BLOG: 6's & 7'S
Two young women excitedly approach my booth at a recent Third Thursday event in Joplin, Missouri, giggling as they looked over all of my Damsel in Defense self-defense products. I tried to educate them about their chances of being assaulted over their lifetime and the importance of not being an easy target, but their only fascination with the stun guns, pepper sprays, striking tools, personal alarms, and other items was how much fun it would be to "zap their boyfriends."
A father of three young girls came later, only to say that his girls were 'careful' and he'd 'think about it', as if there were no urgency in teaching them about getting away from strangers or predators or providing them with tools to help do that.
A woman that works the evening shift at a local hospital followed, stating if anything happens to her in the parking lot after work, it would be security's fault...
"The problem is, they don't get it." Kevin, a man with the motorcycle ministry group Spoke N Word SW Missouri Chapter, had been watching me from his presentation area next to mine. "You have good products that could really help them, but they don't realize the danger." And that's when I realized...he's right.
As parents, as a society, we are teaching our women to fear the wrong things. Terrorist attacks, rattlesnakes, sharks, spiders. Look up the probability of being injured by one of those common fears. To put this in perspective, a little more than 2 million people are injured in car accidents in the US each year, which is roughly ONE in ONE HUNDRED SIXTY people. But we always wear our seat belts, and make sure our kids are strapped in, because we consider the risk of injury so great.
ONE IN FIVE WOMEN WILL BE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED IN THEIR LIFETIME.
ONE IN FOUR GIRLS ARE SEXUALLY MOLESTED AS CHILDREN, AND ONE IN SIX BOYS.
A VIOLENT CRIME HAPPENS IN THE US EVERY 26 SECONDS.
A sexual assault is so much more than physical. It hurts the body, the mind, and the heart of the victim. Forever.
Most of my customers are those that have either been assaulted, or have a loved one who has been and were forced to recognize the dangers that surround them on a daily basis. How I wish they had recognized it before. How I wish they had known the importance of having SOMETHING with them so they weren't perceived as an easy target. How I wish they had been taught, by their parents, by society, by those they look up to and respect.
As my new friend Kevin suggested, women and girls need tools to help them when they are in an uncomfortable position, but first, they have to be afraid of the right things. The real dangers that are all around them. And as parents, as a society, we have to begin recognizing these things and teaching them.
So, what are we afraid of?
From now until the end of the month, I'm donating 10% of everything sold to Spoke N Word Ministries SW Missouri Chapter.
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