Street violence is an ongoing problem in society.

It can affect anyone regardless of age, race, gender, status or where you live.

Having been a victim myself the experience has had a profound change to my personality and the choices I make in social situations.

I was 18 years-old when I was walking home on a cold November night after being out with friends. It was a clear sky and I decided to sit on the park bench and catch my breath.

Suddenly I was interrupted by shouting coming from the alley that backed onto the park, so I started walking away to the main road so that I would be able to see where I was going and see if anyone was approaching me.

Smash

When I got to the main road and started walking away I heard a voice say “stop” so I started walking quickly then I heard it again: “stop”, but this time more aggressive, so in hesitation I stopped thinking it was the police.

I turned around to see this man with a greater build with leather gloves on running towards me.

 

Seeing the gloves I thought he was from the police, so I stopped.

 

Before I knew it, I was in an altercation with a fully-grown man and was terrified that he would completely overpower me.

Taking blows from his punches, I tried to think back to the martial arts training I had back when I was 13, but realised that I hadn’t trained in the art to actually use it in a real life altercation.

 

He continued to attack me with no remorse and I kept trying to diffuse his aggression by asking him “what have I done?” but none of it seemed to work.

 

Eventually I gave up trying to defend myself and just submitted thinking that I was going to die, it seemed like minutes had gone by when in actual fact it was probably seconds when I decided that I wasn’t going to let myself die, and that if I was going to get out of the situation I was going to have to fight back.

My adrenaline by that point was at its highest point and I realised that I had nothing to lose in terms of pride. I just thought I had my life to fight for so I just had to do what I could to escape the situation.

So I tried to strike him enough to run away but nothing seemed to have an effect. He eventually got me on the floor and pinned against the railings and continued to assault me. I put my hands up to attempt to defend myself. Then he bit my fingers so I used my legs to push him away and made enough space so I could escape.

 

I then started to run home, not even comprehending what had just happened.

Time was moving so fast because of the adrenaline my body was producing. As I got to an alleyway near my home I could feel blood trickling down my face. I didn’t really know how bad my injuries were so I was quite worried and continued to run home.

After receiving medical attention and speaking to the police about what happened, I returned home and watched some telly to try and relax. I eventually gathered my thoughts and made my way to bed to begin recovering.

 

A couple of weeks had gone by and I realised that the experience had changed me. I didn’t feel like going out and socialising, I just wanted to be on my own. I didn’t feel like eating.

 

For a point in my life I felt like I lost control of my life. I was scared to go out just in case I bumped into people my own age who used to hang out at certain places because I didn’t want to get into a confrontation or, even worse, an altercation.

As of today I haven’t looked back, through martial arts I have met some good people, rebuilt my confidence and have had new opportunities presented to me.

As of today I haven’t looked back, through martial arts I have met some good people, rebuilt my confidence and have had new opportunities presented to me.

I came to the decision that my confidence was really low and I needed to get it back but didn’t know how. I then decided to go back to the martial arts class where I began training when I was 13 years old.

As of today I haven’t looked back, through martial arts I have met some good people, rebuilt my confidence and have had new opportunities presented to me.

I would say the best advice I can give to others who find themselves feeling like this is to talk about it with people who you can trust or relate to your experiences.

I think that martial arts had a big part in my recovery process. I feel that my martial arts instructor has given me my life back because he taught me how to defend myself properly and I trust him and respect him. I think you have to find someone you can trust to build your confidence back up and a martial arts instructor is a good place to start because the instructor has probably come into contact with people who have had these experiences, or he probably went through the same thing which caused him to train in the martial arts.

I feel it’s best to talk about it rather than keep it to yourself because other problems start to develop the more you think about it such as anger, depression,and low self-esteem.

One Response to Meditations on Violence

  1. Meic says:

    Firstly, thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. It sounds like it was a really scary thing to happen, and it’s really powerful to hear how much it affected you. It seems like you’ve managed to turn this bad experience into something positive through going back to martial arts training, and that’s really inspiring.

    For anyone else who has gone through a similar thing, remember that you do not have to deal with this by yourself. Being attacked can affect people in different ways, and it can help to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. This could be a friend, family member, doctor or anyone else that you trust.

    You could also think about talking to Victim Support, which is an organisation that provides support to people who have been a victim of crime. Their number is 0845 30 30 900 and there is more information about them on their website: http://www.are-you-ok.org.uk/

    Remember as well that you can always talk to us at Meic.

    We are open 8am until midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact us by:-

    Phone – 0808 8023456
    Text – 84001
    Webchat – http://www.meic.cymru

    If you’re worried about your safety when you’re out and about, there are a few things you could think about doing. Here are some ideas from Victim Support:

    * Stay in groups and look out for each other
    * Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dark or lonely short cuts and think about safe places to walk like well-lit areas and shops
    * Trust your instincts – if you feel unsafe, get away
    * Before you go out, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
    * Keep expensive possessions hidden
    * Don’t listen to music when you’re out and about (or use only one headphone so you are still aware of what’s going on around you)
    * Carry a personal alarm

    There are more safety tips on the Victim Support website: http://www.are-you-ok.org.uk/Crime%20facts/Street%20crime

    or from an organisation called the Suzy Lamplugh Trust: http://www.suzylamplugh.org/personal-safety/personal-safety-tips/

    Thanks again for sharing your experience so bravely.

    All the best,

    The Meic team

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