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Violent Crime Statistics
Date Rape Information
FAQ Women's Self Defnese
Women's Self Defense Classes
Women's Self Defense Training
Tips for Personal and Family Security
In Today's World Women
are in Serious Danger.
women live with a certain level of risk of violent
crime. Statistics show that a woman now 21 years old has
a 1 in 4 chance of experiencing a violent crime in
her lifetime. For them, much information is already
available about how to reduce their risk ("stay
alert") and how to respond if something bad happens
Danger the Ever Present Evil in the World
But some women are at an unusually high
risk of serious assault or even murder. Just watch your
local news carefully, it seems that every month or two a
woman is murdered, usually by abusive ex-spouses or
ex-boyfriends. Most of these tragic deaths could have
Betsy McCandless Murray knew her
ex-husband was out to get her. She did everything that
women are conventionally advised to do, including
obtaining a restraining order, filing criminal
charges, going into hiding, changing her address,
hiring a private investigator, and taking a
self-defense class. Despite all these precautions, she
was murdered by her ex-husband.
Janice LaCava of Worcester, MA also
used the normally recommended avenues for protection,
filing two restraining orders against her estranged
husband. Yet he murdered her in the parking lot of her
apartment building in Worcester.
Shelters and other programs offer much
information on personal security matters, ranging from
what to pack in an "emergency get-away bag" to how to go
into hiding. That is good and useful information,
because it is always better to avoid a violent attack
than to try to survive one. But as Betsy McCandless'
situation has shown, hiding doesn't always work, and
someone else can't be there to protect you every minute
of the day and night.
Ladies the Bottom Line is YOU are
Responsible for YOUR Own Well Being, Helping Yourself
Sometimes, violence comes despite the
best possible avoidance measures, and when it does,
there is often no opportunity to summon help. In those
cases, a woman is forced to face her attacker alone,
using only her own resources and knowledge to survive.
Fortunately, women who are properly trained and
confident in their ability to protect themselves can do
so quite effectively.
After the McCandless Murray tragedy, the
media was full of stories that said things like "Betsy's
murder is proof that safety is not reliably within
reach." But this is not the right conclusion to draw, as
evidenced by a Letter to the Editor in the Boston Globe
written by Ellen Gugel: "I've heard the claims. To make
women safe, we must change the judicial system, police
departments, the way little boys and girls are raised,
society's ideas of marriage. . . A woman in a violent
attack doesn't have time for that; she needs to be able
to defend herself."
back" is a difficult and uncomfortable subject for many
women to think about, but it does not have to be that
way. The concept is easy to understand, and was
expressed eloquently in the article "Teaching My
Daughter to Fight" by Margaret Dean Daiss in Ms
"Maybe, I reason, if more girls -- the next generation
of women -- learn to defend themselves physically,
harming their attackers instead of walking away or
crying, then maybe, just maybe, they could begin to turn
the tide of abuse from themselves and their sisters.
Maybe if boys and men knew that they could be seriously
hurt if they lifted their hands or opened their pants
against the opposite sex, their abuse could be kept at
Crime rates? Who cares?
Who cares? Really. Do you care whether
the violent crime rate is one per thousand or two per
thousand? People tend to use crime statistics in one of
two ways: to scare people into thinking that they are
likely to be a crime victim, or to convince people that
they are so unlikely to be a crime victim that they
don't have to do anything to protect themselves.
AWARE isn't in the business of scaring
anyone. We believe that every woman should know that a
crime might happen to her, and she should know how to
avoid it, if possible, and how to deal with it if
avoidance isn't possible.
Do you know the rate of fires in US
households or businesses? Probably not, but you know
some basics of fire prevention and what to do if you
find yourself in a building with smoke or flames.
However, if you really, really, really do want some
statistics, you can get boxes of them from sources such
Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the FBI
U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics.
that all statistics are based on reported crimes (and
thus tend to under represent crimes like rape and
stalking that are underreported). Other statistics are
based on surveys, and are historically only as good as
the survey methods and sample size.