17 January 2012

Violence And Responses To It

Joan, Jami...

Following your fine example I assume the mantle of victim.

I mentioned it here.

I was the victim of physical abuse at the hands of my fellow students in 5th through 11th grade.  In Nevada, Iowa; Ames, Iowa; and Blaine, Minnesota.

That's more than five years of being verbally and physically assaulted, nearly always by someone who was bigger and stronger than me.  The school administration(s) did nothing to prevent the attacks or punish my tormentors until I fought back, then we were punished together.

As I mentioned the abuse stopped once I made it painful for the bully.

I didn't discover some odd event that only worked in one place.  I found the cure in Nevada, just as I moved to Ames.  I found the cure again in Blaine, just as I moved back to Ames.  The cure worked again in Ames.

Not just once.  Every time.  I only won one of those fights.  My last one in Blaine.  But it moved me from the prey category the bullies prefer.  I may have only been promoted from rabbit to porcupine, but I was no longer victimized.

I've been assaulted by jocks from Iowa State University for wearing the wrong kind of shirt in "their" bar.  I've watched the campus and city police do everything in their power to avoid actually punishing the athlete and thus destroying their hopes at a professional career.  I was threatened with prosecution if I made an issue of it and pressed charges (particularly since I gave better than I got in that fight).

Every experience with being the victim of violence has convinced me that I am on my own.  That the only way to stop the attack is to make the attacker unable to continue.

I have also noticed that once is seldom enough, you have to prove you will fight back every time.

What really changed for me since high school is I am perfectly willing to teach the lesson once, and finally now.  Attacking me and my loved ones carries a death sentence now.

My wife is also a victim.  Her story is not mine to tell.  I do know that the nightmares stopped shortly after she bought her first firearm.

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