Special Report: Fighting Back - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Special Report: Fighting Back

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

Bainbridge,  GA (WALB) - Statistics show that one in three women is raped, but many of those rapes aren't even reported. The scars of rape linger and the violence is never forgotten by the victim.

A south Georgia woman talks about an attack that happened 28 years ago when she was just a teenager and was raped by a man she knew.

Nine times of ten, women are raped by someone they know. Maybe not a close friend, but an acquaintance. And it happens more than you think. But some south Georgia women aren't going down without a fight.

"NO!"is a simple word. But when shouted in unity, it packs a powerful punch. For one group of south Georgia women, NO, is their message, No to being attacked. No, to becoming a victim.

"No means no. This is your body and you have a right to defend it," said Capt. Liz  of the Decatur County Sheriff's Office.

The class is called RAD: Rape Aggression Defense. Women learn techniques on how to fight, then put their skills to the test.

Many women are able to get away unharmed. Others aren't as fortunate.

"He beat me where it would be concealed to most people," said one victim.

Our victim, whose identity we're protecting, was only a 17-year-old college student, when she was brutally beaten and raped.

"I had just met him a week before. He said 'We're having a get together at our house, bring your friends,".

She went to the party. The charming, older fraternity boy offered her a drink. "I drank one beer and that was the end of that, he had drugged me.

The rest of her night, is a blur. "I couldn't speak or move. He used a broomstick to completely destroy my insides. And I have memories of that. Have memories of some of his fraternity guys watching from outside. Talk about a way to crush the spirit of a 17-year-old," said the victim.

She spent days at the school's infirmary, and a lifetime with the painful memories. Now, she hopes her story will encourage others to be proactive.

Deputies say taking a self-defense class like RAD is a perfect first step.

"It is to empower women.  You don't have to be strong or athletic," said the victim.

"Every woman can do it. Because I didn't think I'd be able to do it, but I've surprised myself," said class participant Lisa Pack.

If you ever do find yourself if a compromising situation, target the areas of vulnerability.

"Nose, throat, groin, lower legs, go for those, the areas they won't expect," said Croley.

And don't be afraid to yell for help.

"Be aggressive, be loud, if you're talking to your aggressor you're breathing, you're not going to pass out. Do not give up, you can do this," said Croley.

"90 percent of your rapist if they see verbal resistance from a female, they'll run away," said FSU Crime Prevention Officer Garrett Williams.

If you are a victim, like this woman, she says the first step is talking.

"I allowed this man to get away with what he did. There were others after me, I could have protected them," said our victim.

She also reminds women everywhere, it's not your fault.  "When you are assaulted it has nothing to do with sexuality but everything to do with violence and control , but everything about taking what is not offered."

So no matter who you are, or what your story is, hold your head high, stay alert, and always be prepared to fight back.

Of course not putting yourself in potentially dangerous situations plays a huge role in self defense, too. If you go running, do it in the daytime and with a buddy. When you go on a date with someone new, let your friends know where you're going to be and keep your phone on.

And of course, whether you're at a bar or party, don't accept drinks from anyone unless you physically saw them open or pour it.

Click HERE for more information on Rape Agression Defense

  • The Decatur County Sheriff's Office offers the RAD class once a month, and it's free.

The date are: November 16, 17, 18, and 19, and December 1, 3, 8, and 10. The times are: 6:00 until 9:00 PM. For more information call the Decatur Co. Sheriff's Office at 229-248-3044.

The sheriff's office is also conducting a ladies-only pistol class. Call them from more information.

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