"Come on, stop pretending you don't want to"

Role-plays in Blitzdefence for women

As the perpetrators of most rapes, sexual assaults and other sex crimes are known or related to the victim, this is the area in which I mainly train instructors to simulate attempts where a relationship exists. A prime example is when two people, a man and a woman, have e.g. made each other's acquaintance two hours ago and a crime is then committed.

Before simulating such a situation it is important to explain the precise purpose, situation and location to all the participants in the role-play. The more detailed the explanation, the easier it is for those involved to enter into the situation.

An instructor might e.g. introduce a role-playing exercise from the point of view of the attacker as follows:

"Let's assume I get to know a young woman I find interesting in a café. I make contact and it proves very successful. We get into conversation. She is just my type of woman, medium size, slim, a good figure and gorgeous, bright eyes. I also find her very easy to talk to. We find that we share the same interests, namely motorcycling and travel. We end up talking for three hours. I ask her whether she would like to eat something. She would. We order two large pizzas and empty a large bottle of wine together. A more expensive one of course, as I don't want to show myself up with my dream woman. We find that we are both unattached, which increases our liking for each other even more. After 5 hours of great conversation, subtle flirting and melting glances she asks me whether I would like to go home with her. I am delighted and say that of course I would if it's no disturbance, and by now I am busy imagining what the coming evening might bring. So I accompany her to her flat and she lets me in. The flat is small, but clean and very comfortably furnished. She asks me if I would like a drink. Of course I would, and I down two sherries. We are sitting on the living room sofa and begin to talk again. She allows me to hold her hand and responds when I squeeze it ..."

Following this explanation a role-play could begin in which e.g. two female students act the parts of the two people in the situation described. The "man" forces his attentions on her and the woman learns how to actively set her limits and communicate them. An example: The man embraces the woman or pulls her towards him to kiss her. The role-play scenario assumes that the woman does not welcome this.

To make this clear she might stand up and tell him exactly what she thinks: "That's not what I had planned when I invited you back. We don't know each other well enough for that. STOP IT NOW OR YOU CAN LEAVE." It is also possible to simulate various courses of action, e.g. at first the woman only makes a verbal protest on being embraced and the role-play partner reacts to this. Perhaps he leaves her alone, or she might stand up to appear more dominant. Once the participants are familiar with the exercise it can be expanded as required: The man may start to get physical and the woman employs WingTsun techniques from a sitting or lying position.

As a fundamental principle of role-playing it is important to make one thing very clear to the participants: smiling and being polite will get you nowhere in situations where your limits have been crossed. Be loud, feisty and emphatic. Change your seating position and stand up to make yourself bigger, be very direct and defend yourself with everything at your disposal, if necessary also using objects ranging from a ballpoint pen to a flower vase.

Emanuel Kellert