The News is Alarming, But You Have More Power Than You Think!
If you watch the evening news, it can seem as if the world is being overrun by violence. And if you’re a woman or girl, you likely have already been victimized in some way or are vulnerable to criminal predators—at home, in the workplace and even in public areas.
Women and girls are generally raised to be nice to everyone. They’re taught to avoid being rude at all cost. To smile through awkward situations. To giggle when they feel uncomfortable rather than risk embarrassing someone who is just “playing” with them. To expect men to be their rescuers if they’re in danger.
How many times in your life have you ignored the blaring sirens from your intuition when someone was violating your boundaries? Or worried as the creepy guy from your dorm followed you to class? Or suffered through regular sexual harassment at work?
It’s a strange paradox—we spend so much of our lives being hyper-vigilant about potential danger, but become utterly helpless when we’re confronted with uncomfortable and even dangerous situations. We smile when someone pays us an inappropriate compliment at work. We roll our eyes when a man makes a crude joke or gesture. We stiffen but don’t necessarily move when someone brushes up against us.
Making “Nice” is Hurting You
Why? Why do we “make nice” when we’re treated with disrespect? Our instincts are correct, but we override them because our early training was so strong. Part of the reason is fear—that the situation will escalate if we object, that we’ll embarrass the other person or ourselves, or that the person we confront won’t like/love/employ us anymore. We’re also often clueless about how to respond. Then there’s the pervasive, personally-held belief that we can’t take care of ourselves, so we demure rather than react.
We feel helpless, which leads to a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness. Denial is also a huge factor; we deny what’s happening to us in favor of making excuses for the perpetrator: “He was just kidding.” “I’m just being overly sensitive.” “He didn’t mean it.” Or the ever popular, “Boys will be boys.” This unfortunate perspective lets predators off the hook when they behave badly.
It’s Time to Take Your Power Back!
If you’re tired of feeling afraid, of loathing and blaming yourself, of feeling too vulnerable, then take YOUR power back right now. Yes, right this very second! Recognize that you’re a powerful being and claim it!
It’s time for you to get indignant! It’s time to be as aggressive or rude as necessary to keep yourself safe and secure. It’s time to stop waiting for someone else to rescue you. Summon your inner badass and rescue yourself!
And you can do it. By the mere fact that you are human, you possess an innate ability to defend yourself. You were born with this ability, as all animals are, to protect yourself; you just weren’t taught to develop those important skills.
CJ Scarlet Can Help
Criminal justice expert and victim advocate CJ Scarlet is passionate about building people’s confidence and knowledge to keep them safe from predators.
Through her new book, The Badass Girl’s Guide: Uncommon Strategies to Outwit Predators, her group and corporate speaking services, and her video blog, CJ shares critical information about how to empower yourself to keep from becoming a crime statistic.
From tips on how to “fail” the predator interview and avoid being targeted, to instructions on using your personal bodily “weapons” to defend yourself in a confrontation (without knowing any martial arts or formal self-defense moves), CJ Scarlet offers everything you need to know to stay safe, fight if you must and navigate the criminal justice process if the worst happens.
Knowledge is power. Claim your power NOW!