Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Because It's Important

This is a post with a serious subject. I won't judge anyone for bailing on this post if you don't follow me for serious subject matter. Fair enough and all that. Ready for the heavy stuff? Then let's take the jump together...

There are a handful of topics that I hold near and dear to my heart due to personal experience. It would be nice if life hadn't handed me these particular experiences but it did. I've found the best way forward for myself is to accept them, learn from them, and do what I can to help others when dealing with them.

Once upon a time, I wrote an article about abuse. It's a serious matter that affects people indiscriminately. Abuse comes in many shapes, shades and forms. No one is given a "get out-of-jail-free" card because of their gender, race, or age. In fact, any and all of those factors are used as justifications by abusers.

Sexual abuse and rape are two pieces of the abuse puzzle I'm touching on today. Studies have been done showing a correlation of resistance reducing the probability of sexual contact or rape. Resistance can take many forms, from verbal through the physical. However, to my limited knowledge, no studies have been done about the correlation of resistance to sexual assault and personal injury.

I want to discuss this topic today because a new product line for women has come across my radar. AR Wear - Confidence & Protection That Can Be Worn. They're trying to gain funding for development and I think it's important to contribute if we can. I'm aware there are a lot of controversial responses to the garment. I'd like to ask those who feel strongly one way or another to please remember to be kind if leaving a comment. As hard as it is for me to publicly admit, I'd have liked to have had this garment because I believe it would've given me more of a fighting chance.


ARWEAR from ARWEAR on Vimeo.

 I suppose I've felt compelled to speak about this product for two reasons. 

Firstly, as I've already mentioned, any additional opportunity to thwart my attacker would have been something I wholeheartedly would have welcomed. I strongly support anyone taking necessary measures to empower and protect themselves from unwanted physical contact. Whether it's through a rape whistle, self-defence classes, self-defence tools (i.e. pepper spray where legal), and now protective clothing.

Secondly, I've been witnessing some exceptionally negative public backlash to this product. It seems an injustice to blame this garment, or any other means of people defending themselves, for unwanted sexual contact escalating into a more violent situation. I don't believe the inventors of this product line had anything but good intentions. Let's focus on being part of a proactive movement to protect ourselves and those we care about.

Helpful contacts in the UK and Dorset areas:

National DV helpline (24hr)
0808 2000247
 
Men’s Advice Line
(national helpline for male victims)
0808 8010327
 
Childline
0800 1111
 
Respect National Helpline
(for perpetrators)
0845 1228609
 
Broken Rainbow National
LGBT DV helpline
0300 9995428
 
Dorset ARC
(Sexual assault referal centre)
0845 5198638
 
Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre
01202 308855
 
Victim Support
0845 3899528

3 comments:

  1. First of all, I'm so sorry you have to know so much about this topic first hand. Nothing like this has ever been a blip on my radar and while I have gotten enough jokes that it's because I wear my "protective gear" daily (being fat) it's not a joke at all and I'm thankful for whatever has kept me safe no matter what it is.



    I'll admit I didn't immediately read through the comments the other day because I wanted to watch the video and think about it. I guess I am of the camp who doesn't understand why this kind of product is a bad thing. No one says it takes the place of stopping the people who do this, but obviously that hasn't happened yet and the world is ultimately NOT a nice place all the time. My super loose analogy went to saying something like knee pads for skateboarding are bad. Ultimately the goal is not to fall over, but it's good to have something to keep you safe just in case. Anyway I am interested to see where this company goes and what they can come up with.

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  2. Thank you Cassy. I actually had to not allow myself to do much on the computer after posting this for a few days.

    I agree with your analogy. I have to admit that my brain made a much more extreme analogy. I immediately thought of police officers. They wear bulletproof vests to protect themselves from criminals who are willing to go that extra length to avoid going to jail. The vests don't stop a criminal from being able to shoot a vest wearer in the head but if they save even one life, that's something right?

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  3. ElleSees.blogspot.comJanuary 20, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    i think this could definitely bring some comfort and power to many.

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