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Violence Against Women - A Societal Issue
Violence against women has been around since the beginning of civilization and continues to be a massive global issue. When we say violence against women, we are mainly referring to violence against women from men. This violence can take on various forms, from verbal abuse and control to physical abuse and murder.
Violence against women occurs every day, all the time, and at an extremely micro level. For example it can be a male office manager verbally degrading his female office employees. Abuse can also be from partners or spouses. For example, husbands physically abusing their wives, and their wives are unable to report it or do anything about it because they are financially dependent on their husbands. Or a male uncle sexually abusing a niece.
In several instances, violence or abuse against women occurs in a public setting between two strangers. We see this daily with male construction workers who hang out on the street and catcall women walking by. And at the most extreme level, when a male perpetrator attacks, rapes, or kills a woman.
Let's be honest about one thing: it is impossible to stop these incidents from occurring. We can pray that society will change and we'll live in an ideal utopia where everyone has empathy and does the right thing, but that's unrealistic and naive. There are more than 7 billion people in this world, with roughly half of them being male. Each individual has their own mind, thoughts, urges, capacities, and values. It would be impossible to completely eradicate violence against women.
Violence against women however can be reduced. As society becomes more advanced, we're able to create a better, more balanced society. And it doesn't matter if you're a male or female. If you're a good person, you understand that this is a pervasive issue and we all have mothers and grandmothers, and most of us have sisters, girlfriend, wives, and female friends and family. Let's discuss some of the areas that can dramatically decrease the prevalence of violence against women.
Gender Based Violence Solutions
We'll go down the list of solutions to determine if they can actually be used or implemented and to what degree they will be effective solutions.
1. Societal Changes
Societal change is the macro, broadly encompassing solution that focuses on society, our values, and large scale changes throughout the world.
Our goal as a society should be to strive towards equality, compassion, and good intentions by all. Fortunately, we are headed in this direction as a global society due to education, awareness, and technology. The vast majority of criminals in society were once just young toddlers with blank canvases, looking for guidance, love, and safety.
It's important that we realize the significance of education and teaching children from a young age the lesson of compassion and humanity. Schools, teachers, parents, mentors, and siblings all play an integral role in molding children into responsible young adults. Additionally, it's important that we regulate what children are exposed to in television, movies, entertainment, video games, and the internet. Children are like sponges and exposure to certain types of violence could be detrimental to their development.
Awareness and technology sort of go hand in hand. Especially with the younger populations, everyone is always connected. While social media could have negative influences, the advent of social media has definitely been a positive influence on society. People can post pictures, videos, or written experiences about social injustices or causes and strangers from across the world can see these posts immediately. This has been a huge factor in creating awareness and action throughout society.
A societal change would clearly be the most impactful. Teaching young boys to respect women is a good start, and this can be accomplished in school, on the internet, and most importantly at home.
2. Stronger Legislation
Laws associated with violent crimes such as rape, aggravated assault, and murder, are certainly strong. But they can be stronger. For some people, punishment is the only deterrent. And for some people, incarceration is the only way to stop them from committing violent crimes. That's why strict law enforcement will have a positive impact on violence against women and violence in general.
Additionally, the government should provide more funding to organizations that empower women. Organizations and groups that support women in abusive relationships would allow women to receive support and a way out of a bad situation. If there was more focus on preventing these issues, the government would have to spend less on prosecuting criminals and housing them in jails.
Similar to a societal change, legislation is a fluid topic that will always face obstacles. It can never be the one factor that will completely solve this problem. While overall laws regarding violent crime towards women have been improving, there have been several recent setbacks due to the new president.
3. Improved Physical Training for Women
Physical training is one of the best ways to learn how to defend yourself. Physical training includes but is not limited to: martial arts and self-defense, strength training, cardio, playing sports, and active workouts. Any one of these alone or any combination or physical training will be extremely beneficial for self-defense purposes.
You might be asking how does taking a yoga class or running once a week help me defend myself? Simply put, any type of physical activity or exercise trains your body. For example, running once a week would help you sprint and flee a dangerous attacker better than if you've never ran in your life. Taking a yoga class might help your overall flexibility - if an attacker were to try to jump you and strike you in the face, you might be able to bend your body to avoid the blow or at least maintain your composure in a struggle.
Obviously, learning mixed martial arts or strength training will have a more direct correlation on defending oneself against an attacker. But don't short change the positive effects of being physically active. At the very least, you're working various joints, muscles, tendons, and organs that may have been stagnant and unused. You are conditioning your breathing, stamina, endurance, and strength.
Both Vanessa Marcotte and Karina Vetrano were physically active. It's no surprise that both women fought for their lives by scratching, hitting, and fighting with their respective attackers while jogging. This ultimately helped law enforcement catch their attackers.
4. Arming Women with Self-Defense Weapons
Self-defense weapons are one of the best ways to combat violence against women. A self-defense weapon can achieve many different effective results. A woman holding a pocket knife might deter an attacker. If a woman sprays pepper spray into a man's face, that can incapacitate him and allow her to flee and call for help. In a rare situation, a woman with a gun can lethally and legally kill an attacker if she feels her life was in danger. In some cases this is the only option and we would much rather her be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
Let's look at the most effective self-defense weapon a woman can use and make our way down the list to the least effective weapon.
Guns. We would love if every woman in America was a trained, responsible, smart gun holder. However, this leads to several issues. Primarily, not many people would be trained, responsible, smart gun owners, and there would be countless incidents where individuals are killed based on miscommunication or accidents. Secondly, carrying a gun around is heavy, burdensome, and dangerous. It's also expensive. These are the reasons why women don't carry guns around with them for self-defense purposes.
Pocket Knives. Knives, blades, daggers, or other types of sharp weapons are cheaper than guns, lighter than guns, and less burdensome. Why don't women carry around knives? It's unnecessary. It would be the equivalent to someone carrying a first aid kit on them, in case they were to get a cut. No one does that, because it hardly ever happens.
Stun Guns / Pepper Sprays. The most well-known self-defense products are stun guns and pepper spray. Stun guns have the ability to send an electric current to the target and disable him/her. Pepper sprays have the ability to cover a target in tear-inducing, blinding, fluids that will disable him/her. We actually really like both of these self-defense products. They are very effective when used properly and can strike the target. The issues with stun guns and pepper sprays are similar to the other weapons in this category. Do women really want to carry these items around with them - in their bag, purse, or pockets, if they might not ever have to use them? Stun guns and pepper spray cans are not small either. In a minimalist society, carrying extra bulky items is a huge turnoff.
5. Modern Self-Defense Wearables
Violence against women is unpredictable. It can occur in any neighborhood and at any time of day. It can occur if you're going to work, meeting a friend for dinner, or running errands. Therefore a woman needs a self-defense product that she'll have on her at all times. Buying a can of pepper spray that sits in her bedroom closet is not going to help when an unpredictable attack occurs.
Additionally, violent attacks happen quickly and without warning. A victim might have only a few seconds until she realizes that she's in danger. A pocket knife that's sitting at the bottom of a woman's purse won't be any good if she can't retrieve and open it before she's getting attacked.
Guns, knives, pepper spray, and stun guns are all self-defense weapons that fell short at the most important things: Convenience. Practicality. Accessibility.
Our self-defense ring, Defender Ring™, is the best all-around product for protection. We've developed it as fashionable jewelry first and foremost so women can wear our ring to work, running errands, to a friend's birthday party, or out jogging. It looks exactly like any other ring she has.
Defender Ring™ can be worn in all situations at any time of day so a woman will always be armed in case a random violent attack were to occur. If necessary, she can unsheathe the blade and will have a sharp blade mounted and attached to her first that can draw blood, slice skin, and inflict pain.
How to Combat Violence Against Women Conclusion
There are many different actions we can take to combat violence against women. However, we can't be too idealistic in our thinking. There will always be individuals with bad intentions and violent crime will never go away. Whether it's due to mental illnesses, socio-economic differences, or relationships and emotions, women will always have a need to defend themselves.