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Dear Reader,

Welcome to the June issue of the Back Off newsletter. Can I start with a quick explanation as to why the May issue didn't actually eventuate. In the first week of May I came down with what appeared to be a bad dose of the flu but turned out to be pneumonia, the end result being three weeks away from work which pretty much took care of the month of May! However all is now fine and I'm back fighting fit.

In this months issue we continue the discussion on the group/gang confrontation with part two of a three part series. I trust that this newsletter finds you happy and well as we move into the second half of the year, and just before I sing off, welcome to our recent subscribers from Australia and overseas. Remember to keep those emails coming through - the more feedback we receive the better the information we can provide.

Thanks for your support.

Take care, your friend


'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.' - Aristotle


Following on from our previous issue where we looked into dealing with the 'avoidable confrontation', let's now look into dealing effectively with the 'unavoidable confrontation'. If avoiding the confrontation is no longer an option we need to address ways to de-escalate the situation and ultimately get to safety. This type of scenario could arise as a result of walking out of a subway straight into the midst of a group or gang.

Turning into a street and being met by a group of individuals without having the opportunity to avoid them, or any other type of group confrontation where initial avoidance is not an option. Having found yourself in this type of predicament there are a few hard and fast rules to observe in order to give you the greatest chance of getting to safety: Firstly, some of the 'Do's':

Realise that if you got a surprise to see them, then they more than likely got a surprise to see you.

An individual always thinks faster than a group. If there are five- you think five times faster. If there are ten- you think ten times faster.

This speed of thought is your greatest advantage. Use it by acting as quickly as you can. v

Remember you pose no threat to them. Attempt to keep the situation at this level. v

Physically remove yourself from where you are as quickly as possible. If possible, walk around the group and move off in the same direction.

Your focus at the point of confrontation must be to de-escalate the situation and remove yourself from the most dangerous place in the world right now, which is where you are standing. v

The faster and more calmly you do this the greater the chance of getting away. v

Ideally you want to be 20-30 metres past this group before they have time to realise what they could've done to you.

Act as you are thinking- don't think of how to act. Secondly some of the 'don'ts':

  • Don't stop and stand in front of the group waiting for them to make a move. You think far quicker than they do and your focus (escape) is much clearer than theirs is. Use this to your advantage. v

  • Don't attempt to 'eye-ball' any members of the group. As with the weapon confrontation, at this stage your focus should be on de-escalation. Avoid any actions that could be read as confrontational.

  • At the point of confrontation avoid turning and running away from the group (unless this will definitely enable you to get to a safer, more populated area). This course of action, although effective in the 'avoidable confrontation', is likely to encourage members of the group to chase you when they are in such close proximity.

  • When attempting to move on past the group, don't try to muscle your way through the middle, move quickly and confidently to the left or right and walk around them.

  • Don't enter into any form of discussion with the group if it can be avoided. Even genuine attempts at communication can be turned against you in this type of situation.

  • If successful in moving around the group and walking away, avoid looking back over your shoulder towards them. This expression of fear may lead to a further confrontation. Focus on getting yourself away from them and, if possible, to a populated area.

In summary, your focus in this type of confrontation is to think and move quickly. Your greatest advantage is your speed of thought. The more distance you can put between you and the group, and the faster you do it, the better. Focus on getting to a populated or well-lit area.


Q. I read recently that in NSW the maximum imprisonment for gang rape had increased - is this true?
A. Yes, a recent amendment to the NSW Crimes act increased the maximum penalty for a gang rape from 20 years to 25 years. 'Gang rape' is classified as 'Aggravated sexual assault' in the Crimes act. Other forms of Aggravated sexual assault such as weapon rape and rapes involving excessive violence still carry a maximum 20-year term.

Q. There seems to be some debate about introducing 'mandatory minimum sentences' in NSW, what does this actually mean?
A. The state opposition wants to introduce this if they are elected in the state election early next year. What this means is that as well as having maximum sentences for crime, (i.e.; 14 years for sexual assault), they would also introduce a minimum sentence that must be imposed if the offender is found guilty. For example an offender found guilty of sexual assault would get a minimum sentence of, for example, 5 years and a maximum of 14 years. The idea being that all offenders found guilty of crimes that carry a minimum sentence will serve some prison time. Under the current system there is no obligation on a judge to do this.


Just for Today I will live through the next 12 hours and try not to tackle all of life's problems at once.
I will improve my mind, I will learn something that requires effort and concentration.
I will be agreeable,
I will look my best, speak in a well-modulated voice, be courteous and considerate.
I will not find fault with a friend, relative or colleague.
I will not try to change or improve anyone but myself.
I will have a programme. I might not follow it exactly, but I will have it.
I will save myself from two enemies: hurry and indecision.
I will do a good turn and keep it a secret. If anyone finds out, it will not count.
I will do two things I don't want to do, just for the exercise.


Dan wanted to issue a quick reminder to you all of the two ingredients that are most common in almost every date rape: ' Alcohol and isolation.

Always be extra cautious whenever alcohol is about, and remember that the guy who is a problem will want to isolate you from your friends and then look to take advantage of the situation. So always remember - alcohol and isolation are the key ingredients to date rape.'


Dear Brent,

I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much I learnt from your lectures. You came to us last year at our camp and it was the best camp I have ever been on thanks to the two nights that you spent with us! its funny how much I have actually used everything you taught us. I even bought your book to keep. Its a great book by the way I read it when ever I need a good laugh! anyway so getting to the point there are two ways in which your lectures have helped me. One is I have found that you have actually lectured many other girls schools.

Now after your seminars my friends and I all sat down and had a good old laugh but I never thought I would really use it. So on new years eve I was at a party. Now I didn't really know anyone so it was kind of awkward. Anyway I was talking to some girls and all of a sudden I heard this really loud laugh on the other side of the room, I looked over and there was a girl laughing nonstop at this 'dickhead' in the corner.then the girls I was talking to all began to laugh and snigger. Then I remembered your seminar and caught on!! I joined in and it was so funny the guy just withered away into the corner!

afterwards I was talking to the girls who were amazed at how well it had worked. You see the girl was on her way over to get a drink and the guy picked her out, just like you said he would! then I found out that the girls had heard you talk as well and she thought of you and did what you said. It worked!!! it didn't work for me but I witnessed it!!it was great thank you so much!!!

the other way in which you have helped me is that I feel alot more confident. I am currently in a relationship and one thing I know is guys are always thinking about sex. I don't know what it is but they think if they buy you a bracelet and go out to the movies with you that they are then entitled to sex. So before your seminars I was really afraid that I couldn't handle it but now I know I can! you have given me courage I never thought I had. I now know what to do if ever in that situation and let me tell you before I never would have considered saying yes and then lying about the bathroom or something!

its great now that I am prepared and I wanted to thank you so much! sincerely

F.M Sydney

Dear Brent,

hi. You recently visited my school and gave a lecture on self defence. It was Marist Sisters Collage Woolwich. I think I can speak for my group of friends and say that it was a fun day and we all learned alot. Speaking personally I know that I am prepared if I ever be in a situation in which I will need to use to protect myself from "The Dickhead".

It was so funny when I went home, I did the eyes,nose,throat,grab,nuts,foot,NO! but not hurting him just pretending and he thought it was a great day of learning bout how to take care of myself from those guys. Alot more can be learnt about this which you are doing all over. The world needs more of you so girls and women know what to do.

your friend L.R Sydney


'Eighty percent of success is showing up.' - Woody Allen

'Who dares wins.' - Winston Churchill

'When you're through changing, you're through.' - Bruce Barton

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