Other People's Words

Transcript: AWN interview with Anny Jacoby, personal safety expert

Posted in Uncategorized by Tera on February 4, 2010

This is a transcript of an interview with Anny Jacoby at the Autism Women’s Network

Sharon daVanport: Okay. Good day, everyone, and welcome to AWN Radio. My name is Sharon daVanport. I am your host, and today is Saturday, January 30. I have with us today our guest, Anny Jacoby. Anny is absolutely one of my all-time favorite professionals with respect to safety and women, and most especially because Anny has just been awesome and wonderful about taking a special interest in learning about the autism spectrum and the unique vulnerabilities as it applies to females with an autism spectrum difference. I just wanna say, thank you, Anny. Are you with us?

Anny Jacoby: I am. I am here. Thank you.

Sharon daVanport” Thank you, ‘cause you’re sick. You’re sick and you still made it.

Anny Jacoby: Well, thank goodness that you can do this from your home and in your pajamas. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: Right. I know. Lucky we don’t have the webcam on, right?

Anny Jacoby: Uh, yeah. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: have you done some of those Blogtalk shows where they do a webcam?

Anny Jacoby: No, I have not done any. I wouldn’t mind doing them; I think they’re kind of cool, the webinar type things, but no, I haven’t done any, personally, myself.

Sharon daVanport: Me, either. I don’t think I want to. I think I like to stay comfortable and behind the camera.

Anny Jacoby: Well, it’s always nice to put a face with a voice, but not today, girls. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: No. Well, thank you for being with us, even though you’re sick. I feel terrible. And you’re in the middle of snow—-like seven inches of show, you said, while you’re sick. So that can’t be fun.

Anny Jacoby: Yeah. The sun would be nice to get you out of that funk of being with a sinus infection and ear infection. But, yeah, here we have seven inches of snow, which we don’t hardly ever get weather [like this.] I’m born and raised in snow, but I don’t miss it at all. What are you gonna do? You just hunker down and you enjoy it. And you talk to Sharon with AWN, and we go forward. That’s all we do.

Sharon daVanport: Well, there you go. We’ll try to get through this as painlessly as possible. How about that?

Anny Jacoby: Oh, we’ll be fine. We’ll be fine. Trust me.

Shron daVanport: I have to say that when I started following the radio shows that you would do here on Blogtalk, I began to understand that personal safety training isn’t what a lot of people initially think. It was you that coined: “It’s not about muscle, it’s about smarts and strategy.” You really helped us to appreciate that it’s not so much knowing what not to do, but even what to do. There’s just a whole strategy to it. Can you explain what your personal safety training method is about?

Anny Jacoby: Absolutely. First of all, thank you for having me back again. I always enjoy chatting with you and reaching out to your colleagues and your friends. I thank everybody for welcoming me so warmly. But whenever you talk about personal safety, most people refer to it as “self-defense.” The first thing that usually pops into someone’s mind when you say “self-defense” is the physical aspect of trying to defend yourself. Then the next thing that comes into your mind is martial arts.

I don’t know the first thing about martial arts. My boys studied it when they were really, really young, and I’ve got colleagues who are martial artists, and I have the utmost respect for anybody that studies martial arts. To me, though, it was just a little bit too complicated and it took too long to learn.

But martial arts is a sport. And when I refer to “personal safety,” as with any self-defense—-whether it be my type of training that we’re certified in, or martial arts, or any kind of self-defense—-the first step to self-defense or personal safety is awareness. Being a survivor of domestic violence and working in this field for over 20 years, I really saw that there was a need for our females, and really, our young people, especially, but all females to be educated about awareness, and about how to be proactive. What are safety tips that we can take?

Like I say all the time, no matter if it’s an abusive situation, a relationship or if it’s just an assault by a stranger, females do not fight males with strength. It’s just not possible—-it’s not feasible. You cannot overpower a man with muscle mass. So what we have to do is teach females of all ages how to use their knowledge; how to be ten steps ahead and know that you can defend yourself mentally and emotionally, and ultimately, physically if, God forbid, something would happen.

But the fact is that it’s all about prevention. I teach the physical part, Sharon, but I don’t want it to get to that. I’ve had two students that have trained with us that have had to use it, but I don’t want it to get to that point. I want it to be where they see the warning signs, they see the red flags, they’re using their safety tips. It’s not about being paranoid. It’s about just being smart. It’s not about being scared of everything. It’s just using what God’s given you: your intuition and your brain. You just have to be a little bit more aware.

Sharon daVanport: Let’s talk about some of that, Anny—-some of the awareness, to begin with. What are some of the first steps that you would start to teach someone before you get to all the other stuff, when you talk about awareness being the first thing. Let’s talk about a couple of those things.

Anny Jacoby: Awareness is being aware of your surroundings, no matter where you are. I often refer to police officers. If anybody would watch out and about and you just watch police officers, they’re always checking their surroundings, like every 30 seconds. They’re just looking around; just being aware of what’s happening.

I always tell my girls: When you park your car at the mall, be aware when you get out of your car. It’s a habit you have to develop. But just, what was parked there when you get out of your car? What was next to you? Just know where you are.

And that’s the biggest thing, is awareness. It’s not about paranoia, and so many people misunderstand that part. But one of the things I always tell people, too, once they get done with our program or I get done speaking, is that none of our students will ever sit with their back to a door if they go into a restaurant, because you should always know your exits at all times. And when I speak and teach, I feel like a flight attendant. You’ve got to know your exits at all times, because you wanna be 10-20 steps ahead of anything that’s gonna happen. If your gut’s telling you that something’s wrong and it doesn’t feel right, then you’ve got to follow that. That’s what we call “intuition.” And awareness goes into the intuition part. Women have intuition more than men do, and they don’t even know it.

Sharon daVanport: Dr. Tony Attwood talks a lot about this, and he is one of the leaders in our community when it comes to psychologists and any understanding of females on the spectrum, and he really believes that females on the spectrum have a unique gift when it comes to having that sixth sense, being able to be aware. The way he explains it, it’s like when someone maybe will have a deficit. Maybe they can’t see as well, so their hearing is increased. It’s kind of like us on the spectrum: we maybe have a communication challenge in some ways, so we hone in on other rhythms around us. So he encourages females to really take advantage of that.

I have to say that while we’re talking about this, I just wanna stress that even more to any of the females listening to this right now. What you’re saying is that it’s already something that females are gifted with anyway. if it’s something that a lot of us on the spectrum also might be gifted with, we really need to pay attention to our gut telling us something.

Anny Jacoby: Well, you know, Sharon, it’s a lot of education. I call it “life skills.” I pertain it to all females, but the teaching that I [do] with females on the spectrum, it’s just a different way of teaching. It’s not anything different as far as the material; it’s just a different way of bringing it across.

But you’re absolutely right. If you take your sight away, you’ve gotta rely on something else. You’ve gotta rely on your hearing. Your body automatically adjusts. And that’s what Dr. Attwood is doing. He’s saying that we as females, we’ve got this intuition and we’ve gotta be educated about it, because a lot of females, they don’t know what it is. They don’t know how to respond to it or react to it: “What do I do with it?” A lot of times, what happens is that when your gut instinct or your intuition is telling you one thing, you need to heed to it. You need to listen to it, because nine times out of ten, it’s right. It’s correct.

Sharon daVanport: It really is, isn’t it, Anny? It has been for me almost every time throughout my entire life. I look back on it, and it’s always been right.

Anny Jacoby: Yep. It’s amazing, and once you’re educated about it or you start studying it, or you start listening to me or listening to other people in the field, it’s really amazing. Like: “Oh, my gosh! That really is true!” I say to people: “If you’re cooking something and it doesn’t smell right, are you gonna eat it?” Well, no. You’re not going to. Whenever it happens to me, I get a butterfly in my stomach, or a queasy feeling.

Sharon daVanport: I do, too, yeah.

Anny Jacoby: How I describe it, it’s like a stingle. If something isn’t right about my environment, what is it about my environment that’s making me uneasy? Therefore, you have to possibly search it out in your soul, in your spirit. No matter where you are, you need to just heed to it. Listen to your intuition, and bring your awareness to its fullest alert. It’s quite amazing once you understand what intuition’s all about.

I blog about intuition. I blog about a lot of safety stuff all over the place and I invite anybody to read any of my stuff. It’s quite a gift, and I encourage everybody. But one thing we have to do is we have to teach. We have to teach, because we don’t talk about it as parents. My parents, we didn’t talk about it. It’s part of life skills, but nobody discusses it. So that’s what my objective is. It’s to get out there and really teach those life skills, so that we can hopefully decrease the numbers and the statistics, and we can have females more safe and sound, and less victimization out there.

Sharon daVanport: Right. Something I want us to touch on for a few minutes is facts versus myths. I like the way that you have those posted on your different websites: the facts versus myths. Can we talk about a few of those?

Anny Jacoby: Sure.

Sharon daVanport: Okay. I always like the one that you start out with: “It won’t happen to me.” You hear that all the time: “It’s not gonna happen to me.” What do you say to that?

Anny Jacoby: Well, you know what? I’m just the type of person, I shoot from the hip and I think you know that. It’s about time—-and I’m doing my best to have it happen, Sharon—-but it’s about time that females and parents get your head out of the sand. That might sound cruel, that might sound harsh, and I don’t mean to sound that way. But the bottom line is that anybody can be a victim, and anybody can be an assailant. And when I say “an assailant,” it can be an abusive partner, it can be a boyfriend. It’s not gender-specific. It has nothing to do with race. It has nothing to do with economic status—-nothing like that. The biggest thing is: Get your head out of the sand.

Sharon daVanport: You know, the data on this, Anny, is just amazing. If people want to know just really how often things like this happen, just look at the data. I’m not talking about just statistics people throw out there—-I’m talking about the hardcore data about how often different kinds of crimes take place. How many seconds apart: you know, every seconds or minutes. If people really look at the hard data, I think they would really start understanding that just taking that first step of being aware that we just spent a few minutes talking about can save a lot of problems when it comes to some of the things that people are victimized with.

Anny Jacoby: Well, Sharon, you know what? It’s interesting, because victimization is an epidemic in our country, and not a lot of people think of it that way. But when I say it’s domestic violence, it’s rape, it’s any kind of sexual assault, it’s stalking, it’s human trafficking. We have got some major, major problems in the United States right here in our own backyard.

Sharon daVanport: I know; and people always think it’s not here. It is here. It’s happening here.

Anny Jacoby: It is; it is. And what my biggest contention is is that, you know what? Why do we wait for something to happen in our own backyard before we step up to the plate and say: “You know what? I want to be educated. I want to be prepared. I want my children, I want my girls, I want them to grow up and…Because we see this happen. We see abuse—-motional and mental abuse and even physical—-happening as early as middle school. And we start training young ladies at five years old. We go right up through age 65, train with disabilities and seniors.

And my thing is that, we have an epidemic. And if we don’t start looking at the core of it as how to help our females…It’s a long shot, and it’s gonna take a lot of work and it’s gonna be many years. But we have to start someplace, to rationalize it. When you said about the numbers…For instance, domestic violence. It’s really hard for people to put the numbers into perspective. So when I talk to people, I break it down, Sharon, because I think if you look at it or you think outside the box rather than think of the numbers, it makes so much sense.

Domestic violence strikes one in every four women in her lifetime. That’s really astounding to me. And then when you look at the number of reported cases—-and those are only reported—-they say 1.38 million. What’s 1.3 million in your brain? That’s a big number, but…So I broke it down and said: “If you took the entire population of San Antonio, Texas—-the entire population. Males, females, children, the entire population of just that city, that represents domestic violence victims.

Sharon daVanport: Wow. Amazing.

Anny Jacoby: That’s a lot. Rape is the same thing: one in six. One in six women will be effected. And that’s the combined population, the total population, everybody [of] New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. Those four major cities represent how many women are being sexually assaulted.

Sharon daVanport: Wow. That is just unreal.

Anny Jacoby: And stalking? We’re gonna get into stalking; I know we’re gonna discuss that, but one in 12 women will be stalked in her lifetime. We have reports that approximately one million women have been stalked annually in the United States. That’s the entire city of Dallas, Texas.

Sharon daVanport: Right. You know, people hear the word “stalking” and they might not really understand the psychopathy behind it. It is very dangerous. It is a sign of somebody that could be potentially very lethal. People who have a stalking mentality—-and January is the month for national awareness on stalking. But why don’t we go ahead and touch on that a little bit, since you did bring it up? Did you say one in 12?

Anny Jacoby: One in 12 women will be stalked in her lifetime. And I wanna put this out there: like I said, victimization can affect anyone. It’s not just women. I just blogged yesterday about men. Men are victims, too.

Sharon daVanport: Right. I always say that, too. We are discussing women—-this is the Autism Women’s Network, we are discussing that—-but it doesn’t mean that we’re negating the fact or denying that it happens to men.

Anny Jacoby: No. But the thing is, men are assaulted and they’re stalked. Now they’re coming forward, and unfortunately…They’re working on it, but we need a lot more resources for our males. We really do.

Sharon daVanport: That’s a whole different show, isn’t it?

Anny Jacoby: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. But my classroom is for females. Females need to be more educated, because as I said, statistics show that females are more victimized.

But a lot of people don’t understand stalking, Sharon. First of all, stalking is a crime. A lot of people do not know that. It’s not new, but you really have to figure out: What is stalking? I’ve tried to really define stalking, and basically what stalking is is a repetitive pattern of harassing, threatening behavior, unwanted behavior committed by one person against another. And then you say: “What types of stalking are there?” That can be anywhere from following you to telephone harassment.

Sharon daVanport: Continually driving by your home. Receiving unwanted contact.

Anny Jacoby: Exactly. Gifts is another thing. They send gifts to the office, or gifts to the home. Another thing is, you need to know: What are the stalking laws in your state? They vary from state to state. So I can’t just say: “Stalking is this across the board.” Every state is different.

Stalking is about obsession, and the majority of stalking is by an intimate partner. But what it’s motivated by is an intense affection or an extreme dislike. It can go to the whole other ballgame of disliking an individual so much that you will do anything to make them miserable and try to harm them or scare them. Stalking is very fearful, and it’s malicious. There’s a lot of things that you need to do if these things happen. Feel free to go to my websites and my blogs and read about them, and really understand them.

But [stalking is] about rejection, and like I said, unfortunately, men commit most of the stalking. It’s a dreaded crime, and the majority of the time, the female does know the stalker personally. As a result of that, they’re hesitant to believe that the situation is dangerous.

Sharon daVanport: That’s what I was gonna say. That’s where you really get into the minimizing, oftentimes, and people don’t really realize how dangerous it can be. I think it’s really difficult, too, in our communities. I think stalking is kind of slow to take effect, even within law enforcement and the judicial system, because a lot of it is perpetrated by an intimate partner or an ex-partner. Because of that, especially say you were married to someone at one time and they’re continually doing some kind of stalking behavior, whether it’s repetitive phone calls day and night, driving by constantly. Then you try to take it to a legal level and oftentimes, the judicial system, it could be hard to prove in that situation. ‘Cause they minimize it. They’re like: “Well, you used to be married to that person” or “Well, you share a child with that person.” They try to make a connection and minimize it or make excuses for it, so you really have to stand firm. Like you said, know the laws in your community. And if the laws aren’t where they need to be, try to get them changed.

Anny Jacoby: Absolutely. That’s why I strongly suggest to keep a log. On my blog, I put a form on there. You have to keep a log. But the first thing you need to do is you must it. You must report that this is happening, and insist on talking to a detective or an officer, and get it documented. That’s the biggest thing, is that you’ve got to get it documented. Don’t write it off, and don’t think that it’ll go away, because it does not. A stalker will push it. They’ll push it to its limit. Sometimes you’re able to get a protective order based on the evidence, but stalking is tough. But it is extremely dangerous. It’s lethal. It’s very, very dangerous.

Sharon daVanport: A person who has that mentality, they’ve got some hardcore data on these kinds of personalities—-people who stalk. People who have that kind of mentality, there really is no other word but “lethal.” These kinds of people are lethal.

Anny Jacoby: Like I say all the time, you have got to understand that number one, any victim of any crime, the most important thing that you should remember is that you didn’t want it, you didn’t ask for it, and you did not deserve this. Do not allow yourself to fall into the area of “It was my fault.” Never. You are never, ever ever. It is never your fault. I have to drum that home all the time to everybody, because a lot of our girls say…There’s a petition right now with a columnist that said she went to a frat party and got drunk, and she was raped.

Sharon daVanport: [Unknown] she was blaming herself. Right. You don’t give anybody license to assault you.

Anny Jacoby: No. She’s sending out the wrong signal to people. So we really need to work on that. But the fact is that there’s nothing that you do or have done or I don’t care what you wear. You do not deserve to be a victim, or victimized in any sense.

Sharon daVanport: Well, it doesn’t give anybody any right over you to do something when you’re in a more vulnerable situation. is it good to be smart and maybe not go out and do certain things? That’s our personal choices in life, but it still gives no one the right to put their hands on us, or to harm us if we’re in a vulnerable situation.

Anny Jacoby: Well, Sharon, the thing is that a lot of people get very upset about protecting themselves, especially if they have been victimized. We always give them basic steps and things that they can do to ensure their safety. But unfortunately, and especially with stalking, it does entail changing your normal, day-to-day routines and your life as you once knew it. But you don’t have any choice. You don’t have a choice at this point. You’ve got to take control of it. The stalker won’t change, so it’s up to you to change. Is it fair? Hell, no, it’s not fair.

Sharon daVanport: But it is for your safety.

Anny Jacoby: Oh, yes. Exactly. Your safety and your life is most important here, and your family.

Sharon daVanport: Because they will escalate. It does get worse. It will escalate. They don’t [unknown.]

Anny Jacoby: Absolutely. So there’s some basic things that we talk about, as far as what you can do if you are stalked, or if you’re aware of it and it’s happening. First and foremost, you have no contact with that stalker. Have no contact with him whatsoever. None. I know from experience and being in the field, victims are frustrated. They’re angry. And they’re in fear. They get a phone call, and they wanna confront the stalker. Or they wanna demand to be left alone, or they might think of a friend or relative to tell them to stop. Don’t do it. That’s what a stalker feeds into. The stalker feeds into your attention, and anyone that’s close to you.

Sharon daVanport: Don’t engage them at all.

Anny Jacoby: Nope. Don’t.

Sharon daVanport: It does make it really hard. I’ve tried to talk to my friends who have an ex-spouse or something, they’re going through this. They might share children, and maybe they have to deal with that person. But they know in between times when their children are visiting, their stalker is abusing them, following them and their children, and it’s really hard to set those kinds of boundaries. I think that’s a whole ‘nother show, too, ‘cause I think we should stick with the basics. But as much as you can, limit how much you engage that other person. If you have to on a certain level, try to get it to a point to where you don’t. Try to get a third person to make the exchange with the children. Just do not engage the person who has that obsession, whether they’re enamored or whether they’re angry. Whatever it is, it’s just not healthy, the reason why they’re stalking you. It’s so lethal. It really is.

Anny Jacoby: And you feed into them, and that’s what they want. They want the attention. If they know they can get to you and they’re instilling that fear in you, you have to just keep your distance and you have to keep your wits about you. I know it’s hard. In a lot of my pictures, it’s the young lady looking through the blinds. But the fact is, the only people that should confront a stalker is law enforcement. It can be very, very, very lethal, and you don’t want that to escalate. ‘Cause you never know, and there’s all kinds of types of stalkers. So you just need to keep yourself safe. We could talk about what to do if you are being stalked, or how you can help yourself if you’re being stalked. Those are some of the things that are really prevalent, but the biggest thing is don’t have contact. You’ve got to stay away. You’ve got to keep your log. No contact whatsoever, and don’t engage. Don’t engage in it, because that’s exactly what they want.

Sharon daVanport: We went over the awareness part. Now if we could just touch on some mild, proactive protection things. Do you recommend pepper spray? Let’s get into some things like that. We’re trying to avoid any kind of horrible confrontation, so what are some of those milder steps that we can take?

Anny Jacoby: First of all, like I said, your first step to self-defense or your personal safety is your awareness. You’ve gotta understand that: “It can happen to me.” Get your head out of the sand. Just be aware of your surroundings, and know where you are.

The physical part of our training, it doesn’t make you a she-woman. It makes you more confident, but most importantly, your mental attribute, your mental stability is more intact. And then your intuition is your next thing. Follow that.

Sharon daVanport: What comes beyond that? What happens after that? If I asked you: “Anny, should I carry pepper spray?” what would you say to me?

Anny Jacoby: No. I would say no. I’m a firm believer that, especially if you’ve gone through our training on the physical part. Number one, let me talk about that. And there’s so many people that might not agree with me, and that’s okay.

Sharon daVanport: Why do you say no to that?

Anny Jacoby: The reason I say no to weapons or pepper spray or mace: number one, they’re not always readily available to you. If you think about it, do you walk around with your finger on the trigger? Number two, where is it, nine times out of ten? It should have a safety on it, and you don’t have enough time to respond. If in fact you need to use that, you can’t tell your assailant: “Wait a minute” and then go for your pepper spray or your mace. It’s not gonna happen. It’s too fast.

So the only thing you have available to you, Sharon, is your mind and your body. That’s the only thing you have readily available to you. Nine times out of ten, a lot of people, they carry it on their keychain. But in instant fear…we try to teach not to, but it’s a natural reaction to hold onto whatever’s in your hands, because it’s your body responding to fear. So you freeze in the moment, and then it’s too late. You don’t have time to get your finger on the trigger.

Sharon daVanport: So sometimes they can hinder you and slow you down?

Anny Jacoby: Oh, absolutely, because that’s the first thing that happens when you’re assaulted: you freeze. Ww work with you in training to get you past that, but if you know instantly what to do with your body if someone does assault you in any manner—-it could be domestic violence, it could be outside with an assailant, it could be anywhere—-your body and your mind are the only things you have readily available to you. You’ve got to learn how to use them, and you can do that. Females are doing it every day. But I do not promote weapons. I do not.

And I do shoot, Sharon. But I don’t carry a weapon with me. I’ve had a concealed carry permit, but the fact of the matter is, where is it? It’s in the bottom of your purse; it’s in the glove compartment; it’s in the console of your car. It’s not readily available to you. So what is? Your mind and your body. That’s why our armed forces, our military and our law enforcement are taught how to use their bodies to protect and defend themselves, and ultimately, how to subdue someone with what God has given them so they have time to go for their weapon.

But the fact is, in a civilian world, you don’t have that. That’s why the physical part of the training that we do is hand-to-hand combat. I don’t sugar-coat it anymore. It’s exactly what we teach our military and our law enforcement. The company we’re certified [with] does teach our military and law enforcement exactly what we teach civilians.

It’s not gender-specific, either, the system that we teach. So, no. I personally do not promote weapons. Another thing, too, is think about it: What if he overpowers you and turns it on you?

Sharon daVanport: He’ll use it against you, yeah.

Anny Jacoby: What if the wind’s blowing the wrong way and the pepper spray comes back on you rather than on him?

Sharon daVanport: I see what you’re saying. These are good things to discuss and put out there, so people can know all the different sides of all of this. Let’s talk about some of your websites, Anny, and some places where people who are listening can go and get different information. I know you have so many websites. You have some blogs out there. Where do you wanna begin?

Anny Jacoby: I think the easiest place to find me and all of my links is www.annyjacoby.com On my personal website is my links to two company web sites, which I’m really excited about. Our first company is the Realistic Female Self-Defense Company.

Then we’ve just added a sister company, which I’m really excited about. It’s Project Safe Girls. Project Safe Girls is geared to gals in school from five years old to 23. If they’re in school, we train them in Project Safe Girls. If they’re 18 or over and they’re not in school, they train with the Realistic Female Self-Defense. The only difference is how we teach, because we break it into age groups. Basically from 13 to 65, 65 to 95, 95 to 100, it’s really the same training, even with seniors.

On my website, you can also go to my blog. I’ve got one on BlogSpot and I’ve got one on WordPress.com. Anybody can find me by Googling “Anny Jacoby.” And I’m also on Facebook. If you just Google my name, you’ll find me.

Sharon daVanport: Well, I know that when we organize a women’s conference for the spectrum, I definitely want you to be able to do a workshop, a clinic there, so that we can discuss these issues and you can address us one-on-one. That would be awesome to do.

Anny Jacoby: Oh, absolutely. I would be so excited, because I think that the interaction is really, really, really important, and a lot of people have questions. It’s like: “Well, what is this?” or “What is that?” And that’s one thing. Before we teach the physical part, we teach about all these things, the victimization. But when we get to the physical part, it’s real interesting to watch and to see the transformation in the physical training. At the end of our physical training (it only lasts three sessions; we only do seven or eight) we do a scenario. Either we ask the female about a fear that they might have that might be really in their heart, and they’ll give us something, and then it’s a reenactment. Their job is to get away from, and to protect and defend themselves with what they’ve learned: they physical part, plus the brain and be able to get away from that assailant.

We don’t say in there to go ten rounds. It’s just a stun-and-run. A male does not expect a female to respond or react, except to cower, plead, beg, cry. We teach you to turn that fear into productivity, and how to reinforce it and be able to step into the eye of the storm.

Sharon daVanport: I’ve heard it said a million times that the best reaction is what you’re saying that you promote and you teach. The first reaction that they expect from us is not to be aggressive right back, or to defend ourselves. They really don’t. That in itself will shock them for a few seconds.

Anny Jacoby: Absolutely. You know what, Sharon? That’s the thing. That’s why we teach de-escalation. There’s verbal de-escalation and there’s nonverbal de-escalation. Your body signals is your nonverbal, and then your verbalization is how you’re actually talking to the individual. You could de-escalate a potentially dangerous situation. I’m not saying it happens all the time, but you have the ability to do that, if you’re taught properly how to do it. It doesn’t come automatically.

Sharon daVanport: [Unknown] how our body language is when we’re walking down the street can even help be proactive that way. Just the way we walk, the way we hold our body can say a lot to somebody, whether they’re gonna wanna target us or not.

Anny Jacoby: And we do talk about that.

Sharon daVanport: I have a question from the chat room. Somebody is saying they have a friend that swears by a Kubotan.

Anny Jacoby: A Kubotan is probably about six inches long and it’s usually black. Police officers have it, but it’s a form of a defense. A lot of people carry them on their keychains, but you have to know how to use it. I personally don’t want somebody that close to me, and if I have to have somebody that close to me, then I need to be able to get away.

Sharon daVanport: You don’t wanna be engaging them any more than you have to.

Anny Jacoby: Exactly. I’m not gonna sit there and just poke his eye out like crazy, but you can Google it and you can YouTube it. You can look at it. I know police officers who carry them. And plus, they have the big ones—-the big batons. Again, that’s a personal preference. I’m not saying that what I do or what I promote is all that and a bag of chips; I’m just saying that if it works for you, and you feel comfortable with it and you practice with it and you feel that it’s a defense rather than if you haven’t had a physical part of defense training, then by all means. If it’s gonna help you and it’s gonna make you feel more safe, then you have to do what’s right for you.

Sharon daVanport: Can I just stress, I appreciate you doing that, Anny. Even though I want everyone to know how you do teach your strategies, because I personally like the way you deal with this: strategize first. And I’m very typical about not wanting to use any weapons, ‘cause I don’t want it to be turned against me. I just already naturally have that mindset, but I do want to stress, again, to other people: that’s not saying that we’re saying that they can’t. By all means, they can do what they feel they need to do, and I appreciate that you said that.

Anny Jacoby: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I’m not Gospel, okay? This is how I feel; this is how I teach; this is how I live my life. Is it right for everybody? No, but I like to give you the upper edge. Sharon, basically, all we do as trainers and speakers is give you tools for your toolbox. I can’t tell anybody that it’s gonna be ABCDEFG. I can say: “You might pull out A; you might pull out Z; you might pull out R; you might pull out T—-whatever it is. Whatever moment presents itself. But these are your tools. These are your tools for your toolbox. Use them.

Sharon daVanport: Right. I just want people to take the time to look up your websites, and to understand the strategies. Because I have to say, from just the experiences that maybe I’ve known in my life, personally, it seems like those strategies have been the tools that have worked best for me. And that goes across the board. I’m not talking about even one specific instance; I’m talking about throughout my entire life, whether it was facing a bully in school. I can just remember some of the things that worked and didn’t work, and I think that’s why I’ve gravitated towards your teachings, Anny: I get that. It works for me. It just does. I understand it, and I just really want people to take the time to go over and read your blog.

Before we have to close up here, tell everybody about next month. Isn’t it Teen Violence Month?

Anny Jacoby: Yes. February is National Teen Violence and Abuse Awareness Month. I blog about a lot of stuff, but we’ll have a lot of good information on our blogs and on Facebook about helping teens. It’s amazing to me, Sharon. It’s heartwrenching, because teens and girls in college and high school, middle school—-our young people need to be educated.

I am so happy that we have loveisrespect.org. They are doing a terrific, a wonderful job. Katie Couric had an interview a couple weeks ago on her show. It’s really amazing. Finally, it’s not a taboo subject anymore, moms, dads. It’s not; you’ve got to invest in your child. You invest in their education, you invest in the clothes, you invest in the hair. You have to invest in the education of life skills.

It goes beyond the piece of paper. Everybody has to have an education today. But life skills and learning how to protect and defend yourself, even in middle school. We talk about texting, and we talk about what’s power and control? It’s just phenomenal what’s going on with our young people. It’s really important for us to get out there and really, really, really extend our hands to our young people, our communities, and our children and our daughters and educate them, and even our young men.

I commend all the men in Men Against Sexual Violence. Ben Atherton-Zeman is a colleague. These guys are working really, really, really hard, and we need good men in our corners, and to educate our young men on how to treat a woman as much as our young women need to know how to treat a man. [Unknown]

Sharon daVanport: Right. And for our young girls to completely understand what is acceptable and what is not, and to know it’s okay to teach someone how to treat you properly. To let them know what your boundaries are, and that you expect respect.

Anny Jacoby: You said it. You deserve it.

Sharon daVanport: I think it so important for us to teach our young girls during their formative years. They’ll be way ahead of the game if we do.

Anny Jacoby: You go back in the age [of saying?]: “You treat people the way you want to be treated. I’ve had that instilled in me as a child, and they’re losing it. Just by peer pressure and just by all the outside things that are thrown at them, they lose it. They lose that mentality. So it’s really important to get to our teens—-both females and males—-and to really reach out to them. And February is gonna be…there’s a lot of things that you can do in your community if you go to loveisrespect.org, and we’ll put it on our blogs and our websites as well. But there’s things that you can do in your communities as well to help your kids, because they need it. and they’ll have it the rest of their lives. That’s what’s so important about it.

Sharon daVanport: Right. Gosh, Anny, thank you so much. You’ve shared so much with us. I really appreciate it.

Anny Jacoby: Well, you’re welcome.

Sharon daVanport: I can hear you sniffling away. I feel so bad. You’re sick.

Anny Jacoby: Oh, I know. I’m sorry. I’m embarrassed, but this is vital information for anybody, for all your listeners. It’s what we do.

Sharon daVanport: Well, I appreciate it.

Anny Jacoby: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it, and I can’t wait to meet everybody.

Sharon daVanport: Well, okay. And I’ll be in touch, okay, Anny? Take care

Anny Jacoby: All right, Sharon. Thank you so much, and thanks everybody in the chat room. Stay safe.

Sharon daVanport: All right. Thanks, Anny. Bye-bye.

Anny Jacoby: Thanks. Bye-bye.

Sharon daVanport: All right, everyone. That was Anny Jacoby. She’s just a terrific person; I just can’t stress to everyone enough to really get over to her website, and she is on Facebook. The Realistic Female Self-Defense Company that Anny has, it is really something: the philosophy, the strategies. It’s really something, and I would highly recommend that you at least take the time to read. She’s got so much information—-hardcore data. Not just statistics being thrown out there, but some really good information that we can use for ourselves personally. Especially with February being National Teen Violence and Abuse Awareness Month, we can certainly help the youngsters. I just wanna thank Anny again for being with us, thank everyone in the chat room, and we will plan on seeing everyone here on AWN Radio next week. Thanks so much for joining us, everyone. Goodbye.

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One Response

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  1. Adelaide Dupont said, on February 4, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Jacoby is terrific.

    Be aware and de-escalate when you have to.

    Stalking is a crime of rejection.

    Look around a lot.


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