Can women be trained to fight abuse? The response from the experts is resounding

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On Tuesday evening, the director of the women’s crisis center Danner and former deputy police inspector in the National Police, Lisbeth Jessen, was about to spill her coffee.

She watched Deadline on DR 2, where Brian Mørk was interviewed.

The comedian catapulted himself into the middle of an inflamed debate when he wrote a post on his Facebook page in early July.

After a number of women in the media had reported, Mørk wrote that the episodes “show us that women do not always say no when they meet creeps”:

“They just sit and accept and let the idiot think it’s ok to be clammy. Can we train our daughters to be ready to spit? There are predators out there and it actually does not help to play dead. “

It sparked massive criticism on social media, with Brian Mørk being accused of victimblame To place the blame on the victims by saying that sexual assault could have been avoided if the victims had resigned and fought back.

The criticism was the starting point for the conversation when Brian Mørk appeared in Deadline – in the broadcast that was creating accidents with the director of Danner.

‘I was simply wasting my coffee cup over the ignorance that is queuing up. I can agree that we need to raise more Pippies than princesses, but for me it is not at all where the problem starts, “says Lisbeth Jessen.

The body responds based on its thought of survival

This week, the first tweet with the hashtag #dajegsagdefra was written on Twitter. Under this banner, hundreds of women in a few days have told of violent episodes where it has not helped them to say no to men.

The starting shot was a 15-year-old girl who was assaulted with blows and kicks by a young man on Monday night. She had resigned when he had whistled for her at a petrol station in Espergærde.

Lisbeth Jessen does not think we should talk about what the woman should do differently: “Instead, we should talk about how we prevent the situation from arising at all.” Fold up

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Photo: Lisbeth Jessen SH.

Lisbeth Jessen has previously in Berlingske said that just freezing – and not being told off – in a moment of abuse is a normal reaction.

She mentions that it should be a psychologist who spoke out. But since she works with abused women and the psychologists who treat them every day, she still has something to say.

“We know from research and from our experience at Danner that up to 70 percent of women are currently freezing,” says Lisbeth Jessen and continues:

»When women to a greater extent freeze a man, as Brian Mørk remarked in Deadline, it is about the body remembering the abuse that has happened before – and when something similar happens later, the body reacts based on its thought of survival by to freeze. It is the reptile brain that takes over, say our psychologists. “

Do you think that all those who are freezing have been abused in the past?

“It depends on the definition of abuse – but many have tried cross-border experiences. An uncle who has punched someone in the nipple, or a big boy who gave you a suction mark that you did not want.

But the main thing is that we must have changed the cultural understanding that dating must be a hunt where one must continue even if one is rejected. It’s about some men – not all – needing to learn about consent and the inviolability of the body. I am not at all in favor of us starting by talking about what the woman should do differently, but instead we should talk about how we prevent the situation from arising at all. “

A fourth survival strategy

Berlingske took Lisbeth Jessen’s call and called a psychologist.

More specifically, Signe Hegestand, who is a privately practicing psychologist, specializes in treating people who have been victims of violence.

Can you train out of the freezer reflex?

“No. It is an impulse that comes from our central nervous system – from the so-called reptile brain. In that situation, one’s normal analysis and decision-making apparatus is not activated at all. It is a pure reflex that the body has to prevent further damage to it. “

What if you teach children that? Or teach them martial arts where you learn some other reflexes?

“You can practice martial arts so you can strike again. But even trained soldiers who have been in combat experience freezing. When people freeze, they also experience feeling distant from the situation. It is the way of evolution to ensure that we get through violent situations with as few injuries and traumas as possible. “

»I understand well, Brian Mørk and others ask these questions. Even victims of violence become frustrated that they did nothing else. But we are, so to speak, just humans. Shame comes in precisely because afterwards you can not understand that you froze. But one must understand that it is simply just reflexes that take over. You have no control over it. “

Brian Mørk said in an interview about something completely different that he had realized that everyone is put in the world to carry on their DNA, and that this is one of the reasons why you love your children. What you say also sounds like it’s about passing on one’s DNA?

“In a way, it is true that we are all slaves to evolution, where the purpose of life is for us to survive so that we can reproduce. Evolutionarily, women also often have a smaller body than men, and women have also been the ones who had to take the children away from dangerous situations, so it was not always a sustainable strategy for primitive man to run all he could. Maybe that’s why women seem to freeze more often than men. “

Some psychologists talk about a fourth survival strategy, says Signe Hegestand.

»One has the well-known fight, flight, freeze (fight, flight, freeze), but the theory is that after man became a social being, so it added fawn to the other three. Fawn means pleasing or trying to make friends with your enemy. In that case, it also explains the cases where victims “give in” and let the abuser do what he wants. “

A woman who spoke to Berlingske about an assault she says Naser Khader committed on her told just such a story. In the article, Berlingske has chosen to call her Marie, but that is not her real name.

“People have some very funny ideas that you just have to fight against, but it is logical deduction to ask yourself: What hurts me the least? And it harms me potentially less to massage him and his cock than it will hurt me to be potentially beaten or beaten by him, “said Marie, whose identity is known to the editors.

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