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Gifts of Fear

By Hella Niazi

Are young women taught to be nice to protect themselves from rape and murder even though they have the right to reject men?

Professor Scott M. Landis has been teaching at NCC for 11 years. He first started using the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker in 2008 at East Stroudsburg University, where he taught credit classes in the Department of Movement Activities and Fitness.

While at NCC, he began teaching (ACLS 050) Introduction to Academic Literacy. In teaching this course, he was given the opportunity to add it to the list of the books the course offers.

The book explains survival signals that, if listened to within the proper context, can protect a potential victim from violence.

De Becker wrote about how to spot potentially violent behavior, signs of danger, how to act when approached by a stranger and what to do if you are being stalked. He cites true stories of violence, rape, and sexual abuse in workplaces, relationships, and in families.

 “The book is important because it imparts useful, practical information students can apply immediately to their lives,” Landis says.

“In (sad) fact, if a full jumbo jet crashed into a mountain killing everyone on board, and if that happened every month, month in and month out, the number of people killed still wouldn’t equal the number of women murdered by their husbands and boyfriends each year,” De Becker wrote.

“It’s all so important because we are in uncertain times, and knowing how to accurately listen to your intuition and interpret its message is one skill at that, anyone -and I mean anyone – can employ to a sense of calm to one’s life,” Landis says.

“When you learn to listen to what your subconscious and your gut is telling you, and you learn to understand the ways others may try to manipulate you, you become more in control of your future,” he says.

“The lessons in the book can help you make sound, rational decisions that benefit yourself and those in your life, and these lessons can help you distinguish between that which call for action, and that which does not.”