It Happened To Me. Why Every Woman Needs To Learn Jiu-Jitsu.


By Taylor O’Mara


After more than 10 years of dealing with the triggers, flashbacks, haunting memories, and lack of trust I believe I am finally defeating it; I am defeating being a victim of rape. I am learning to become a survivor of it. I started practicing Jiu Jitsu about 8 months ago and that’s where everything changed.


I started training Jiu Jitsu because my child started in it. I didn’t start it for the self-defense aspect of it. A couple weeks ago I was faced with a huge flashback. We were drilling the “rape choke” and just the name of it caused a trigger. I am typically able to overcome the small triggers without an issue. A lot of Jiu Jitsu causes triggers for me. Once we started drilling it over and over again, I kept going back to it all happening again. It was playing on repeat in my head. Even though going through the flashback was really difficult, there was a positive part with it. I learned how to defend myself from that position.


A couple days after this happened, I overheard a conversation after class. A younger girl was asked if her dad made her start Jiu Jitsu or if she wanted to. She said it was both, but her dad wanted her to know some self-defense before she started dating any boys. I was only a year older than her when I was attacked. I wish I knew back then what I know now.


I have read opinions from people that say Jiu Jitsu is not going to help you defend yourself. It’s an opinion not a fact. In all three of the incidents I faced, Jiu Jitsu would of helped me tremendously. When I was pinned down in a truck by his weight, the only thing I could think of was to keep my knees up to protect myself. I didn’t know then that by wrapping my legs around him I would have more control. I did not know that I could of choked him with his own shirt. I probably wouldn’t of been fighting for as long as I did.


If someone believes that they can’t be a victim of rape, you are wrong. It can happen and it happened to me. What happened when I was younger was traumatic, but I think the reality of all of it sank in when I was assaulted as an adult. I was in the comfort of my own office, where I felt safe. However, I learned I was not safe and should have been more aware after my co-worker of a couple years started acting strangely. He tried to keep me cornered by my desk but I got up and walked away. He decided to follow me and start forcing himself on me. I said no a hundred times but he never listened. I knew what was happening then and once I realized he pushed me into the wall with the rape choke. I had no idea of what to do but yell and yell as loud as I could. I knew no one could hear me because I was alone, but that firm voice got him to stop and walk out.


It has been 5 years since that happened and 2 years ago I received a letter from him. A letter apologizing for what he did and telling me he did it because he felt like he could have anything he wanted. I do not believe he is truly sorry and I will not let my guard down because an attacker apologized. I will only learn more ways to defend myself from it ever happening again.


I know most women carry guns now to defend themselves. However, will your daughter have one on her if it happens to her? In my situation, as an adult, it would of been in another room, nowhere near where it happened. I have to learn to defend myself with my own body in case I don’t have another weapon of choice. You might not have one on you, either, when it happens. It really can happen anywhere. I cannot stress that enough. I thought it would of never happened and it did. I was wrong.


Jiu Jitsu is not the only self-defense out there to learn. There are all types of things out there to learn. I think it is great to take advantage of everything you can. You can attend seminars for women’s self-defense but consistency and practice are the keys. Practicing a technique only ten times is not going to allow you to do it without having to think.


Only a couple of people know about what has happened. I’m not one to speak about it. However, I hope that it can help someone else. Maybe it will help another woman in my situation of dealing with being a survivor of rape. Maybe it will get more women into training so they can have the self-defense training to protect themselves.





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