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Trib article about non-physical self-defense

06.27.17 by Amy Jones

The Chicago Tribune has an article (dated June 25, 2017) about a woman who used her wits, communication skills, and some strategic positioning positions (what we would call the Think, Yell, and Run fingers) to escape a man who sexually assaulted her.  Of course, to hear the Trib tell it, “her ordeal eventually ended early Thursday when a ‘good Samaritan’ Uber driver came to the woman’s rescue as she ran from her attacker [. . .].”  Reading further, though, it’s clear that the woman had called the Uber driver from the perpetrator’s bathroom, so it sounds to me like she saved herself.

My intent is not to cast aspersions on the Uber driver, at all — I’m very glad he helped her in the final phase of her escape.  Still, it’s a little irritating that the article highlights his ‘good Samaritan-hood’ of responding to a fare, but doesn’t frame the woman’s own actions — which, according to the article, include a) calling an Uber once it became clear that the assailant was ignoring her wish to go home, b) setting a clear verbal boundary during the assault, c) noticing that it wasn’t working and switching strategies to stalling by insisting the perpetrator use a condom, and d) escaping his grab attempt — as self-defense.  In other words, it’d be nice if the Trib gave the survivor a little more credit for her own self-protective actions.  Still, I applaud the Tribune for publishing the article, and including the survivor’s actions in the narrative.

 

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