Self Help and Change in Consciousness
When you write about this topic, it can get sensationalized by the media to the point nothing constructive happens from all the intense discussion on the topic. Few ask: how can we be constructive and change the situation for women? What can a woman do to protect herself? What kind of person rapes? With this knowledge can we at least prevent some rapes from happening in the first place?
When I was in college, I learned about one of the greatest social activists of all time: Gandhi. He is the model for social and community activists wanting to initiate change in the world. He is one of my heroes. He always said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Later on I took a class at Lake Harriet Spiritual Community on his ideas and principles of Satyagrapha or Truth Force. The idea being you live the truth in your actions. Recently, someone shared this prayer on the facebook page:
Gandhi's Prayer for Peace
I offer you peace. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.
This prayer is about constructive change and how we achieve it: though love and unity. So I offer this information to you from this basis.
When I was attending college, studying Social Work, I had an opportunity to receive training in rape prevention for women. A number of women from other disciplines attended the training, also. Some women chose to take self-defense classes at karate and judo studios. Later on I received training in Qigong and Reiki, where I learned to use and to read energy. This can be helpful in combination with using your intuition in avoiding people with violent energy patterns.
Remember, you are naturally intuitive as a woman, so this can be used in these situations. If someone does not seem right, take your intuition seriously and get out of there. Do not go on that side of the street. Go into a safe, public building with people around instead of walking closer to the intruder. Always walk in well-lighted areas. Solar lighting is a good choice for outdoor lighting. It's a constant flow and preferable to using motion sensor lighting, which flips on with motion. The rapist could hide near by and surprise or jump at you very easily at the moment the light goes on. You could be easily blinded in this situation with the light's intensity.
Another important thing you can do is to appear very confident when walking down the street. Rapists look for vulernability. If you look and appear like you're a challenge, the rapist most likely will decide to go elsewhere. Unfortunately, some rapists attack seniors and those with disabilities. Walking with a friend or relative at night definitely makes you less vulernable to these kind of attacks.
Date rape among young women can happen more easily when alcohol and drugs are involved. Some rapists put drugs in drinks, so always watch what you are drinking and consuming. Bars are toxic environments. It's better to meet new people in less toxic environments.
Some organizations do encourage a culture of rape. It becomes so engrained that people do not question it. This happens in organizations which have more authoritarian and patriarchial power structures, like the military. In the USA a commander was removed when it was revealed he had raped and sexually harassed women in his unit. The military decided to put a woman in charge of this unit instead. There were other men in the unit who did the same thing to other women the commander did.
In some developing countries, rape is used as weapon of war. Some cultures encourage rape. Men who are looking for wives with higher family income status rape women of higher status. The laws allow the man to avoid criminal charges if he marries the woman he rapes. Some women have started schools to educate women in these countries to break through these engrained cultural practices. You can change the laws, but you also have to work on changing the mind set of people. Some schools provide income-generating skills for girls and boys to decrease the economic incentive towards using rape as a means of increasing economic status.
So who are the rapists? There are many types of rapists out there. I will describe only some of the most common types and causes.
In some cases we could prevent these men from raping women by following better environmental health practices. Many criminals have been exposed to environmental toxins. Lead and mercury are two big culprits. Lead in paints and gasoline are problems because they are still in the environment. Factories pour out pollution and heavy metals into the air. Mercury dental fillings have been banned or restricted in many countries. Mercury can effect the mind. High levels of heavy metals have been found in the bodies of many criminals.
Mental illness, drug and alcoholism are other big factors involved with some rapes. Treatment and drug/alcohol education addresses some of these problems. Prison is expensive; treatment is less costly and helps some men.
Another type of rapist was an abused victim himself who was raped or molested as a child. He never talked to anyone about what happened or received counseling to deal with this abuse. Another victim is created by lack of recognition of this problem. High schools need to encourage children to seek help in these situations.
There is also the rapist who has the charming personality who fools everyone around him. Many think he is Mr. Nice when uses his charm to do his deeds. He knows his victims well. He is a master at getting their trust.
Finally, the last one I will describe is the opposite of the charmer type. He tries to control your life, gets angry easily, is jealous, does not want an equal relationship, is physically violent and likes to intimidate people. He is very self-centered and uses whatever method he can to get this way. He does not care about anyone's feelings but his own. He will bully and use threats to get his way. He can get obsessed about someone and won't take "no" as an answer. Violence is an acceptable avenue for him. This person fits the psychopathic or sociopathic personality profile. This kind of person is hard to deal with and treatment is hard to enact effectively.
Rape is a complex topic. We all need to get educated on what we can do to prevent it. This blog is only a beginning of the discussion. Hopefully, we can start a new consciousness and be revolutionaries for good, like Gandhi.
JAI SHRI EDUCATION! JAI SHRI GANDHI!