Hi my friends! I hope all is well with you.
My heart is totally burdened with the post I am writing today. We have been studying about grooming – grooming for the wrong reasons. I never cease to shake my head at the evil that is in this world AND the evil that attacks our children. It is like an ostrich sticking his head in the sand for us to think that it will not touch our lives. The thought “it happens to other people” is very, very naive to say the least. The people sitting down with their friends and family to enjoy a Batman movie had NO IDEA something awful was about to happen. It is horrible BUT there are ways to know how to react and how to increase our awareness. Knowledge in the area of violence prevention is so important. What is even more important is to apply it to your life and make it a part of who you are. That is empowerment. That is growing in confidence. It affects every single area of your life.
Ok – for today’s lesson. A predator (which is an awful but very accurate name) is looking for easy victims, someone who is not thinking, someone who is unsuspecting, someone who is IGNORING THEIR INTUITION! Your intuition is your #1 defense against violence. DO NOT ignore those uneasy feelings. It is better to be dead wrong - than right and ignore your feelings and dead.
A lot of times the initial contact between a predator and their victim is nonsexual or “accidental” touching – a brush of a shoulder, a slight hit of the shoulder, a touch of the hand. This totally desensitizes a person – especially a child. It is an attempt to remove your hesitations of this person.
Children are so trusting. It is up to us as parents and teachers to educate them. Children don’t have enough experience to have a developed sense of intuition. We have to talk to our children. Teach them to recognize grooming behavior. Teach them about touches that come from people that have no business touching your child. No matter how “friendly” they seem, they are inappropriate. Take time to listen to them and ask lots and lots of questions.
If we blindly deliver our children to the care of others we are asking for problems. We have to get to know their teachers, their coaches, their youth group leaders and other adults in their lives. There is something wrong if someone wants to take your child away from your careful watch. Ask them questions and be very involved in your child’s activities. Not only does it provide safety for your child it also gives them the support they need to be successful in their efforts.
So listen and talk and listen and talk and listen and talk and listen and talk and listen and talk some more to your child. The child who is the safest knows he can talk to his parents and adult caregivers about any problem at any time without any shame.
Make sure you attend the Fight Like a Girl Workshop on August 24th. You have to build your violence prevention skills and constantly remind yourself of how to stay safe. Stay safe my friends! – Michelle
p.s. Did I tell you to listen and talk to your kids? Please – go do it again!
Hey everyone! We are back to our study on predator grooming. One of the most sobering statements I’ve ever heard is “Humans are the only creature that cooperates with their predators.” Think about that for a second. Ok, second’s up. When was the last time you saw a television show of an African gazelle noticing a stalking lion, all of a sudden he willingly lays down to be the lion’s lunch? The lion has to eat, doesn’t he? I don’t think so! Animals in the wild know when to run. Unfortunately, sometimes we are just too nice and fail to recognize a “BAD GUY”. Remember the post on boundaries? Listen to me – IT IS of utmost importance that you recognize the early signals of predator behavior. Yes, there is almost always a pattern. They look for easy, unsuspecting prey that are very nice.
The 1st behavior we are going to talk about is the “we” factor. Gavin de Becker in his excellent book The Gift of Fear calls it Forced Teaming. It is a total manipulative tactic to make you feel like you can’t turn your back on this person – well, he IS part of the “team”, right? Wrong! He uses the words “we”, “both of us”, “how are we going to handle this” in his discourse with you. This predator is trying to gain your trust. He’s trying to get into your circle and erase any boundaries you might have. This person is trying to take away your right to feel like “something is wrong here”, “I don’t feel comfortable with this person” when you have every right to reject this forced partnership. You also have a right to appear rude when, in fact, you are not rude, you are protecting yourself. You need to pay attention to your intuition and what your heart and mind are telling you if someone is grooming you for self-serving reasons. Walk away – fast. As Kym Rock says “GO-LEAVE-RUN”! As one of the most notorious and manipulative predators – Ted Bundy definitely groomed his victims. Here’s a portion of his story from this website.
Ted Bundy used what police call ‘lures’ to capture victims. He often posed as a man in distress, wearing a cast on his arm and trying to perform some difficult feat, such as carrying a heavy object. Bundy used his good looks and personality to enlist the aid of unsuspecting women. He would abduct them when they came close enough to his vehicle, drove them to secluded locations, and then committed his crimes.
Yes, it is unbelievable. It is atrocious. It is absolutely horrible. We should be alarmed. If the smoke alarms went off in your home you would do something about it, wouldn’t you? Every day the newspapers sound the alarm. Every day you hear the sirens in your town – even the smallest of towns. Unfortunately, nobody thinks it will be them. It is very, very sad.
The amount of crime is staggering. Take a look at this, then do something about it. Bring your daughters, moms, grandmas, aunts, neighbors, everyone you know – to the Fight Like a Girl workshops. You will be SO glad you did!
This blog is all about empowering you. Yes, I truly believe people flourish when they are encouraged and treated with respect in a positive atmosphere. This type of atmosphere is where you will do your best, you will grow and become the person you were created to be.
Our forefathers saw the abuse that was taking place from the King and England when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. They were no longer going to tolerate it. They took a stand-even with the threat of death. When I read the Declaration of Independence today I had to think of Fight Like a Girl. Fight Like a Girl teaches women and girls to use what they have to get out of a dangerous situation. Our forefathers used what they had to get out of a dangerous situation.
“…. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
“a Long Train of Abuses and usurpations” .…. “it is their right, it is their duty” …… “Providing NEW GUARDS for their future security. “
Yes, you and I are tired of the long train of abuses and usurpations (an act of usurping; wrongful or illegal encroachment, infringement, or seizure”), aren’t we? Yes, ma’am, we are. No matter what kind of despotism ( absolute power or control; tyranny) presents itself, it is not right. Control, manipulation, demeaning people is not right! I have had experiences in my life with all kinds of control from all kinds of people. I have no idea why people like to control people. Why is bullying rampant in schools? People who are not happy with themselves bully and put others down. It is wrong. We (all of us-our students and friends) at Shorinkan Family Karate and Fight Like a Girl are doing what we can to stop such abuse.
Now….. the question is do we recognize the abuse? OR is it such a part of our lives it is normal? If you are manipulated, forced to believe others opinions as truth, demeaned, put down in any way – it is abuse. No one should live under such conditions whether it is at home, school, church, clubs, with friends or any other organization – it is simply wrong.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.. –That to secure these rights.” How beautiful and full truth is this statement? You are equal…!
Watch for blogs to come….
This is the first in a set of articles written for you to recognize if someone is grooming you for the wrong reasons or crossing a line in your life. As Dr. Leslie Brothers says “We must be smarter than the criminals to recognize their tactics.”
It is true most attacks (approx. 70%) happen from someone you know. How can this happen? One of the answers is we let down our boundaries. We let them in our world and trust them. How can we live a normal life and trust people but not get hurt? The answer is having boundaries. Boundaries are a good thing in all relationships. Sometimes when someone crosses those boundaries we blow it off and convince ourselves that we are the problem and we should not judge or we should just “be nice”. Judging is not the issue. It is knowing respect for ourselves and recognizing if someone has respect for you. If someone is crossing your boundary line they do not respect you. “Being nice” is really is not the issue here either. Really caring for someone sometimes require standing up for what is right. If someone is doing something unhealthy to you, themselves or someone else it requires a real friend to tell them the truth.
It requires a person to have a good self image to know when someone crosses those boundaries. One of the wisest things someone once told me is that I need to work on myself first. If I am not healthy inside and out I can not be an effective wife, mom, friend or anything else in my life. You need to grow and develop yourself every day. Do something your enjoy. Join a group that will love and support you. Learn a new skill. Find something that will help you. Fight like a Girl classes are an awesome support group. The camaraderie in the class is amazing. We give a free week for every visitor. Also, one of the best books I’ve read about boundaries is the book below. Develop boundaries in your life. It will be one of the best things you could ever do for yourself and those around you. Be safe!
More pics of the seminar. Sorry this is so late in posting.