Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Previously the problem of sexual assault was narrowly defined as the rape of an adult woman by a stranger and it was perceived only as a woman’s issue.

Today, sexual assault has a broader definition. It not only includes the rape of adult women but also the sexual victimization of young girls and boys and of adult men. It is estimated that one out of every four girls and one out of every six boys will be the victim of sexual assault before their eighteenth birthday. Statistically, over 80% of these children will be victimized by someone they know and trust – a parent, uncle, brother, family friend, teacher, babysitter, etc.  According to child protective services, over 4,000 children are sexually abused each year in Indiana alone.

A woman’s risk of being raped by someone she knows is at least four times greater than of being raped by a stranger. One out of every four college women has been raped or the victim of an attempted rape by a boyfriend, date or acquaintance. In Indiana one out of every seven women is the victim of rape and over 2,000 rapes occur in the state each year.

As previously mentioned, sexual assault is not just a woman’s issue. It’s estimated that up to 10% percent of all adult rape victims are male. Contrary to popular belief, male rape is not something that only happens in prison. It can happen to any man regardless of size, strength, appearance, sexual orientation, or beliefs.

Sexual assault not only affects the victims, it also affects their family, friends, co-workers, etc. While the immediate physical and mental affects can be devastating for the victim, the long-term consequences can have a devastating and destructive affect for the community as well.

April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This is an opportunity to increase the community’s awareness of the problem of sexual violence. It’s also an opportunity to commit ourselves to those actions we can take as individuals and as a community to reduce this epidemic.

What you can do-

Know the facts and challenge your friends when they perpetuate myths and stereotypes about sexual violence.

Confront violent and sexually abusive behavior when you see or hear it.

Empower yourself with the knowledge to stay safe-take a sexual assault awareness and/or self-defense class.

Show your support and educate others about preventing sexual violence.

Share your knowledge with your family and friends.

Confront sexist jokes or humor that objectifies women.

Sexual violence can be reduced and even stopped. It just requires that each of us take an active role in keeping ourselves and our community safe.

Contact Personal Safety Unlimited for more information on our Sexual Assault Awareness programs for both girls and boys or for reality-based self-defense training that just works. Don't let assault happen to you or your loved ones, take a stand now!
Sunday, March 10, 2013

Self-Defense Presentation at Warsaw Women's Expo

In two weeks I will be presenting at the Warsaw Women's Expo in Warsaw / Winona Lake, Indiana. The 45 minute segment is titled- "Protect Yourself from Crime and 4 Easy Steps". This will cover the essentials of personal safety as well as provide a demo of basic self-defense skills. There will be many other presenters and vendors as well.

Visit the website for details-

Guys, please pass this along to your significant others, family, or friends that might be interested.

Steve Zorn, ICPS
Personal Safety Unlimited
Saturday, March 02, 2013

Knife Crimes, the reality...

Facing a knife wielding attacker can be dangerous and pretty scary, regardless of age, gender, athletic ability, strength, or martial arts / self-defense skill. However, if using proper awareness and avoidance strategies you can reduce your chances of ever having to face such a situation. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have  a basic understanding of how knife attacks occur or how to possibly protect yourself should such an event happen. As the old saying goes "better to be prepared and not need it..."

There are two primary ways a knife can be used against us.

1) The static "hold-up"- this is when the knife is used to elicit a fear response, to intimidate the intended victim into following commands. This is usually used to threaten, rob, rape, or assault the intended victim without actually having to use the knife. In such cases, the assailant does not necessarily want to kill, they generally want something else. However, this doesn't mean they will not lash out with the knife if they feel it's necessary to prevent resistance or capture.

2) The dynamic assault, aka the "Ambush" or the "Blitz"- This is when the knife is used to severely injure or kill an intended victim, usually without warning. In many cases the assailant will attempt to go unnoticed as he approaches the target, and then will violently attack when he is in range. However, this can also occur from a standard "testing ritual" or "interview" where the assailant approaches the intended victim under the guise of asking for the time, for directions, or maybe a light for his cigarette.

Which type of attack are you likely to face? This depends on various factors. For example if you work in a high risk environment such as a prison or rowdy night club, there is a higher chance you will face the second type of attack, the "Ambush".  However, if you do not work , live or hang out in high risk environments and if you do not make a habit out of making people angry at you, statistically-speaking you will most likely face the first type of attack. That is, IF you are ever forced to face a knife-wielding attacker.

While there are self-defense and martial arts instructors across the net that want us to believe that every knife attack involves the "Ambush", where an assailant comes out of nowhere and attacks viciously without warning, we know this just isn't the case. While these types of attacks do occur, they generally involve high risk occupations, symmetrical match fights that go wrong (like bar fights), situations where a person has made enemies, etc.

Over the years I have read hundreds of cases where knives were involved but few of them resulted in death from the infamous "Ambush" attack. The majority involved the knife being used as a tool to get a desired result, nothing more. Unfortunately, I have yet to find extensive data showing the actual statistics of the percentage of "Hold-Ups" versus the "Ambushes". However, it becomes fairly obvious when reviewing crime stories from around the country. That being said, the UK has done a better job of tracking the various types of crimes involving knives. This is simply because knife crimes are so much higher there due to the lack of firearms. What their research shows is that knives are used more often to threaten, rob, and rape then to cause bodily harm or to kill. You can read the following report for an overview of these statistics-

The point is, while knife attacks are both dangerous and scary, we can reduce our chances of being victimized through the use of awareness and avoidance. If we find ourselves facing a knife-wielding assailant, we must be be prepared both physically and mentally to deal with such a threat. While the chances are good this person only intends to scare us with the knife, we must also be prepared for the worst-case scenario. However, with that being said, we must understand the worst-case scenario is low on the probability scale unless we work or live in high risk areas, or do something stupid to agitate a knife-wielding robber.

Steve Zorn, ICPS

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-27 years training in personal safety -Multiple martial arts black belts -Multiple instructor certifications -Certified law enforcement trainer -Crime Prevention Specialist -Previous self-defense trainer for one of the country's largest airlines -Child safety specialist -Certified Fitness Trainer -TACTIX Fitness Trainer -High Intensity Training Specialist -FAST Defense Instructor -Kid Escape Instructor
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