Tuesday, October 23, 2007

True Stories: Nine-Year-Old Girl Protects Herself

The Washington Post reports that a nine-year-old girl kicked a man in the groin after he began to molest her.

The incident occurred in a Virginia Wal-Mart. The girl ran off immediately to find her mother and the man was arrested within a few minutes.

According to The Post story, the man told the girl he was a police officer -- though he didn't show an ID -- and needed to check her pockets for stolen goods. The story says he molested her while doing this; I assume they mean he touched her groin area, though given that he had no right to touch her at all, putting his hands on any part of her body should be considered an assault.

Obviously this young woman is brave and level-headed. As soon as she realized she was in trouble, she responded quickly and appropriately -- she kicked to get the man to let go of her and then she ran off.

I doubt that her kick disabled the man -- even if she studies karate or other martial arts and knows how to kick well, and even though men's groins are vulnerable, I suspect a nine-year-old's kick might not be strong enough to do much damage. But the kick did something just as valuable: It startled the man enough so that he let go of her, allowing her to run.

That's an important lesson for us all: Even if you're in a situation where you must fight , you don't have to be the best fighter on the block. You just have to do something that gives you an opening to get away -- like this young woman did.

Hooray for her. She took care of herself.


Chris said...

Way to defend thyself little girl! Pepper spray in the face also works wonders to stop perverts...

Zed said...

I wouldn't be so sure that a 9 year old can't generate enough force to disable on a groin shot. A friend of mine who teaches self-defense for women and children didn't bother with a cup during the child self-defense demos, as he's a big, stocky man who is proud of his ability to take hits even to sensitive places.

This works better when you're limiting the contact area with your own motion.

When he had some difficulty getting a shy girl of 7 or so to show what she had been taught at a demo for the parents of the students, he simulated a wide step forward lunging at her to get her to react.

She did react -- a sidestep and a flawless snap-kick directly underneath the groin while he was stepping forward. A lucky parent got a photograph of him with both feet a couple cm off of the ground, his mouth open in a rather surprised 'O' before he fell over. I got to see the photo, though I unfortunately didn't get to keep a copy.

This ran in the family, I'm told, as a year later her 13-year-old or so sister did almost the same thing to the instructor's most senior student. :P

I wouldn't rely on it happening, certainly, but I wouldn't be surprised if the molester wasn't moving so quickly after being hit, either.