themselves from helping others, and from lifting others up.  And they are usually thrilled to learn we will happily come to their church, their office, their school, their sorority, or any other organization to teach them.  And they can get discounted group pricing too – everyone likes that! (click here to read “Are You Willing to be a Hero?”)

Having seen the things I’ve seen while a police officer and while serving in the military in places where women aren’t considered much more than “property,” it is difficult for me when I meet the women in those first 4 groups.  But I know this: to learn to be safe, the desire has to come from within each woman.  We want to teach women who want to learn.  Of course we hope and wish every woman would want to learn to protect herself and her children.  Sadly, from our experience, that just isn’t the case yet.  If you’re in one of the last 2 groups, come see us.  We’ll surprise you with all you can do to keep yourself and your family safe!

(Update: Some of our programs have changed. Subscribe to our email list to stay up to date.)

Until next time,

Cranford Blackmon

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