Often times men are not really aware of the violence and patriarchy that women face on a regular basis. Even when we do become aware, we don’t realize that it is an almost ever-present reality for them.
Young women, low-income women, and some minorities are more prone to attacks. Women from ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk of non-fatal domestic violence.
These statistics only scratch the surface. Some women, like Lilly Germond, of Seattle, Washington, are victims of random attacks. This is one of the many examples of why self-defense is important.
Luckily for Germond, she is the daughter of a police officer, a former State of California tactical commander, who insisted she take Taekwondo lessons for 10 years. Lessons that came in very handy indeed.
Around 3 a.m. Germond had come home from her job at an eatery. She parked about a block away from her building and began walking home.
Quickly she noticed a man following her who was walking fast to close the distance. Believing he was a fellow resident she held the door open for him to enter the building.
She quickly realized he had a machete and backed up against her apartment’s door. Her assaulter, 21-year-old Steven Jahn, grabbed her by the throat and told her to “Don’t [expletive] move.”
She quickly offered Jahn her bag but he refused and repeated his threat. That is when she decided to rely on her years of martial arts training.
“OK, here we go,It’s either fight or die.” she said to herself, as reported in The Seattle Times. She dropped her bag and grabbed the machete, cutting her hand.
Her boyfriend Chauncey Arkfeld, asleep on the couch in their shared apartment, heard her screaming for him.
“I heard her being shoved against our door, and screaming,” Arkfeld said on Facebook. “In a panic, I leapt up from the couch, and opened the door to see her being dragged out of our apartment building at knifepoint.”
Becoming aware of Arkfeld, Jahn tried to escape. Germond took the opportunity to grab him by the coat and forced him into a headlock.
The two fell out the door of the complex and down a flight of stairs. Jahn attempted to bite Germond to hasten his escape.
“I didn’t want him to do this to someone else,” Germond said. Arkfeld rushed to assist Germond as she took his machete away. She ended up beating her attacker with a broken table leg she found near her building.
“He was a coward, He was like, ‘Please stop hitting me. This was my first time doing this,’” Arkfeld said.
“Our clothes torn, with me on top of this guy with a knife to his gut and my hand on his throat, we screamed for help.” Arkfeld wrote on facebook.
The neighbors and property manager were awoken by the commotion and the police were summoned. Not only was a second knife found, but a roll of tape was found by the apartment door as well.
“This guy followed my girlfriend from her car with a machete and duct tape. Think about that for a second,” Arkfeld said. Arkfeld and Garmond each sustained minor cuts and bruises.
“I’m almost in tears when I talk about her, not because I’m sad but because I’m proud, She’s a warrior woman and she’s trained all her life to do this. And I want other girls and other daughters to hear early training is good, self-defense is good.” Germond’s father said.
He added, “My wife said, ‘All these years I thought you were nuts, but you were right.’” Germond agreed, stating “Those lessons were a chore when I was a child, but I think they really saved my life.”
The world can be dangerous and it goes a long way to be prepared. This does not mean we have to live in fear but can take precautions to protect ourselves.
For all the women out there, I hope you will be inspired by Germond and have some self-defense options in your life. For all the men out there I hope you will learn to respect women and will seek help if you feel you have violent or cruel tendencies.
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