By Danielle Spitz, Guest Blogger
As sexual assault becomes more prevalent in today’s society, people are beginning to treat it less as a delicate topic and more of one that must be addressed. According to the Rape Crisis Center, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every two minutes. With every suppressed thought and feeling pushed aside, the number of victims will only go up. It is time for our voices to be heard.
A common go-to solution to protect women against sexual offenders is to enroll them in self-defense classes. Many schools have implemented a self-defense course into their curriculum, and some schools even make it mandatory for their students to partake in the class.
Learning how to protect oneself from an offender of any kind is an important skill to possess, and schools supporting this skill is something I condone. However, introducing these classes can also be seen as taking a step backwards instead of getting closer to a resolution.
By teaching girls to defend themselves against sexual predators, we learn to always be alert and cautious in order to be ready to fend off anyone who oversteps boundaries. Girls must face the sad truth that we constantly have to be on our toes in order to stay safe, so shouldn’t this be the main problem to address rather than how to train girls to fight off those who cross them? If people were taught how to treat women with respect in all aspects, including sexually, self-defense classes would serve as a helpful resource instead of vital to one’s safety.
Women are often exposed to characteristics to look out for so they know what to defend themselves from. The teaching of these characteristics should be accompanied by a lesson on what characteristics to acquire—what is okay to do and what is not acceptable. Without knowing the difference between the two, every body has the potential to become an offender, putting more people at risk of assault.
Becoming stronger and knowing what to do in situations in which one might be in danger of being sexually assaulted is very important when it comes to staying safe in a world in which women are continuously on the look out. Lessons on the concepts of boundaries and abusive actions must go hand in hand with self-defense classes in order for the number of offenders and sexual assault victims to decrease.
Let's chat! How do you think we can better respect women in general? Do you think its important to teach self-defense classes? Share with us here!
High school student Danielle Spitz is an aspiring journalist. She writes for her school newspaper and of course IATG! She loves reading, writing, running, binge watching anything on Netflix, shopping, and contributing to a world in which women build each other up and receive the respect they deserve.
image via feminspire.com