This is some really interesting stuff from Jim Hopper. We know that “fight or flight” doesn’t truly represent the common reactions to being assaulted, So rather than trying to add new terms, why not just rethink the entire thing?
“With this terminology, behavioral language isn’t used for a physiological state, and the behavioral words that are used, “reflexes and habits,” don’t leave out the most common responses to being assaulted. When you put the terms together, everything makes sense, everything reflects reality, and everything fits with the science: when people are being (sexually) assaulted their brains and bodies typically go into survival mode, and in that state their behaviors typically consist of reflexes and habits.”
Go read the whole thing. Personally, I would love to find a different way to describe it, and I like the idea of referring to “Survival Mode” and the various reflexive reactions we have when we go in to that mode, mostly because it’s a broader brush. It includes a lot of different options, and encompasses all the of the ways different people might react differently.
At the very least, maybe it can start to eliminate some of the stigma associated with not fighting or fleeing. That’s a good start.
Thanks to Rachel for bringing this article to my attention.