I’m writing to express my hope that if the Daily covers the attempted sexual assault that took place on Mar. 27, it will provide details about how the intended victim successfully fought off the man who attacked her.
Unfortunately, a lot of reporting on sexual assault ignores or obscures women’s resistance to violence. When our communities are repeatedly exposed only to stories that emphasize vulnerability in women and violence in men, we internalize false, sexist messages leading to apathy and despair.
I celebrate that this young woman successfully stopped a violent attack even though she was pinned to the ground by the perpetrator. As a self-defense instructor, I know it’s a myth that there’s “nothing you can do” from the ground. In reality, kicking from the ground can be an extremely strong position for a defender. For example, most women’s legs are stronger than most men’s arms. Young women can defend themselves.
Daily readers should know that University community members have taken self-defense classes through the Rackham Graduate School, the U-M Dearborn Women’s Center, MFIT, U-Move and at some on-campus sororities despite the fact that there is no campus-wide program offering training for students.