Lauren Taylor has taught self-defense for more than 20 years, and is certified by the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation (find a local instructor at www.nwmaf.org). She's taught thousands of women, teens, children and men in the Washington, DC, area, and specializes in teaching survivors of abuse and assault, LGBT people, and people with disabilities. Sarah T of 5 Smooth Stones self-defense has been teaching conflict resolution and self defense since 1995. Most of her hundreds of students are teenagers in high-crime environments and women survivors of abusive relationships.
Self Defense - Dealing with Harassment
Self-defense instructors Lauren Taylor and Sarah T demonstrate how to deal with harassment.
Lauren Taylor: Hi, I am Lauren Taylor from defend yourself, we are working on self-defense today and right now, we are going to work on how to deal with harassment. Now a lot of people think about harassment, well, can I just ignore it and the answer is yes, you can ignore it. But there are lot of times when ignoring is not the safest thing to do. So, you want to have other choices. Some of the times when it might not be the safest thing to do are when walking away and ignoring it, is not a safe option. There is nowhere else to go. There is no one to get help from around you.
Another possibility is as Sarah talked about a minute ago. They maybe testing you to see if they can do something more intense, move on to an attack and a third possibility is that they are a person you see everyday. Say there is someone at school. There is someone at work. Yes, you can ignore and you can walk away but you are going to have to deal with them with tomorrow. So, you may want to set a limit. If you decide to set a limit you want to use those three channels, your voice, your body and your face. All together in sync to give a consistent message. If they don't respect your message, if they don't respond to your message, you going to repeat yourself and you are going to get more intense.
Now, we are going to show a couple of scenes, how you put that together to deal with harassment. In this scene, Sarah is going to be street harasser and I am just walking down the street.
Sarah: Wow, you look good.
Lauren Taylor: Don't talk to me like that.
Sarah: Excuse me.
Lauren Taylor: I said, I don't - that's disrespectful. Please don't talk to me like that.
Sarah: I am impressed, you are a sexy lady.
Lauren Taylor: I don't appreciate it. Don't talk to me like that. In the second scenario, I am the harasser. Lauren Taylor: Hey Sarah, how was your weekend? Sarah: It was fine. How was yours? Lauren Taylor: Good, good what did you do? Sarah: I just hung out, you know, the usual.
Lauren Taylor: Did you go on any dates, anything interesting, anything juicy.
Sarah: I don't think that's appropriate to talk about.
Lauren Taylor: Oh, come on what's the matter. I just -- you are such a gorgeous woman. You don't have anybody. I just.
Sarah: No, thank you.
Lauren Taylor: You know.
Sarah: Take your hands off me. Just step back, step back.
Lauren Taylor: I thought you liked me. I like you, I am not the.
Sarah: Step back, could you please take a step back Lauren. Look, I just don't think that's appropriate to talk about at work. We can talk about work things, but let us just leave my personal life out of it, okay.
Lauren Taylor: In the third scenario, we are going to talk about dealing with family which for a lot of people can be the most difficult. In this scene, Sarah is going to be my uncle Herbert and we are at the family gathering. Hey, uncle Herbert, how are you?
Sarah: Lauren, It's so good to see you. You have really grown up. Lauren Taylor: It's really good to see you too.
Sarah: You have the.
Lauren Taylor: I am grown up and so I don't like people putting their hands all over me and stuff. Sarah: Well.
Lauren Taylor: Yeah. It's really good to see you but I don't want you to put your hands all over me. Sarah: Oh, it will fine bye.
Lauren Taylor: Now, as Sarah just showed you are not always going to get a wonderful response from the person. They may do what we call a parting shot, call your name or say there's something wrong with you or say you are hypersensitive. That's okay; you have to define your success for yourself. For me, it was the right in one uncle Herbert to put it hands on me and so that worked. That some ways to deal with harassment. Next, we are going to talk about how to hit and what to hit with.