JUDY x Peanut: Self-Defense & Boundary Setting with Victoria Gracie

JUDY x Peanut: Self-Defense & Boundary Setting with Victoria Gracie

Mindsets & Strategies About Self-Defense

Ever wonder how you can practice self-defense in your everyday life? Here are a few key tips from Empowerment Coach and Self-Defense Expert, Victoria Gracie, brought up during our most recent Safety Series live audio conversations on the Peanut app.

Self Defense:

What triggers a response:

  • The average woman fears an attacker both when they’re alone and if they are with their kids

What does that really mean?

  • It means that you can find yourself in a situation where a stranger (or known person) is impeding upon your boundaries –aka they’re not respecting your space


What is a boundary?

  • A boundary is where we (safely) feel an end and someone else begins.
  • When breached, it’s an indicator this person does not respect your boundaries (and therefore you) .
  • It could be noticing red flags about a person, feeling that a person is invading your space or even just recognizing that gut feeling that a situation no longer feels safe.

So how do you set those boundaries?

  • The reason people don’t set boundaries with their own personal space is often because people don’t think they will be respected.
  • OR because if they aren’t respected, they don’t know how they would hold the boundary. 

So the first step?

  •  = Empowering yourself to know what YOUR boundary is and know WHEN/IF it’s being impeded on
  • THEN, how to maintain the boundary
  • That could include:
    • Verbal (Requests and commands)
    • Physical (creating space or controlling the distance)
    • Pre-Emptive Communication - Texts/Emails (“This is how I see this going” or “This is what works for me”)
    • Emotional/Psychological (“This is not a topic I’m going to discuss with you”)

Intuition & Boundaries

Your intuition is your internal self defense mechanism 

  • How can YOU do this: Leave an unsafe situation even if it disrupts your plan.
    • For example: 
      • You are going to the grocery store and you’re not liking the vibe in the parking lot / something happening outside the store. 
      • You may think, “well I need to get groceries and that was the PLAN.”
      • But sometimes we are so set in our PLAN, we fail to realize that you can change it.
      • AKA rewiring your brain to say = Grocery store feels unsafe > I still need to get groceries > but let’s leave this store and just find another store for today.

“Intuition is knowing without knowing why. Even when you can’t see the evidence. Denial is choosing not to know something even when the evidence is obvious. It’s easy to see which of these two human abilities is more likely to protect children from violence.”

 - Gavin DeBecker

Helping others from a safe distance:

  • Sometimes helping means putting ourselves in a dangerous position – but there are ways to help safely
    • IE: seeing an altercation you can 
      • a) call to get help or say help is coming to deter the aggressor 
      • b) film it - especially if there is already help coming, sometimes standing there and filming IS the safest way to help without putting yourself in harm’s way
      • c) get loud and be an advocate from a safe distance, describe perpetrator loudly so they start to feel watched or unsafe

How can you talk to your KIDS about following their intuition:

  • Often, kids actually have great natural instincts (especially when it comes to people) – so empower them to recognize and follow those instincts
    • For example:
      • Trusting their gut
      • Ie  “what is your body saying - what do you feel about that person” – their answer is usually indicative of how that person makes them feel / if they can trust that person
    • It could be as simple as teaching them to spot red flags in people they know as well as strangers; Ie preventing child abductions by talking to them about things like “adults you don’t know don’t normally need your help…so don’t follow them” 
  • Socializing your kids (especially post-pandemic)
    • Ie on the playground – We’re really quick to tell them to “play with everyone” but sometimes that is dishonoring the child’s natural instinct to “vibe-out” the playground. But you wouldn’t (as an adult) go up to a whole group of people in a coffee shop and say HEY LET’S HANG!...no it’d be weird. So don’t force them into that same feeling.
    • Especially after the pandemic. We need to be more aware that our children have a built-in system to check the vibe…so give them some time to unfold and get comfortable….let THEM set their own boundary. They’ve also been told for years now that they have to stay a safe distance from others. That programming or messaging doesn’t just delete from their mental patterns… it will take time to potentially feel safe engaging with others again.
  • Talk, Tell, Tackle
    • Jiu Jitsu / the steps to help children assert their boundaries without punching or yelling or kicking (ie in bullying situations)

If you have additional questions, send them our way!

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