Women. Can you defend yourself against an attack? Would you?
The “J” Team series portrays women struggling with violence. The characters share their successes, failures and overcoming fears and apprehensions through emotionally griping dialog and physical skills. The agents’ physical and emotional responses to antagonists draw the reader to the protagonists’ techniques and style used to overcome adversity. Jessica, Rebecca and Elisabeth encourage readers; to leave abusive situations, to change their environment and to accomplish their goals and dreams. Jackson and Jason exemplify supportive colleagues, comfortable with their sexuality/masculinity, exemplifying male behavior appreciated by many women.
Secret Service Agent Jason Spencer
UCLA graduate & former LAPD undercover officer
The “J” Team’s genesis is a hand picked group of Secret Service agents who have either questionable track records or are seeking return to mainstream assignments from policing the world; Spencer from North Africa fighting AL Qaeda, Elisabeth in the UK failing to work with male MI6 agents, Rebecca dissatisfied with being sequestered to the FBI ferreting out First Nations bombers in Arizona and New Mexico and Jackson, a disillusioned graduate of Michigan’s Teacher college. The team is led by supervisor Jessica Fukishura, a University of California-Berkeley law graduate, Toronto native and Combat Martial Artist.
“Take Back the Night’ is a publicly-funded, no-profit organization that seeks to end sexual violence in all of its forms including sexual assault, sexual abuse, dating violence, and domestic violence.”
Take Back the Night Anne Pride coined their slogan at an anti-violence rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1977. The organization believes that “letting their voices shatter the silence……(will lead) to the end of sexual violence and be a beacon of hope.”
TBTN’s mission is to allow women to live free of violence. This is an exceptional ideal toward which we all should strive, men and women, to live an abuse free life.
There is a song where the lyrics include, “Trust in God, but lock your doors at night.” Translated, “Believe in the ideal, but live in the reality”.
Society works hard to achieve the TBTN’s goals, but in the mean time we prepare for the sad truth that we are not there yet.
As an inspiration component, the web site highlights a hypothetical incident, “A woman walks alone down a dark, deserted street. With every shadow, she sees, and every sound she hears, her pounding heart flutters and skips a beat. She hurries her pace as she sees her destination come closer. She is almost there, she reaches the door, goes inside, collects herself, and moves on, forgetting, at least for tonight, the gripping fear that momentarily enveloped her life.”
What is this woman doing walking alone at night? Law enforcers continually warn women about this dangerous activity and yet many ignore the advice.
If George Washington University can offer free self defense classes, why can’t all post secondary schools and why wouldn’t all women take the courses?
“GWPD Self Defense instruction covers basic stance, strikes, and blocks. Each technique is specifically designed to be utilized in the event of an attack. While the majority of our classes are geared toward sexual assault prevention for women, this class can be beneficial for men as well. Athletic apparel is considered appropriate attire for the course. Also, we ask that participants refrain from wearing jewelry to prevent loss or damage.”
Many believe that society must change, not women’s behavior.
Webster’s defines this attitude as passive aggressive and classifies it as a personality disorder, “It can manifest itself as learned helplessness, procrastination, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is responsible.”
No disrespect to organizers and supporters, but passive resistance and attempts at behavior change with media coverage doesn’t cut it. Women need to become proactive and Carry a Big Stick.
Rebecca Simpson, former Secret Service Agent, now partner in R & P Investigations Santa Barbara, California
University of Montana graduate, former Deputy Sheriff
Some may retort, “All women don’t have the skills to defend themselves.”
Vancouver, British Colombia Police Department disagrees as noted here; Vancouver, BC Police Department
That may be the case, but all women can make the decision not to walk anywhere in the dark. All women can be proactive with their personal safety and not wait for and expect society to change.
At one of my sexual assault survival classes of thirty, two students commented that they couldn’t be violent against another human being. Before I could respond, another student answered, “You can, unless you want to live with the trauma of being a rape survivor like I do.” Several weeks later, the skeptics had learned to fight.
The transformation of women who become proactive is the future that will make a difference in violence against woman. These women are not passive survivors but agents of change who decide to take back their souls, vowing violence will never happen to them because they have the necessary mind set, skills and tools.