Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My take on "Rape Whistles"

Via Breda

A 19 year old college student is raped & killed on a Reno, Nevada campus and the University's response is to hand out whistles. Amazing! A whistle is not a weapon and does you no good unless a stranger (unarmed) is willing to come to your aid. If your attacker is armed in any way the stranger who comes to your aid likely won't be of much help. On a large campus like U of D many students would be totally oblivious to someone blowing a whistle.

At the University of Delaware we've had at least 2 serial rapists, a high-profile gruesome murder of a 19 year old girl, and plenty of attempted abductions. The University installed "blue light phones," which are basically emergency call boxes under a bright blue lamppost. It should be obvious that even if you can get to one, there's no way your going to be able to use the phones and have someone respond in time to save you if you're being raped, beaten, robbed etc. They are a 100% feel-good measure. Not to mention our campus police and public safety officers are all unarmed anyway. (not enough crime to justify allowing UDPD officers to carry, says our Administration)

The school does give Rape Aggression Defense classes at times on campus. This is good, but unarmed, most women are frankly no match for a man intent on harming them. As a woman, even if you're an expert in hand-to-hand combat you're still likely to be at a serious disadvantage against someone who outweighs you by 50-100 pounds.

Colleges don't make self-defense easy for students. Here's UD's "Weapons Policy" as of last year. Note that it specifically exempts pocketknives even though #2 is a blanket statement that could ban anything one could think to employ as a weapon. My knives would certainly violate #2, yet #4 allows them.
A student shall not possess, use, or threaten to use any of the following items:

1. Any firearm (including any weapon or instrument from which a shot, projectile, or other object may be discharged by force, whether operable or inoperable, loaded or unloaded);

2. Any deadly weapon, defined as any instrument, item, or material readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury;

3. Any BB gun, pellet gun, air rifle, paint gun, sword (whether decorative or not), or other martial arts weapon;

4. Any bomb, knife (other than an ordinary pocketknife carried in a closed position, with a blade of three inches or less), switchblade, billy club, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, slingshot, razor, bicycle chain, or ice pick; or

5. Any explosive chemical or device including a substance or a combination of substances possessed or prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation, including fireworks and illegal or potentially dangerous chemicals

My suggestion for women on college campuses? (and men too) Carry whatever weapon(s) you can carry legally under state law and keep them hidden. Don't listen to police and administrators who tell you to "submit and give up whatever the attacker wants." That approach has terrible track-record of stopping violent assaults. I'd say you should at least carry anything that could be used as a weapon that's not explicitly banned by your campus weapons policy. A Carabiner or Kubotan won't look like "scary" weapons and are at least more effective than fists.

It's a well known fact that rape isn't about sex, it's about physical domination. Submission is only going to encourage a rapist. Submission encourages all criminals, since difficult and dangerous victims are the last thing they want to encounter.

I'll get done that other post I started eventually. It may be a few days.


breda said...

do you write for your school paper? If not, you should.

Mike W. said...

Thanks for the complement. I'm often unimpressed with my own writing think it's good.

I wrote for my high school paper, but not college. I did write one story for our college paper, but that was really just to say I did it and as a resume padder.

Right now I'm a 5th year senior and just want to graduate.

Mike W. said...

* should read "but other people think it's good."

I must've had a brainfart just then.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Mike W. said...

Thanks for the comment Elaina. I hope you continue reading.