I went to a five hour seminar on women's self-defense today. Whew! Parts of it were very intense. There was a lot of good advice and information too. We even had a practice dummy that we hit, kicked, punched, gouged, etc. All while screaming at the top of our lungs. It's a little embarrassing to scream bloody murder in front of people you don't know. But we all did it. The instructors made a good point that many people freeze up and actually can't scream when they are attacked, so it's best to practice it.
We watched a number of videos of people being attacked and talked about what they should have done. We watched some footage of Ted Bundy and talked about how he lured his victims in. We watched interviews with some of the survivors of the Luby's massacre. Watching things like that can be very exhausting emotionally.
The hardest thing was the discussion about a serial racist who was on the prowl here from 1991-1993. He violently attacked nine women during that time and raped seven of them. His second victim had written out her entire experience and it was read to us. Then the woman herself came to talk to us and answer questions. She was a very attractive woman, clearly educated and successful. It was hard to imagine something like this happening to her, because it was too much like imagining it happening to me, or someone I know. I don't go rambling out in the middle of the night; I don't go meet strange men in bars; I don't do drugs, or hang out with people who do - so I assume I should be safe. This woman was like that also. She was asleep in bed when this man broke into her home in the middle of the night. He beat her terribly, even breaking her nose. He was there for an hour and beat her off and on through that time. He tried to rape her but was unsuccessful. When he was finally caught two years later, it turned out he was a garbage man who noticed where any woman lived alone. He followed his victims numerous times without them realizing it so he could learn their schedules and routines. The scariest part was that this man was a married father of three. It was frightening to talk to this woman and realize what she had been through. It was encouraging to know that she survived it. I learned a lot at that class tonight.
I hope I never have to use that knowledge.