Aoife wrote:**back to the original topic**
Perhaps I should explain more clearly.
I am not a druid yet. I'm still researching it and it seems like this is the path I would like to follow but I admit that pacifism conflicts with my nature when it comes to danger, however rare it may be.
As of yet I haven't used my kung fu on anyone but I admit the whole reason I took it was because I was...victimized...when I was 19 years old and I swore to myself I would never be anyone's victim again. The fact that I couldn't protect myself (I'm a 4'11 woman) hurt me deeply and I wanted to make sure that myself and those I love would never have to suffer like I had if I was around. I wouldn't let size be a hindrance when it came to protection because I would learn the tools it takes to survive should the occasion arise and hopefully it never will. I do not wish for an altercation but merely the tools to survive it if I need to fight.
I live in a fairly safe area and the people make a good community for the most part but it does have a bit of a meth problem and muggings and the like happen from time to time. The papers are full of stories of people being randomly attacked for seemingly no reason other than to commit an act of violence. It may be the drugs? Who knows.
Besides that one...attack...that stole part of me away I've been trying to heal. And since that I cannot regain what was lost and since I still have nightmares and once woke up screaming a few months ago (and it's sad because I'm almost 25 now) I have lived a altercation free life and I'm glad for it. However, I know I would not hesitate to fight if I absolutely had to.
I'm very sorry that happened to you. And in answer to your question, I've practiced druidry and earth-based women's spirituality as my religion for well over a decade and I have absolutely no problem with violence used in self-defense or defense of others. I condemn aggressive violence absolutely, but just as absolutely, I support defensive violence.
Obviously a totally peaceful world would be ideal, but since that's not what we've got, I view violent self-defense (I'm going to say self-defense as shorthand, but I also mean defense of others) as thoroughly justified.
My husband and I witnessed (and helped stop) a near-gang rape in the parking lot next to the building we lived in several years back, and my reaction (as a petite woman, like yourself) to realizing just how vulnerable I was--rapists in my parking lot!!!--was to go get trained and licensed to use a gun. I live in the US, so that's an option. Basically I decided guns were going to be my martial art. It seemed fitting, since brandishing something that, in the dark, looked like a gun but wasn't is part of how my husband and I scared off the rapists, and also because my grandma and her sister were champion target shooters. In fact, my gran's sister once saved herself from an attack by brandishing a gun--a man ran up behind her at night as she approached an alleyway, she pulled a gun on him and he instantly became, shall we say, WAY LESS HOSTILE. She actually marched him at gunpoint to the authorities to be arrested!
Generally speaking, with minor variations from state to state, the law in the US is that if someone is trying to commit a violent felony against me, such as rape or kidnapping or aggravated assault (i.e. a beating), I have the right to "use deadly force" (i.e. shoot him). And to me, that is absolutely what the law should be--in other words, it's absolutely moral and ethical--for several reasons
, of which the most obvious is that rape, kidnapping and assault sometimes result in the death of the victim (even when the criminal wasn't intending to kill, death can result), and if you let the attack proceed until it becomes clear that death is a real risk for you, by that point you are no longer in any position to defend yourself. Thus, we have to let people use violence (including deadly force) to prevent the attack in the first place.
I think on a moral plane, when someone decides to attack another human being, they temporarily forfeit their own rights. They lose the right to freedom (they can be arrested), and to a limited extent--specifically, to the extent necessary to stop the attack, up to and including deadly force--they lose the right to not have violence done to them. It's limited in the sense that if they clearly stop attacking you can't hurt them as retribution, but as long as they continue trying to hurt you, you can do whatever you need to do to stop it, including killing them.