I was reading some commentary on IGOLD on the excellent IllinoisCarry Forum when someone linked to a letter from last year, which mentioned the Illinois State Police and their famous advice to women to use combs, keys, vomit, but NEVER anything as nasty as a gun to defend themselves when "confronted with sexual assault." Wait, I thought to myself, was that really a year ago?
Well, it was--but that's not the weird part. The weird part is that the ISP has not changed that page at all. Not one word.
Before you fight
Fighting for your safety may be necessary. However, if you start out fighting you cancel any other options that might be open to you. Since many attacks on women are not sexually motivated, and are designed to degrade and humiliate, talking your way out of it may be easier.
* There is documentation of assailants that left a would-be-victim alone after she told him that she was pregnant and it would kill her baby. (Some case were women that were too old to even have a baby.)
* Telling an attacker that you have VD or AIDS can discourage him.
* It may sound disgusting, but putting your fingers into you throat and making yourself vomit usually gets results. (This method is not often used except as a last resort.)
* Use your imagination and you can think of others.
The above methods are particularly important if your assailant has a gun or knife, or there is more than one attacker. (Fighting would probably be futile.)
Oh, yes, I can see how it would be really important to tell the guy you have AIDS and then puke on him. That will quell his sexual desire and not make him angry. Of course, the ISP says sexual assault is often not sexually motivated. But they do say such attacks are designed to humiliate women, so humiliating themselves pre-emptively should totally work except when it doesn't.
Articles common to your handbag that make useful defense weapons.
* nail file
* rat tail comb
* teasing brush
* pens and pencils
* anything rigid
Don't get me wrong. I can f%#& you up with a nail file or an ink pen if that's what it takes to survive. But if you're a hundred pounds lighter and on the defensive, your odds of pulling off pen-fu just dropped precipitously. Either way, if you have the option of carrying a real weapon and you choose to hope your comb will work in a pinch, I accuse you of wishful thinking.
If you lobby against the right of a woman to carry a handgun, and then tell her that her comb is really a better way to fight off a rapist, I accuse you of cowardly collaboration in whatever happens to any woman dumb enough to take your advice. Thanks for nothing, Illinois State Police.
(I wrote to the ISP and called them when this page first came to light. They didn't answer either communication. But just in case, here's the phone number for the Public Information Office: (217)782-6637)