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sparrow wrote:First - there should be some general guidelines for behavior. It should be made absolutely clear that abuse - physical or mental/emotional - of other individuals, male or female will not be tolerated.
sparrow wrote:Second - hold trainings and discussions on the issues of violence, conflict resolution, sexual assault and gender relations. This will help to increase awareness of the potential problems and make it easier for survivors of abuse to come forward.
sparrow wrote:Third - hold self defense classes for the women members. Being able to defend one's self is important. However, self defense classes are not sufficient (Having a 1st dan in Tae Kwon Do did not protect me from being in abusive relationships. In fact, in someways it made it harder for me to understand the abuse - since I was supposed to be tough.). Make sure that women in the group know that they have value and the right to establish boundaries even with individuals with whom they have been sexually intimate.
Four - group members should look out for each other. If you see something that seems amiss - bruises, depression etc. offer help. Often survivors are afraid or don't know what to do.
Please don't let the discussion become bogged down in questions over whether one should attack the abuser - act as a hero or something. First I'm not sure how that would help the survivor. I was married to a emotionally abusive man who was becoming physically abusive (slammed me into a wall) when I left. I finally hauled off and hit him. It didn't really help me at all and could have evolved into a very dangerous situation. All it did was prove that I could hit him. What did help was support from my friends and family, counseling and establishing new positive relationships based upon mutual respect.
-YudaI read something somewhere - might have been here, but it was a good point an bears repeating....
assuming that a rapist is innocent until proven guilty is the same as assuming the person raped is a lair until proven other wise
I understand the premise that you cannot liberate others on a mental, or "Spiritual" level, but can only give suggestions, and hope that others choose liberation for themselves of their own free will.
However, I think that this idea that you cannot liberate others, which was bassed on some amount of truth, is being taken to excess, and applied in ways that are not rational.
I admire certain actions of the ALF. Not all anarchists are nessisarily advocates of animal liberation, but I certainly am. I do not believe that these animals can free themselves from their physical cages or escape tourture in lab testing if we only "Give them space, and let them liberate themselves". Its not realisitc.
Likewise, you cannot empower another woman (Or man) against their will. You cannot choose for them to take the path of liberation, becuase only they can make that choice.
However, if sometimes cries "Help!", whoever they are, I reject the notion that responding to a request for help is in any way authoritarian, or in any way inhibits their ability to pursue their own path of liberation. Its just a matter of looking out for each others physical safety.
What can I do more than talking about it? More workshops? Zines? I find all of the usual suspects to be futile and betraying the real violence/disease.
Just as there will never be a libertarian "revolution" so to speak, the revolution is in the struggle everyday to realize egalitarian relationships in place of authoritarian and hierarchical social, economic and personal relationships, so too will there never a dramatic elimination of societal ills such as rape or other preditory behaviour.
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