Thursday, December 17, 2009

Heeding And Taking A Stand

By Anny Jacoby

With the holiday season in "high gear", shopping until you drop, cooking and baking, dinners and celebrations and the new year approaching I felt it only appropriate to address awareness causes that pertain to victimization. And, what can you do for others and yourself.

Awareness months are a result of presidential proclamations suggesting their importance which recognizes special months, weeks or days as symbolic statements that highlight causes, interest groups and diseases that an administration thinks deserves attention. Many proclamations date back decades and are updated periodically. To achieve an awareness month, you simply have to ask. Requests usually go through the Office of the Public Liaison, and the proclamations themselves are written by the office of the staff secretary. It helps to have a cause that fits snugly into a current president's worldview. Yes, it also helps to have some connection in the government.

Personally, the following awareness months are dear to my heart and mission:
  • January - National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month
  • January - National Stalking Awareness Month
  • April - National Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • April - National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month
  • June - National Internet Safety Awareness Month
  • September - National Human Trafficking Month
  • October - National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • October - National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Not only during the above months should we take heed or take a stand but every day of your life you should be aware and proactive - awareness is the first step to any form of personal safety or self-defense. It all begins with you.

The terms "personal safety/self-defense" definitely do not make us feel all warm and fuzzy but it is extremely vital to have the knowledge about, even if it is only a "little". Just knowing a little can literally save your life or that of a loved one. Personal safety is extremely important for females because we tend to be the safety advocates for our families, friends and peers but we must not forget about ourselves.

Whenever I speak or teach I ask, "what does the words "personal safety or self-defense" mean to you"? The answer that I hear over and over is, "it has something to do with defending ourselves from someone who is physically attacking us". On the contrary, personal safety begins with mental defense. It is imperative to learn what the warning signs and red flags in domestic violence are as abuse begins with emotional, mental, verbal, spiritual, financial abuse and much more (power and control). There is nothing wrong with being pro-active and putting your safety before anything or anyone else.

Most people think that personal safety/self-defense is hurting your attacker before he/she can hurt you. On the contrary, the most important part of personal safety is doing everything possible to AVOID fighting someone who threatens or attacks you, AVOIDING potentially harmful conditions. Personal safety/self-defense is about outsmarting attackers, not always outfighting them.

This is not to say that you shouldn't be prepared in case of an attack. Consider training to learn valuable defense techniques, mentally and physically. Generally a person may use reasonable force when it appears reasonably necessary to prevent an impending injury. A person using force in self-defense should use only so much force as is required to repel an attack. Ultimately, the goal in personal safety is to not need to use physical defense but if you do, escape with little injury to yourself as possible.

The National Crime Prevention Council sends a loud message as to how to avoid undesirable situations to name a few:
  • Understand your surroundings. Stay in areas that are open, well lit and well traveled.
  • When possible, travel in a group - use the "buddy system".
  • Make sure that your friends and parents know your basic schedule, where you are going and with whom; that you arrived safely and what time to expect you home.
  • Your body language shows a sense of confidence - use it. Look like you know where you are going, be and remain alert.
  • When riding on public transportation, sit near the driver and stay awake. Assailants look for vulnerable targets.
  • Always carry a cell phone, in a holder on your clothing - not in the bottom of your purse or in a pocket. Make sure that it's programmed in speed dial with numbers of a few friends/family members and 911.
  • If you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, trust your instincts. Heed to them, trust them as your instinct seldom fails you.
  • Focus on what to do instead of what not to do.

Personal safety/self-defense can be warm and fuzzy once you learn what it really means and how to use it to your advantage. Give yourself permission and allow yourself to become strong mentally and emotionally which in turn will result in an outward expression of confidence. Assailants prey on weaknesses.

With January being a new fresh start in many ways it is also a time for reflection and revisions.What a better time to learn to respect ourselves? With it being time for renewal and new beginnings it is a perfect time to say:

"Yes" to ourselves

"Yes" to our self-esteem

"Yes" to our awareness

"Yes" to our self-respect

"Yes" to improving both our mental and emotional well-being

"Yes" to learning how to physically protect and defend ourselves

Wishing everyone a wonderful, Blessed Holiday season; a prosperous and healthy New Year.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It will be added shortly.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


The opinions and information expressed in the individual posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of each contributor of "Time's Up!" nor the opinion of the blog owner and administrator. The comments are the opinion and property of the individuals who leave them on the posts and do not express the opinion of the authors, contributors or the blog owner and administrator.