Girl Punches Attacker, Plus: Are The Kids Really Alright?

by Intern Sarah

I probably shouldn’t appreciate stories about girls punching guys. I mean, it’s wrong to commit violence against anyone, right? I shouldn’t endorse this sort of thing. But it brings a little warmth to my heart to hear about someone who proves that no matter what their age, size, or level of “femininity,” women are definitely capable of defending themselves when they’re being attacked or harassed.

This morning as I was watching the news over breakfast, this headline caught my eye: Long Island Girl Punches Man Who Grabs Her At Bus Stop. Apparently, a 13 year-old girl was walking on Morris Avenue on Long Island yesterday when a man in dark clothing came up behind her and grabbed her. He was no match for the middle schooler, however, who punched him and ran to the safety of her Delamere Street bus stop. The link above contains important information for helping to catch the girl’s attacker, so if you can help identify him, please call the number listed. 

Research has suggested that our perceptions of “stranger danger”—the idea that people we don’t know are just waiting around the corner to hurt us or our kids—are way overblown. According to websites like Free Range Kids, there really aren’t as many cases of child abduction as we think there are. Some would say that the reason we’re so convinced that strangers are dangerous is because the kidnappings and assaults that do happen are so highly publicized (and usually accompanied by warnings of how we should never let our kids out of our sight or they’ll be snatched up). Do you agree? 

Regardless of how many or how few people are out to get kids, there is one thing that most people tend to forget: a kid that knows how to defend him- or herself is a safer kid (I wouldn’t push this girl around on the playground anytime soon). Which skills do you think are important for kids– and especially girls– to learn?

[Above photo, ed. note: Do you remember the Strangers and Dangers board game? I played it a lot when I was young, and to this day, I still scream “No!” and run to a library when approached by a stranger. Also, those kids on the box look way stressed. Ooh, babies, it’s a wild world. Credit.]

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