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Myths and Misconceptions

There are a lot of common myths and misconceptions regarding self-defense and personal safety, and we want to help you find the truth. Many of these misconceptions were formed from misinformation, old information, or socialization. Not all are formed from malice, but some are. So to help you navigate through some of the more common myths and misconceptions, we started a new series. This week, you have two myths for the price of one.

Myth #1:

April 24th is National Rape Day.

In April 2021, a group of six men made a video encouraging people to go out on April 24th and rape people. This video unfortunately went viral with many young boys and men because some fail to understand the gravity of the situation; Others are sharing it because they are acting out of malicious intent. Thankfully, there has been no evidence to support an uptick in sexual assaults on this date for the past two years.

So, why do these people keep sharing this video years later? It’s because they want women and other survivors to live in fear. Every year, starting at the beginning of April, people start messaging us about videos they’ve seen about National Rape Day and what these potential assailants are doing and saying to make their intended victims feel powerless. Survivors have said they feel scared of this experience happening again. Even kids and teenagers have shared their concern because they have to walk to school and fear being attacked.

This insidious myth is a tactic meant to manipulate people’s feelings and actions. These people are trying to minimize our strength. We are capable of defending ourselves. Their intended targets are fighting for more than they are. The strength of millions far outweighs the actions of six men.

Myth #2

If a person wears a cup, groin strikes are ineffective.

The second myth that we’re discussing is something that these potential assailants are saying to discourage people from fighting back. They say they’re going to wear an athletic cup so that groin strikes are ineffective. This is blatantly false. Michael Penafiel, an IMPACT Personal Safety, SoCal Senior Instructor and Instructor Trainer, says “Despite the mythology, athletics cups don’t make the wearer 100% invulnerable to forces that happen to land on the sensitive male genitalia. Ask any baseball player, combat sports participant, or even a bike rider. Accidents in sports happen; the cup dissipates some of the force, but there are instances where pain is still registered because the soft tissue where the hard shell “cups” the testicles and penis compresses as the force gets transferred. When hit hard enough and at the right angle, pain is still felt despite mitigated damage.”

Another aspect of athletic cups to consider is that they only cover a person’s genitalia. That’s not the only place on the body that registers pain. At IMPACT, we teach people to hit two main targets: the head and the groin. If one target isn’t available, hit the other as hard as you can. You are fighting for more than these assailants. Fight with the righteous indignation that we all have inside us that says, “Absolutely not. How dare this person try this with me.” Your life is worth fighting for.

If you see videos that perpetuate harmful rumors and triggering behavior, you can report the videos and users to the platform. This can and does remove the videos from your feed and should start filtering these videos in the future as well. It might take longer for the video to be completely removed from the platform, but this is a short step you can take to protect your peace and mental wellbeing. If you feel like this is too much for you, you have no obligation to report anything. Do what is best for you. If that means just scrolling past it, do that.

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