Let’s be honest: to say don’t go where you shouldn’t nearly means, in our country, locking yourself in a concrete bunker and hoping for the best. However, there are positions and places from where an assailant can and probably will more successfully attack you. And the best bet is avoid them.
If you find yourself in such places your chances of effectively defending yourself are minimal to non-existent. The violence will be swift, intense and aimed at your weak points.
Positioning is a strategy game. It is the criminal trying to put you where he wants you and you moving so he can’t – or you just avoiding these places or situations entirely.
This “game” is very real and very dangerous. It is, however, not apparent on the surface. Often it means that something is going on that you do not know about, as if we can await a bold neon sign to alert us before we respect our intuition.
You know where you should not be, so do not go there!
During my sessions, I always offer the following example: “Just this once I’m going to draw money at 4 in the morning in my pyjamas … just this once.” Or: “I often draw money at 4 in the morning and nothing has happened.”
You do not want to be doing this, or walking down dark alleys or across open veld late at night.
How often have I heard: “You are asking for trouble if you go there or do this.”
Let’s be clear on something. I understand no one ever asks to be attacked, raped or robbed, but often these incidents can be avoided by just avoiding certain situations.
And when someone says you should not have been there, they are NOT victim blaming, because the truth is you probably should not have been there.
Do you go home and leave your front door and gate open?
Do you go home and leave your front door and gate open? Of course not! Because that would be stupid, and you are going to find someone in your house looking to either rob and or hurt you.
Why is it, then, that when people do stupid things and don’t respect their safety, that when these mistakes are pointed out, we are victim blaming?
I accept it is a free country and you should be able to go anywhere and do what you want, but you CANNOT if you want to remain safe and unharmed.
I have often heard it asked: why should we have to learn “self-defence” or personal protection? There just should not be rape and violence and crime.
But come on, are we really that naive? It may improve, but it is NEVER going to go away. It may never even change.
It’s like saying I won’t buy a car with all the new fancy safety precautions because everyone else should just drive safely and respect the rules of the road.
If you go out alone to the wrong places, looking like a hundred dollars, get drunk and do not take the necessary safety precautions, you are “inviting” trouble and will one day find yourself in a situation that could and should have been avoided. Even if hearing this offends you, your safety is more important that your feelings.
You know where you should not be, so do not go there.
Mark Grobbelaar is the Founder of INpowered, incorporating WIP (woman INpowered) and GRIP (Guy Responsibly INpowered).
He holds a 6th dan in karate and has over 45 years’ experience in the personal protection field.
He does talks and hosts INpowered programmes to corporates, schools and small groups.
Reach him with your question about personal protection at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will try to answer you in future columns.