On March 13th, we posted the article ‘Not today, Motherf—ker’: Runner Takes Down Attacker, on our Facebook page. It was one of PrepareInc.’s most trafficked Facebook posts ever. The article recounts the story of Kelly Herron, a jogger who was brutally attacked while making a public restroom stop. She credits her recently acquired self-defense skills as essential to her survival of attempted rape and assault.
It’s a double-edged sword to share the stories of folks who “fight back” and “win”. We want to be careful not to imply that a person always should resist. Kelly can speak only for herself when she says that “keep fighting” and “never give up” worked for her. We don’t believe that choosing not to resist means you are at fault. You aren’t, ever. We don’t believe success is only measured if an attack is intercepted.
Whether you choose to resist or not, we will always place the blame squarely where it belongs: on the aggressor.
So, why did we share this story with our community and how do we think about these stories? First, we know that our graduates and Facebook readers sometimes need and want to cheer when assailants don’t succeed. Those types of posts are consistently well received. Our students value hearing about how others have called upon their verbal and physical skills in real life scenarios.
Second, these stories serve as a counterpoint to the lack of information and misinformation about the efficacy of resistance. Resistance can work.Those of us who teach and promote Empowerment Self-Defense feel gratitude when self-defense classes are credited with saving a life or preventing rape.
However, each “feel good” moment comes at a cost. For every story that raises our spirits and ends with someone who stops an assault, the story begins with someone experiencing violence. And it’s really hard to cheer for that.
 Tark and Kleck “Resisting Rape” Violence Against Women Special Issue in Self-defense (pp 270-292): of women who resist: 19.1% of rapes are completed, of women who do not resist: 80.1% are completed