Ladies Night driving force Warwick Police district crime prevention co-ordinator Acting Senior Constable Sarah Ellis with SDVMA speaker Liz Brown spoke to Warwick 15 to 80 year olds on how to feel safe.
Ladies Night driving force Warwick Police district crime prevention co-ordinator Acting Senior Constable Sarah Ellis with SDVMA speaker Liz Brown spoke to Warwick 15 to 80 year olds on how to feel safe.

Ladies Night pulls big crowd

AFTER a girl is born she’s taught to be kind, nice and nurturing.

Not to wear that short skirt because it’ll invite trouble, not be rude and to park under street lights. Women are taught to be afraid.

But a woman’s life doesn’t have to be like that – fearing the hypothetical boogie man.

About 200 women packed into the RSL for Ladies Night on Wednesday, a self-help seminar organised by Warwick Police held by Suzanne Daley’s Violence Minimisation Alliance speaker Liz Brown.

“It’s about taking calculated risks,” Ms Brown said.

“Women are conditioned to be scared. Mothers teach daughters to be nice but they forgot to tell them it’s OK not to be nice.

“Not (to) be nice when you feel unsafe or your personal space has been invaded.

“Men are taught to be kind, strong and confident men. No one would tell a man he’s too provocative in stubby shorts and to park under a light.

“For every woman who is assaulted, four men are assaulted. The high-risk category are 19-year-old men, but women are the ones who are conditioned to be afraid.”

Ms Brown – a former police officer for 16-and-a-half years – said 80 per cent of assaults on women were by people they knew.

“Four out of five assaults are by someone they know, so if you hang around good and decent people you’ve taken your risk down considerably,” she said.

“Are you taught to be afraid of people you know? No, it’s the strangers you’re taught to fear but statistically they’re not the ones.”

So there goes the random boogie man theory.

The most common places were assaults occur against are at home and places where alcohol is sold.

“That’s the good thing about getting old: The older you get the less likely you are to be assaulted with 15 to 25 year olds in the risk category,” Ms Brown said.

“Young people are in the (high-risk zone) because they’re out with people they know and they often go to places where there’s alcohol.”

There’s one thing for sure, you wouldn’t want to bump into Ms Brown in a dark alley. She’s not tall, not offensively muscular, but she does exude this self-confidence.

The free seminar was an opportunity for Southern Downs women to sit together and learn ways to manage their fear as statistics show are victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence would have sat in King’s Theatre that night.

“If – and that’s a capital ‘I’ – something happens, it’s not your fault,” Ms Brown said.

“It’s not because you were wearing ‘that’ outfit.

“There are four things ‘they’ have in common, they who is everyone from the sleaze bag to the rapist and murderer. The reason for rape is a power thing; it has nothing to do with sex.

“Two: It’s a power thing; they’re doing to this to feel powerful. They’re cowards; they look for someone with vulnerability. Three: They have expectations on how the assault will take place, where they will make the assault and how the victim will act. And four, they choose the victim because they’re 100 per cent certain they will win.

“Body language is your strongest tool, have purpose and be aware. Your aim is not to be their easy, soft target.”


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