I’m frequently asked why I decided to start training in the martial arts. There are many reasons, but my date gone wrong is one of the things that drives me to continue training.
It was the summer after my freshman year in college. My friend arranged a double blind date that I was not at all interested in. At first I said no but was eventually talked into it. I had a funny feeling about this guy after briefly meeting him at a dance club a few weeks earlier, and I wasn’t at all interested in dating him. But we women frequently ignore our instincts.
A few nights later we met the two guys in the parking lot of the hotel where I worked. I didn’t want to leave my car behind and go with them. My gut was telling me not to but my friend insisted, and so I got in their car and off we went.
When we arrived at the house I was uneasy. It was in the middle of nowhere and no one else was home. My friend and her guy quickly disappeared into the wooded backyard to find the pool, and she made it clear she wanted to be alone. My date asked me if I wanted to watch a movie. It was either watch a movie, or stand in the driveway waiting for my friend, so I reluctantly agreed to go inside.
It was a small living room, and the sofa bed was pulled out. He started the movie and sat down in the middle. I sat on the very edge. I didn’t want to give him the wrong idea.
I was too paranoid to watch any of the movie. He kept gradually moving closer to me and was making me feel uncomfortable. He tried to hold my hand and I fixed my hair with it instead. I was not interested. I wanted to make it clear.
Apparently, I wasn’t clear enough.
It all happened so quickly. He grabbed me and pulled me down into the center of the sofa bed. He climbed on top of me. He was kneeling on my thighs and holding my wrists down with one hand while he worked on the button on my shorts.
I immediately told him to stop it, firmly. I started yelling, loudly. I told him to get off of me. I screamed for him to knock it off, but he was not listening. He was in this terrifying zone and I had to do something quickly. I squirmed a little bit and was unable to move him.
Then something snapped in me and I got completely FURIOUS. He WAS NOT going to succeed.
What came after was fast and furious. I managed to get my legs out from underneath his knees, pulled my knees up to my chest, planted my feet on his chest and launched him. I remember watching him literally fly across the room as he slammed into the wall.
After the initial shock of what I had done to him was realized, he charged me; but I was ready. I was on my feet, crouched. He was met with fists flying at him. I hit him in the eyes, nose, mouth, neck. I didn’t stop, because I knew I couldn’t. He was going to keep coming at me unless I put up a real fight.
After hitting him multiple times in the face as hard as I could, he staggered backwards and I saw my opportunity to run. I darted out the door and then quickly turned to face it. I didn’t want him surprising me again. I began SCREAMING at the top of my lungs for my friend.
My attacker appeared at the screen door looking disheveled. He didn’t dare venture outside. I told him to stay away from me. The voice that came out of my mouth was not my own. It was primal, and it was protecting me. From the safety behind the screen door, he yelled “So you don’t want to have sex?”
“What do you think, you idiot? I said NO!” I was shaking something terrible, but my volume was as loud as possible. I wanted anyone within the area to hear what was going on.
It was then that my friend and her date appeared. “What is going on?” she asked.
I told her we needed to leave right away and that my date was not coming with us. The problem was that it was his car. He came outside, and tossed the keys to his friend and asked him to drive. I was absolutely sick about having to get in the car with this guy and his friend again. I don’t think my friend understood the severity of the situation, despite the fact that I told her straight out, “He tried to rape me!”
Her date got in the driver seat and she sat in the front passenger seat. At the last second, she allowed my date to climb in behind her and sit in the back beside me. I was furious, but I figured in the car, I had witnesses and he wouldn’t try anything.
By now, I think he was afraid of who I would tell and what would happen to him. He kept getting in my personal space and begging me to forgive him. Every time he crossed the center line of that car, I grabbed his face and slammed it back against the window on his side of the car. His face was already swollen and bruised in areas where I had pummeled him during the initial incident. I had no problem adding to his injuries.
My friend seemed upset that her date was cut short, but I was never so happy to see my car. The car had barely stopped and I was climbing out behind the driver’s seat. My date still wouldn’t stop. He kept trying to talk to me and grab at me. It was like he thought we had a minor lover’s quarrel or something. It had been nothing of the sort.
I got in my car and told my friend she better get in or I would leave without her. As I went to close my car door, my date stuck his hand in the frame and told me he wanted to talk. I told him he had two seconds to remove his hand or else I’d be taking it with me as I drove away. He removed his hand.
On the drive home, I told my friend what had happened and broke down. What if I hadn’t reacted the way I did? What if I hadn’t been able to move him? I was so angry at myself for not trusting my gut about this guy. I knew he was bad news and yet I allowed a sense of obligation to my friend to lure me into a date with him. I would never make that mistake again.
After several years of martial arts training, I can’t even imagine what I would have done to that jerk with the training I have now. I hope I never have to find out.
One of the greatest things I’ve learned during my martial arts training is that you should always trust your gut.
Jessica writes at Black Belt Mama.
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As a man and walker of Bushido, I am doubly ashamed. I am sorry that the dishonourably wretched tried to rape you. Reading your story was an inspiration and I am glad that you have persevered.
You are an incredible writer, I felt like I was there with you. I'm so happy that you made it out with out him further harming you. Amazing story we don't see many of them.
You go, Girl! Awesome story! Sounds like you weren't the first girl this a**hole tried this on. Probably got away with it, too, until he met you. Whew Hoo, love stories like this! It's a great example of how we shouldn't let fear dictate what our reactions are. I say, get angry..... I'm definitely a fighter myself. I was walking alone on a street once. This guy started following me. Next thing I know he grabbed me by the arm. Without even thinking, I spun around and punched him right in the stomach, doubling him over. It gave me a chance to run and I did. I don't know what might have happened if I hadn't fought back. I remember with fondness the look on his face as his breath whooshed out. Sweet!
I think ALL women and girls should have some sort of self defense training just for this reason alone. There are too many creeps out there that think they can do whatever they want to us without repercussions. We need to stop being the weaker sex because of fear. There are some amazingly simple ways for a woman to learn to protect herself and to disable an attacker if she'd only take the time to learn. I remember one self defense trainer giving us pointers on what to do when facing the possibility of rape. He said to start acting like you're having a seizure and/or acting as gross as you can, drooling and doing weird things with your tongue, rolling your eyes back in your head, making gagging/vomiting sounds and other strange noises, doing weird things with your arms, etc. We all started laughing at his demonstrations but he said it had saved many a woman from being raped. He said all of this is such a turn off and "ruins" the moment for the attacker. Ha! I never forgot that advice.
I took Jiu Jitsu for 3 years and loved it. I had to move and discontinued my training. That was quite a few years ago and have been thinking about training again.
Anyway, good luck with your future training and goals Black Belt Mama!
Your story is so inspiring and thank you for sharing it! I'm literally speechless. You're a very strong person and I admire that.
Wow what a strong and powerful story! I am so proud of you for the fight you put up and the way you removed yourself and your friend from that situation. Thank you for sharing your empowering story!
You are all so nice. Thank you.
Darrel-when you train at a good school like I do, there is no training with rage. You train, first and foremost, with control. It's not about beating people up. It's about learning a life protection skill and art; and it's as much of a mental journey as it is a physical one.
It sounds to me like she understands exactly what martial arts is about.....particularly about being in touch with your gut.
I second the acclaim about Gavin DeBecker's book "Gift of Fear". He talks again and again about how often we *know* something is wrong, but have been taught to discount our instincts. His book literally gives us the permission to listen to and RESPECT our instincts.
What a bad background, I am empathizing with you. That was tough and I know that you feeling so bad during that time. Nevertheless, i still hope that you have trained in martial arts with passion and not with rage.
Hi everyone! Good for you for fighting back! I had to fight a rapist one time in my life, When I was seventeen, I had a blind date with a guy, who seemed very nice at first. He made some excuse why he had to go by his house for a minute. ( I was very naive at that age ) I told him okay. when we got to his house and went inside, he said he could not turn on the light, because his room mate was asleep in a bed in the living room. We sat down on the couch and he started trying to rape me. I fought him, and started screaming as loud as I could. His room mate woke up and wanted to know what was going on. I ran out side and walked to a phone booth about a block away and called a cab and went home. I never heard from the creep again! It does make you feel empowered to fight and escape!
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It's great you kicked his ass, but I think the fact that your instincts were telling you from the beginning that it was a bad situation is just as important.
We should always listen to what our souls are telling us, because they do not lie.
Wonderful, inspiring story... thank you so much for sharing and for reminding us to trust that inner voice!
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So many times in my life I have ignored my gut.....and I have regretted it every time.
What an empowering post. This makes me want to go out and get some marital arts training.
Untypically Jia-everyone reacts differently and there is no way of knowing how you'll react until faced with that ugly reality. You should never be angry with yourself because of how you reacted; only angry at the person who crossed the line.
Maggie-thanks for having this site where we can speak out. I'm so glad I did.
Amazing story. One of the few times I've heard of fighting back working. it can also be dangerous.
So happy you've been able to challenge what happened into something productive like getting a black belt, too.
Good for you!!! One of life's biggest lessons is to trust your instinct. Many times I didn't and I'm just lucky I never had to be faced with a fight like yours. You've inspired me to sign up for a self defense class and to get my girls involved in martial arts. Thank you!
RT @MaggieDammit: Thank you! RT @blackbeltmama: speaking out at Violence Unsilenced today: http://bit.ly/anUmza #vu
Thank you for sharing your story. You are so right, our guts and our ability to trust them are some of the greatest tools we have. While horrible, I am so thankful you are able to tell the story you are and that the outcome is what it was.
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I spent my childhood not being allowed to trust my instincts. They have always been there and they have always been correct.
I am finally learning that I can trust them even when it causes embarrassment or inconveniece for someone else.
What a great lesson to share. Glad you're okay.
Reading this was like watching what I wish I would have done so many times. I'm angry that I let myself wait so long to get FURIOUS. Good for you sister!
Thank you so much for writing this. I love the message, and I praise the victory. My own two daughters are martial artists, and I also try to drive home the message of listening to our guts. It's hard.
But to those who are unable to fend off their attackers for whatever reason (alcohol, sedatives, surprise, shock, weapons, threats, fear, defeat, frustration, restraint, timing, and more) I just want to say it again: rape is never your fault. The onus is not on the victim.
Let's keep arming ourselves with self-defense knowledge and skills, as well as working toward a culture where we don't have to use them.
I am so glad that you were able to defend yourself. Thank you for sharing your story and your strength!
Way to kick his ass. I love it! And thank you for sharing. This is inspiring. I'm glad you could defend yourself. I hope the same for anyone else faced with this awful situation.
Wow. Thank you for all of the wonderful comments. I agree about women being raised not to listen to those instincts. Gavin DeBecker wrote a great book about it called "The Gift of Fear." Re-training ourselves to trust those inner voices is something we should all do.
As for that friend. . . we're not really friends anymore.
Melody-I think a lot of women in the martial arts are there because they've had some type of experience like this. I am working on becoming certified to teach women's self defense.
Thank you all so very much.
You are an inspiration. You are awesome. I am so very proud of you. It should never come down to needing to defend ourselves physically, but it does. I'm so glad you can and did.
No one should take advantage of the weakness, but we live in a world that is not what it should be.
How terrifying. What is it that makes us not trust those instincts? I've not trusted mine before because it might inconvenience someone or didn't seem polite or I thought I was being silly or too uptight, etc, etc, but thankfully never to the frightening result you experienced. And your friend, I wish I could even being to understand your friend's reaction. I'm glad you stopped him.
I wanted to tell you that I really relate to this...I earned three black belts and became a self-defense instructor after I was raped. The empowered feeling is something else. It takes a lot to get through something like that...I think it was great that you were able to fight. So many aren't.
I think not listening to our own inner voices and instincts is drilled into us as little girls (at least, certainly women of my generation - growing up in 50s/60s) - we're taught to be "nice", to be "polite", to not say no... So glad you DID succeed in getting out of that horrific situation.
Everyone always says, trust your instinct. So glad that you stopped him, and hopefully your friend eventually understood your need to leave. Thank you for sharing your story!
I'm with muskrat, I wish all of these stories had the same ending.
I'm so proud of you and in awe of you. I know that the "incident" is still something that shaped you into the woman you are today but I'm so glad that, should you ever be in a situation where force is needed to defend yourself, you'll be able to.
All women, myself included, should take this as their cue to learn how to defend themselves.