When I finish a high school session on self defence, consent, and/or the anthropology of violence I get a line up of teens who want to talk to me about their experiences. They do not want to tell the parents, their teachers or school counsellors. They feel shame, guilt, embarrassment and they have no intention of reporting offences because of the implications of people knowing and the repercussions from offenders.
18+. I won't be holding back on language as I talk about adult concepts like sex, death and paedophilia using all the correct terminology in all of it's truthful raw humanness.
I love to support your work environment with Safe Workplace Training and De-escalation Skills for the Workplace. Contact Erin for live online sessions or face-to-face workplace training.
Have you ever said, "I will kill the man that hurts my daughter?" Called a sexual predator a 'Monster'? Let's talk gender drivers.
Project Empowerment: a chance for people to share authentic and heartfelt incidents in a video collaboration that could change the world
Project Empowerment is a personal project that Erin is embracing to collect stories from survivors about an incident that triggered their personal protection journey and how we can learn and heal from their experiences. By uploading a short audio file (about 20 - 60 seconds) Erin will animate your story with sensitively selected animations to share your experience with our younger generations as we awaken them to others personal trauma and ways to overcome violence, inequality and dysfunctional relationships.. We can live in a world free from violence and sexual dysfunction. Your words and lived experience could spark awareness in one child and change their life forever. Wanna change the world together?
Contact Erin on the form below for more details.
Vibrations close to your ear drum (ie: ear phones) effect::
It does not take a smart psychopath to see you as an excellent target.
Additionally, it dampens your ability to correct ankle wobbles, pot hole drops and slips on gravel.
Still not so sure? A close vibration so close to your ear drum minimises your innate range of motion to compensate for decreased balance, decreasing the ability for your muscles to perform, decreasing your ability to build muscle and burn fat. This means: two people doing the same workout will get different outcomes if one wears earphones. The person sans-head phones will have greater muscle building and fat burning potential ie; they will look fitter, meaner, leaner. If you are not going to do it for personal safety do it for your vanity.
Many of the high schools I teach at are adopting a 'no mobile phone' policy for 2020. I applaud it. In 2019 five (5) women where killed in Australian public places. Two (2) of them were ON THE PHONE while being murdered. Teaching your child to 'pretend like they are on the phone' when being followed is a welcome beacon of 'good victim' distraction to even the lowest IQ psychopath.
We must also remember that this piece of technology broadcasts:
1. the comments of trolls that are most likely to cause teens to consider suicide and self harm
2. access to free pornography that blatantly exposes your child to violent sexual disfunction
3. status, movement, associations and availability to online sexual predators
The social dysfunctions it causes are also obvious and well documented.
The phone does not protect your child - it endangers them with the potential distraction/ addiction/ affliction that it has become.
School teachers don't have the time, nor are they allowed, to go public on this major health epidemic.
But every time you hand that phone to your child, you are enabling their personal safety demise.
I guarantee that you gave your child that device on the premise that it was for their 'safety' so that they could call you. Call you if they are in trouble, being abducted, being threatened - need help. But what if I told you that the phone is the reason that they will be targeted in the first place? And when they are targeted the phone will retard any natural survival instincts they may have, and long after an incident, will trigger or compound mental health issues.
Statistically that phone won't be used to save them, but will enable their demise. The phone makes your child a really good victim.
I have been teaching self defence and personal safety to high school students for 12 years. What I see in classrooms would make your hair fall out. Our kids are in trouble - mentally, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically - and we are enabling it.
I have seen a degeneration in physical coordination - an inability to know left from right. An inability to hear a direction and react immediately.
I have seen a degeneration in emotional regulation - outbursts similar to my 4 year olds tantrums. An inability to recognise that they control their emotions.
I have seen social degeneration. Ok, ok. Socrates himself would bemoan the self-centred ignorance/arrogance of Ancient Greek teens. This is nothing new. But what is new is that the brains of our teens has been deprogramed - reprogrammed - and it is not a program of resilience. Whole sections of our brain die when we become dependant on iOS technology.
When I was teaching this week most of the students had their phones in plain view. The screens white and blinking, thumbs flicking - regardless of the fact that the school has a 'no phones during class' policy.
Your child will replicate whatever behaviour they use daily in an uncomfortable situation. For example, your teen girl will giggle during a sexual assault, the same as she will giggle, whisper and eye-roll with her friends when reprimanded for disruptive behaviour. I actually lost a court case when a female sexual assault victim was cross examined and gave evidence that she giggled during the rape. A giggle does not imply consent. We got that? No consent given. But I can't teach the patriarchal judge that this is normal modern female behaviour - instilled the moment a kindergarten teacher claps 'inside voice, outside voices' or 'girls, close your legs,' and 'ladies, don't yell.' I can't re-teach or reach that jury that where predominately male, pale, and stale. That classroom was let out a long time ago.
But I can teach your girls to start watching how they unconciously react when they are under stress.
And it is most likely they will reach for a phone.
They will reach for the phone the same way that mums have been shown in recent disaster victim studies to clean their kitchen, put on a load of washing or walk around in circles muttering and giggling (or phoning their mum) when being told to evacuate immediately.
True study, read more here. It made me realise it is my natural reaction to clean and stack. Those fluffy toys are all going to be neat and tidy for the arrival of a cyclone at the expense of my children's survival. This is embarrassing, but true. Self reflection is always going to a vital tool on your personal safety tool belt.
I was telling a group of grade 11 students the story of a young Russian woman who was fishing with her Dad when they were attacked by a brown bear. It may be observed that the girl's natural reaction when in discomfort was to go to her phone - so while her father's lifeless body was being ripped apart she started making phone calls. The bear - a new mother - may have instinctively assessed the young woman as easy prey and went away to rally her starving cubs. She returned with her brood to find the injured girl in-situ, and on her phone. So the whole nightmarish feast continued all the while with a frantic and helpless Russian mum on the other end of the phone, listening to her daughters agonising demise.
This is not just a climate change warning about humans encroaching on the animals kingdoms natural habitat and an apex predator trying to feed her starving babies. It is a story of a deterioration in human survival instincts. It is a complete inability to assess risk, react and act - using our body and mind simultaneously to remove ourselves from danger.
For every second we are on that phone, searching for that phone, or wishing we had that phone, we are food for bears. Figuratively and literally.
I just finished telling this story when I saw one of the girls playing with her phone. The story made her uncomfortable, so #ironically she turned to her comfort source. Her phone. I gave her a warning. Told her to put the phone away. She sat on it and said "You can't make me."
I could make her, but the thought of removing a phone covered in bum juice made my choice pretty obvious.
An hour later we where talking about defence against sexual assault, and that 1 in 3 Australian girls under the age of 16 had already been the victim of sexual assault. This meant that at a hand full of girls in the classroom could have been sexually assaulted already. This may have made my 'phone sitting student' uncomfortable. Or not? So she got her phone out again and started to show her boyfriend something that was uber interesting. In plain view.
I related to her that while she may not be concerned about her personal safety, statistically the person beside her may already a victim (1 in 6 boys experience sexual abuse before the age of 16), or will be in the future, so don't deny them the right to learn strategies to keep them safe. I told her to put her phone away or leave. So with a great gusto (the most activity I had seen from her all day) she threw her arms in the air and left with a cloud of expletives and statements blaming everyone else for her predicament. "I wasn't even on the phhhoooonnnnnneee!!! Wah!"
She was like a cocaine addict being denied a hit. Violent. Irrational. Inconsolable.
This is the result of mobile phone addiction.
The cycle becomes more vicious when you consider that this girl, when feeling triggered, may then use her phone (as she is hiding in the school dunny) to attack her 'frenemies' on social media. These attacks will lack emotional intelligence, the ability to discern, and most certainly lack empathy. Her brain will be stuck in lizard brain - the brain that attacks, plays dead, and then attacks again. The same brain that trolls and bullies and lashes out. The same brain that blames other people for how they feel. But let's think about the person/people that may be at the end of the attack: they too may have a dependance on their phone, and a lack of emotional resilience. So when they read/ hear/ are confronted by the outburst of a lizard brain this may trigger a defensive reaction within them. Lizard V Lizard. And then they may start to lash out - or - retreat into depression. And we don't need the statistics on teen suicide to see where this is going. The phone has caused a cycle of mental illness, dependance, and aggression, and has enabled countless premature deaths. Are we brave enough to put a number to a death toll?
Our children are emotionally and mentally addicted to their phones - and as result they are intellectually and emotionally handicapped. It is yet to be seen whether they are going to have the life skills to be able to live independently in our society. Those statistics have already trickled out into our trade industry where only 20 -30% of apprentices complete their qualifications.
Without boring you too much let's think about a couple of times the phone puts your child at risk:
So, this is really a no brainer. We don't need governments or schools to do something about this. It is as simple as reassessing the BS that you believe that your child needs a phone in order to be safe.
Do you hand your child a gun to keep them safe?
Uh oh....... that's food for another blog.
We have been believing a lie. It's time to change what is not working.
Monday, May 25, 2015
I cannot begin to heal your pain, but I want to give you some practical advice to take away some of the trauma of reporting of something that has happened to you in the past. It may have been 30 years ago, or a month…. But it will be defined as a ‘historical’ sexual assault when there may no longer be any physical evidence that can be gathered by police. Physical evidence includes medical evidence collected shortly after the incident, clothing worn (and not washed), photos of injuries, DNA collected from the body and under the fingernails. Anything from which the offender’s DNA might have been transferred to prove their physical proximity to you.
This then changes the nature of the investigation, but not the outcome in court. So please don’t worry about this. Save your energy for healing, ok?
I am all about supporting you as a survivor, and taking you away from the negative connotations of being a victim. Let my experience as a former sexual assault investigator help you. I may not know everything, but I want to give you a place to start. Because I have found everyone is too busy being ‘PC’ and stepping on eggshells that they are ignoring your need for real advice and practical guidance.
So take a deep breath, and let’s get started.
Book in a time of day, get a babysitter, find a room, a coffee shop, a library private reading room. Write down or audio record your experience. Don’t leave out your feelings… record sight, sound, smell. Include EVERYTHING, uncensored and unabashed. Write like no one will every read or hear it.
After this process then consider what investigators need to know… and consider whether reporting is a process you wish to pursue.
1. Your relationship to the offender.
You must never feel guilt if you knew and loved your offender. Never. It is a misconception that you had to hate your offender and that the offences committed against you where traumatic.
I have also taken reports when offenders have spoken of ‘love’ and ‘going on a date’ while the offences was being committed.
Just because what happened to you wasn’t a common storyline that you watch on a TV crime scene show or Hollywood blockbuster does not mean it is not an offence.
And I must also reiterate, that a child in Australia is legally not capable of giving consent to sexual acts. It is irrelevant whether you told the offender to stop or not.
Guilt and judgement are wasted emotions. Please do not let this effect the ability for you to report the incident as it happened. Please do not leave out any details because you fear that it will affect the validity of your experience.
2. Not all sexual assaults leave physical scarring.
The vagina or rectum does not have to be torn, bleeding or bruised to prove rape. It is a real option not to resist when you are fearful of the offender (or in the case of multiple offenders).
3. Time, date, place.
Recalling the time, date, place is paramount to determine your AGE AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT.
At least 1 in 3 sexual assaults occur during childhood.
Let me make this perfectly clear in the most basic English:
If you are under the age of 16 - if you are 15 years or younger - in Australia you cannot consent to sex. Any sexual act is an offence. This age rises to 18 in South Australia and the Northern Territory. In some states the age is of consent is older again if the person is an adult and in a position of authority; like a priest, teacher or coach.
Looking at these statistics it is no surprise that reporting is often recalling an incidence that happened in childhood or adolescence. This is when at least 1 in 3 sexual assaults occur.
It is not uncommon for these assaults to go unreported until the victim is aged 30 years or older (just look at the #metoo campaign). It is a neurological fact that at around the age of 30 you come into a matured emotional intelligence that comprehends past trauma.
I distinctly remember hanging out clothes when I was about 30 and recalling an incident that happened to me when I was 16, and thinking, ‘WOW, that guy would be arrested if I reported him now.”
I had been a Police Officer for 10 years by that time, had already studied for my detectives appointment, arrested numerous paedophiles and sexual offenders, and had never once looked back on my own adolescence and recounted one of my own experiences as a criminal law offence. This, coupled with the (unnecessary) emotions of shame and guilt further compound the amnesia state that a teen or young person will experience after a a non-consenstual sexual experience (i.e.: rape).
Such is the nature of our intricate and amazing brains and it’s ability to compartmentalise trauma.
How to recall time, date, place OF EVERY INCIDENT you wish to report is the key to making this process easier. Particularly if you where a child and had limited ability to correlate times, ages and places.
How do you do this?
Do you remember a special event that happened shortly before or after the incident? Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, summer holidays?
Was it a regular occurrence that happened during a particular time of day? How do you remember? What images spring to mind that remind you? What were other people doing at the time?
4. Where you under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time?
This is not to weaken your case, but the reverse. It may account for why you can, or can’t, remember certain things.
How much did you have to drink? What where you drinking? What sort of drugs did you take? How did you take it? How much? Over what time period? Where you also on prescription drugs at the time (very important to consider the effects of drugs taken together). How did it affect you?
I must also reiterate, depending on the State in Australia where the offence was committed, a person cannot consent to certain sexual acts if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
This is a vital fact investigators need, both for the investigation but also the possible cross-examination that may occur if the incident were to go to trial.
5. What did the offender say to you?
If the offender spoke to you before, during, or after the incident, what did they say? The best way to write it is like this:
He said, “Would you like some cake?”
I said, “No, thank you.... sugar is bad for the tummy.”
6. What level of penetration occurred.
Whether we are talking about a penis, a finger, or an object, it is vital to explain the level of penetration that occurred.
Use correct terminology:
The only thing that dies when we use the term penis and vagina is injustice and sexual dysfunction.
I know it makes people squeamish… but I believe that if we were all a bit more open minded about sex, then this unnecessary shame would not be an issue.
No shame, ok….. let me be that little voice that reminds you. No shame. No guilt.
'No' means 'No'.
There is a difference between a bad sexual experience, or a sexual experience that you regret, as opposed to proving beyond reasonable doubt to a jury of 12 people that your words and actions showed that no consent was given.
I will reiterate once again, if you were legally incapable of giving consent at the time, for example under the age of 16, or affected by drugs or alcohol to the extent that you are losing consciousness, you are unable to give consent. Consent is not a factor.
8. Have you told someone about what happened to you?
Who, when, how and what happened as a result of the conversation is vital to forming a big picture of the incident.
Did you write anything down? Did you have a diary (whether you wrote about it specifically or not, the entries and dates around the time of the incident could paint a very important physiological picture)? Draw pictures, paint? What relevance did it have to your situation and the incident?
Remembering special events, places and details – no matter how trivial they may seem to you – can help investigators to paint a greater picture. You may never understand the relevance, but investigators have many tools that they use to build a case.
Your head will be spinning by now, so I will give you some space to breath and sit with this information.
There are only two pure emotions in this world: love and fear. Anyone who has ever come in contact with you has only ever acted out of one (or both) of these emotions.
I write this from a place of pure love, and a need to surround you with it and whisk away any fear. No matter what, please believe you are a human BEING, not a human DOING. BE well, BE safe, BE WHOLE. Don’t let anyone take that from you, OK?
CRACKING OPEN VICTIM MENTALITY
There are 3 re-occurring themes I have documented in taking a victim statements and conducting victim research.
1. It's not fair*
2. I didn't think it would happen to me...
3. I was waiting for someone to help me*
*there is nothing fair about sexual assault, causing bodily harm and depriving someone if their liberties, am I right?
*now with a response time of 20-25 minutes if emergency services are even alerted, there is only one person capable of saving you in a life threatening situation. The whole, 'be your own hero' meme might be gag corny but it is so fundamentally true in all aspects of our wellbeing.
But I really have an itch to expand on:
2. I DIDN'T THINK IT WOULD HAPPEN TO ME.....
The older I get, the more case studies I integrate, the more I realise this is a half truth. Every woman at some stage has thought, in great detail, about 'what might happen to them'. They have thought about what they should wear, where they should walk, park, travel to prevent someone attacking them..... Having the shadowy thought that the person they about about to meet actually wants to kill them, not just date them/ interview them/ change a water filter/ share ride / [fill in your blank].
No. I need to expand this to "I was always afraid it would happen to me, I just didn't plan for it." I find this particularly true the older a person gets.
Here is the conflict, and the irony, if you will.
I am a huge believer in the law of attraction. Whether in physics or in esoteric teachings the saying 'where your thoughts go, your energy flows' is the cornerstone of cause and effect.
So how do I teach personal protection skills without generating fear?
My teaching involves brain hacking, or neuro shortcutting, so that my students think, develop and practice words and sentences to 'call out' offences as they are happening.
"Your touching my leg"
"Your touching my hair"
"Stop the car"
I remind you to prioritise safety over manners.
I activate that sovereign part of your being that radiates "Why not?" instead of "Why me?".
"Come at me life..." over "... come help me."
Because we have all had 2am conversations with invisible people reliving stronger, more powerful conversations. Admit it.
We yearn to flex our sovereignty.
RAVES is your future self coming back to teach you how to say it, like you mean it, in the moment that it matters.
I remember the first time I went to an ATM to withdraw money. It was ridiculous how scared, incompetent, fumbling, slow and ridiculous I was to the people waiting in line behind me. But weeks and years of habit and necessity removed the fear and instilled a practice so you can literally see an ATM quacke (or quack?) in fear as I approach it to ram my card in its mouth. Bow down before me money machine! People behind me watch my mastery!
RAVES is about facing down fear and creating patterns of empowerment.
You are more powerful then you realise and it is time you and I took the red pill, together.
Book into our RAVES Self Defence North Brisbane Session, or empower employees with RAVES at your workplace.
My friend and I were taught some great skills and had a lot of fun - such a serious topic but we had lots of laughs. Erin is amazing - she is warm and friendly and is really knowledgeable and experienced, I did this years ago and am glad I did it again - my friend and I are going to try and do this yearly to keep it fresh in our minds.