When I was 23 years old I developed a passionate interest in women's self defense.

New in Vancouver, I was attacked by a stranger in the middle of the night. It was close, but I fought back and got away. The decision to fight back wasn't easy. Back then it was understood that if a woman fought back she would be murdered. It wasn't until later that I discovered this was a myth.

For me, the aftermath of being attacked was one of overwhelming fear. Moving somewhere else helped me sleep. Following the move, what helped me most to hold my head up and carry on was taking a women's self defense course. The course was Wendo, "women's way", and it was designed for women and taught by women.

I believe women's self defense is part of the solution to ending male violence against women. Women and girls rising up and asserting themselves in thousands of ways creates positive change throughout society, affecting women, men and children.

"In a 1984 speech Adrienne Rich summed up her reason for writing... What she and her sisters-in-arms were fighting to achieve, she said, was simply this: “the creation of a society without domination.”"

Below are articles collected on women's self defense:

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Teaching women self-defence still the best way to reduce sexual assaults: study
by ERIN ANDERSSEN, The Globe and Mail, Jun. 10, 2015

Resistance tactics

A landmark Canadian study instructed participants on how to confront the risk of sexual assault on campus, reports Erin Anderssen. While it’s a partial solution – and an imperfect one – research shows resistance tactics work

In the debate over how to reduce sexual assault on university campuses, proposing self-defence classes for women is controversial. Women aren’t the problem, the reasoning goes, so why is changing their behaviour the solution? Putting the onus on women to drop-kick rapists, map out safe walks home, or geo-track their drinks at parties, writes the rules in the wrong direction. And it swerves too easily into victim-blaming.

But, according to new landmark Canadian research, it works. The study, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the Canadian-designed intervention, which focuses on teaching women how to detect risk in situations that could lead to sexual assault and defend themselves when necessary, reduced the rate of rape among participants by nearly 50 per cent. At a time when universities are facing harsh criticism for mishandling sexual assault, when the White House has called for action to reduce sexual violence on campus, when it’s estimated that as many as one in four female university students may be assaulted before they finish their degree, is it responsible to deny young women access to a tried-and-tested program?

Lindsey Boyes, 22, took the course for extra credit in first-year psychology at the University of Calgary four years ago. She calls it a “paradigm shift” that corrected her own confusion about consent, and lifted the guilt she felt about a sexual assault during her teen years. She describes the program as “useful and necessary for where we are now as a society.” But, she says, “it’s a Band-Aid. It doesn’t get at the root of the problem.”

The four-year study tracked nearly 900 women at three Canadian universities, randomly selecting half to take the 12-hour “resistance” program, and compared them to a second group who received only brochures, similar to those available at a health clinic. One year later, the incidence of reported rape among women who took the program was 5.2 per cent, compared to 9.8 per cent in the control group; the gap in incidents of attempted rape was even wider.

The discomfiting part: Potential victims are still shouldering the burden for their own safety.

“There are no quick fixes,” says lead author Charlene Senn, a women’s studies professor at the University of Windsor. “We need multiple strategies. But we now know that giving women the right skills, and building the confidence that they can use them, does decrease their experience with sexual violence. This is our best short-term strategy while we wait for cultural change.”

On the first of four Thursday evening sessions, Lindsey Boyes had to leave the room. She was shaking. The facilitator had just finished explaining how the Canadian Criminal Code says consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated and intoxicated.

“It felt like she was talking directly to me,” recalls Ms. Boyes, who joined the study for extra credit in her first-year psychology class at the University of Calgary.

When Ms. Boyes was 16, she’d gotten drunk at a party. An older boy – “the most popular guy” at her small-town school, she recalls – offered to help her find a place to sleep because her girlfriends had already left. She remembers throwing up, a lot, and then flashes of him on top of her in bed. “Afterwards, he said, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody.’” But word spread, and she went from being a virgin to a “slut” in one night. Even her friends told her, “You shouldn’t have gotten so drunk.” They were right, she decided, it was her fault.

Now, in this class, she was learning for the first time to see what happened as a crime for which she was not to blame. “It was pretty intense,” recalls Ms. Boyes, now 22, who is going into her fourth year of a commerce degree. “It was a complete paradigm shift for me.”

The prevention program is a modern step from those old-school, self-defence classes that suggested, misleadingly, that the biggest risks come from empty parking garages and strangers leaping from bushes. Participants are reminded in the first of four classes that at least 80 per cent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.

Eight hundred and ninety-three women were recruited mostly from first-year psychology classes at the Universities of Windsor, Calgary and Guelph. They ranged in age from 17 to 24. Half of them were living in residence. The women in the study were randomly selected into two comparable groups. Retention was high; about 90 per cent of women assigned to the intervention group completed at least three of the four session in the 12-hour program.

Prior to taking the study, the rate of self-reported rape since age 14 in the entire group was 23 per cent, a number that may be higher than average because women with a history of sexual violence might have been more likely to volunteer for the study. But, at the same time, it’s estimated that one in four university women will be sexual assaulted during their four years on campus. This figure is based largely on a Canadian study more than a decade old, and is the subject of some debate, but American research also suggests rates between 14 and 26 per cent.

The study tracked sexual assault among participants. The numbers above show actual counts of reported non-consensual sexual activity up to one year later. In all categories, the rates for the group receiving the intervention were consistently lower. The rate of rape was reduced by half. Researchers believe this is because women learned to avoid risky situations, and were more likely to stop coercive behaviour before it escalated.

“The keys in the eyes are not going to work around your girlfriend’s boyfriend,” Prof. Senn likes to say. She cites studies that show women are the least likely to use force against acquaintances and friends, that perpetrators are more likely to lead with charm and alcohol than overt aggression. The course covers how to escape a choke hold, and ways to get out from underneath someone on a bed, but focuses on how to prevent situations from going that far. The most powerful part of a woman’s body, participants are told, is her voice. One of the central messages in the course: Don’t worry about being polite. Trust your instincts.

“As women we are really taught not to offend, not to be rude to people,” says Heidi Fischer, now 25, who participated in the study during her first year at the University of Guelph. “It’s about getting in touch with your gut.”

The course has four goals: to teach women common scenarios for sexual assault, how to recognize potential predators, how to evade danger (including through self-defence), and how to think about sexuality and relationships in terms of their own desires and boundaries.

Prof. Senn says the course stresses that learning skills does not mean women are to blame when an assault occurs; they also receive information on their rights, and how to file a complaint. (Ninety per cent of participants attended at least three of the three-hour sessions. Researchers offered small cash incentives, as is standard in trials, and guaranteed anonymity in the surveys. While researchers couldn’t follow up on assaults, women were given material after completing surveys reminding them how to seek help.)

Natalie Hope, 22, took the course in her freshman year at the University of Guelph. “I realized there were so many times as a teenager that I was blind to what was going on,” she says. “I really felt it was something I should have learned sooner.” One take-home lesson: Don’t disappear from your girlfriends; tell everyone where you are going. “We had a code phrase,” Ms. Hope says. “If someone said, ‘Oh, I like your shoes,’ it meant ‘I am uncomfortable, get me away.’” The course helped clarify her own comfort zone. Today, “I feel in control because I know what I expect.” (Galit Rodan for the Globe and Mail)

The participants interviewed for this story could all give examples of ways they had used what they learned. They mentioned covering their drinks, being aware of their environment, speaking up sooner when a situation felt risky even if it meant offending someone. Six months after taking the course, Ms. Boyes was alone in a car with a first date, when he started to make her uncomfortable. “He was getting pretty pushy, and I told him to take me home,” she says. “I am not sure I would have been that direct before.”

“I pay more attention to what I am doing, how I am acting toward people,” says Jenna Harris, 21, who is going into her fourth year at the University of Windsor. “I make sure I don’t lead someone on,” including accepting drinks from a stranger. She practises the buddy system at parties and bars, and she is more careful about her own alcohol consumption, because, she says, “if you are responsible for your friends, you are responsible for yourself as well.”

While they called the material “empowering,” and described sharing what they learned with friends, the women also said they felt conflicted. “It’s keeping me safe, but it’s not keeping everybody safe,” Ms. Fischer says. “Why are we teaching women to be afraid, women to be cautious, instead of teaching men not to be perpetrators?”

Attacking the root, however, has proven more difficult. During frosh week at many North American universities, for instance, freshmen often receive a one- or two-hour workshop about consent. But according to a convincing stack of studies documented by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, this “education” has little to no influence on what happens during the alcohol-saturated parties that follow. Many programs were too short, the CDC concluded, to have any lasting impact, and tended to focus on areas such as legal implications, as if rape is caused “by a lack of awareness of the laws prohibiting it.” Bystander programs which encourage male and female students to shut down sexist jokes or step in at parties when they see risky behaviour have produced promising results, but cultural change, as Prof. Senn points out, is a long-term solution.

Many of the programs are offered too late – especially for young women like Lindsey Boyes. This was a common complaint among participants: Why hadn’t they learned this when they were first exploring their sexuality, and short on confidence?

There is convincing evidence in the research for introducing these types of program much earlier. The CDC research found that the three interventions that proved most successful at reducing harassment and assaults were offered in middle school and high school – suggesting, researchers said, that these younger ages may represent a “critical window” to promote safer behaviour.

But getting the program into schools can be challenging – as Ontario recently learned with the controversy around its new sex education curriculum, which includes information on consent. Prof. Senn had already faced that hurdle, when she offered the program to Windsor high schools; while the public board declined, she says, the Catholic board allowed the program provided she drop the final class on sexuality and relationships. Prof. Senn says the waiting lists to attend were so long they had to add extra sessions. Given that about half of the rapes women experience happen before they are 18, she says, “adapting the program for girls in high school is a priority.”

The program is not the full answer, researchers say, but it’s an immediate real-world approach. “We shouldn’t just sit around and wait for a cultural shift that isn’t happening,” says Lise Gotell, a women’s study professor at the University of Alberta who is familiar with the new Canadian study, and aware of the criticisms levelled at a women-centred approach. The larger lesson lies with the intervention’s success. “When constraining women’s actions is still the major way that we can respond to the threat of sexual assault,” she says, “that is an indication of how much more we have to do.”

The program will be offered free to Canadian universities, though schools will have to cover the cost of facilitators, for whom training guidelines are now being developed. In an ideal world, says Prof. Senn, “this program would be available to all first-year women students until we don’t need it any longer – that is, when sexual violence ends.”


WISE Founder Teaches Muslim Women Self Defense To Protect Against Hate Crimes
The overwhelming majority of anti-Muslim violence targets women.

by Rahel Gebreyes, Editor, HuffPost, 03/14/2016

In the wake of increasing anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States, Muslim women are taking their safety into their own hands.

Through her organization, Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment, karate instructor and activist Rana Abdelhamid leads self-defense workshops for Muslim women, who are overwhelmingly targeted in acts of Islamophobic violence.

Albdelhamid, who started the group after a man tried to forcibly remove her hijab when she was 16 years old, is a Shotokan Karate black belt and teaches fellow Muslim women how to react if they experience a violent threat.

The Egyptian-American Queens native, is pursuing a master’s degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, but has taken her classes on the road to places like Washington, D.C., Dublin and Madrid.

Check out the video above to learn more.


These hijabi self-defense videos aren't the tutorials we want, but they're the ones we need
by Katie Dupere, Mashable, March 11, 2017

At anti-Trump rallies around the country, a popular chant often reverberates among the crowd: “When Muslim lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up. Fight back.”

A new video series called Self Defense Starter Kit is hoping to allow Muslim women to do just that, empowering them with self-defense techniques. The series — produced by directors Robie Flores and Ali Withers — was created in responses to the spike in documented hate crimes after the election of President Donald Trump.

SEE ALSO: Getty launches new partnership to promote positive images of Muslim women online

Though portions of the video series can be useful to women of all backgrounds, the main focus of the series is empowering Muslim women. The Self Defense Starter Kit videos feature two Muslim women instructors and cover topics exclusive to the community, like what to do if an attacker grabs your hijab.

Flores and Withers were inspired to create the series after they noticed apprehension among women in their community in response to Trump's impending presidency. The directors saw that women were becoming increasingly concerned about their safety, especially given that Trump was elected based on a platform that targeted marginalized groups.

"We had been dealing with this for a year and a half already," Flores says. "What will four more years look like? We couldn't afford to not be prepared. But we genuinely didn't know how to properly face these situations we encounter very often, much less what to do when they escalate and turn violent."

    "So why self-defense? Why the hell not?"

The pair reached out to Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), a self-defense school for Muslim women by Muslim women based in New York City, for their expertise. Two women from WISE, founder Rana Abdelhamid and chief instructor Maryam Aziz, star in the tutorials — and their bold personalities make the instructional videos shine.

"So why self-defense?" Abdelhamid says in one of the videos. She pauses, snaps her fingers and then answers her own question. "Why the hell not?"

Self-defense, as Abdelhamid goes on to explain, is "mad empowering," allowing women to feel secure and confident in the power of their own body. But, Abdelhamid says, in an ideal world women wouldn't need self-defense because biases like sexism, racism and xenophobia wouldn't exist to threaten women.

"All this shit's gotta go!" Abdelhamid exclaims in the video, laughing. "Then, we wouldn't need self defense classes and I'd be chillin'."

Flores says the creators and instructors were intentional in making the tone of the videos light, bringing infectious personality to the topic of trauma and violence. Flores and Withers say they drew inspiration from the style, tone and approachability of videos by YouTube makeup stars when dreaming up the style of the videos.

    "All we want is for women to realize how powerful they are."

"We wanted to make these videos feel as easy and mesmerizing as makeup tutorials are to us." Flores says. "They're so fast and easy to watch, and that's what we wanted with these videos. Like, 'Oh cool, blocking an attacker is actually totally doable. I can disable someone by jabbing up at their nose with just my palm? I can totally do that!'"

Withers emphasizes, however, the videos are a mere starting point. While she hopes the tutorials will allow women to feel more confident in threatening interactions, she also adds that women must seek out more opportunities in their own communities to strengthen these basic skills.

"We hope that people who are watching also practice," Withers says. "Build your muscle memory so you don't freeze up. The Self Defense Starter Kit is exactly that — a starter toolkit. There are great classes and resources out there if you want to learn more."

Though response to the project has been overwhelmingly positive and undeniably heartening, Flores and Withers wish the series didn't have to exist. Self-defense, after all, is just a band-aid response to the larger problem of violence and harassment.

But, Flores says, if this is the social environment women have to deal with, then the pair want to support them in reclaiming their strength.

"All we want is for women to realize how powerful they are," Flores says. "We need our presence and our voices now more than ever."


15-day women's self defence camp organised in city
2017-03-13 Posted By: Staff Reporter
Cities Pioneer Newspapers

Bhopal, March 13 -- To boost up the self-confidence among women and to make them prepare to fight-back, a 15-day women's self defence camp is being organised in the city jointly by Waseem's Classes and an NGO Sakaratmak Soch.

The camp commenced from March 3. The camp is supported by Crime against Women Cell, Bhopal. The experts teach the participants about self defense.

Interestingly, the camp is being attended by women from all age groups i.e. girls from 5 years to a 70-year-old woman are a part of the self defense camp. As many as 100 participants are learning the art of self defense.

Talking about the camp, organizer Waseemul Rahman told The Pioneer, "It happened a lot many times that I listened to few disturbing incidents happening ...


Ilocos Norte teaches women self-defense
by Artemio Dumlao (philstar.com) | Updated March 4, 2017

LAOAG CITY, Philippines – Ilocos Norte is teaching its women self-defense, aside from ushering in livelihood opportunities, as it celebrates Women’s Month.

Under the Provincial Gender and Development (GAD) Office, Ilocos Norte's 2017 celebration of National Women's Month kicks off with a women's trade fair and self-defense training for female students.

Students in Grades 10 and 11 from the first district towns of Bacarra, Piddig and Vintar are joining the self-defense trainings at the Vintar Auditorium starting Monday, said Ilocos Norte provincial information officer Jun Godoy.

Female students will simultaneously undergo the same trainings at the second district towns of Currimao, Pinili and Badoc at the Badoc Auditorium.

Training the female students are twenty policewomen from the Ilocos Norte police.

Gov. Imee Marcos encouraged victims to report domestic violence and sexual harassment to increase awareness of women's rights.

"We still need to move forward into the millennium so that these practices, customs, and wrongfully-accepted behaviors are finally put to an end," said Marcos.

Ilocano women entrepreneurs meanwhile will showcase their products at the Provincial Capitol parking lot from March 6 to 10 while vying for the best booth award.

There will be beneficiaries of the provincial government’s “Lacasa” (wooden Iluko chest) loan program which provides additional capital to women entrepreneurs.

The program helped over 600 Ilocano women in 2016 alone in strengthening their small businesses.

Nelinda Erice, head of GAD said more Ilocano women have joined the workforce.  

"These show that women are not being left in the home nowadays. We are going out because the province has recognized our important role as partners in any developmental aspect of society,” she added.

Marcos said that the livelihood and employment programs for women are not merely additional income.

"More frequently they are the main and single source for family income," Marcos said.

In addition to the Lacasa loan, the GAD office regularly conducts parent education programs in barangay communities; school symposia on teen pregnancy, rape and sexual harassment; and seminars on fertility awareness.

Other Women's Month activities in Ilocos Norte this year include the National Buntis Day Celebration and Kinni-Kinni ("kembot" or "swaying hips") Parade on March 10 and women's fora from March 14 to 22.


Essay: How feminist self-defense flips the script on violence against women
By Rachel Piazza | Mar 30, 2017

Rachel Piazza's "concrete tools" of feminist self-defense are rooted in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

The fear of violence is one of the reasons I started training in the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu nine years ago. This feeling of vulnerability was formally validated for me when the United Nations 2015 World's Women Report revealed that one in three women had experienced physical/sexual violence at some point in their lives. But, perhaps more startling, the report also noted that intimate partner violence accounts for the majority of assaults against women.

However, from my experience, most traditional self-defense programs, focus on violence perpetrated by strangers. The stereotypical scenarios are familiar; we envision a masked man jumping out from behind bushes to prey on vulnerable women who've "dared" to venture out alone.

Rima is very special for how she is able to train as hard as she does and also take the time to make the community better, says Nasser Faouri, main jiu-jitsu coach at The Source MMA in Amman, Jordan.
Jiu-jitsu fighter guards the future of Jordanian girls

Watching my dad coach basketball made me a feminist

And yes, those occurrences happen -- it is more likely women would have a dangerous encounter with a boyfriend, husband, partner or an associate -- but it ignores the fact that not all assailants are strangers. And defense classes should reflect that.

But, as a feminist self-defense instructor who follows the empowerment model -- which was developed by the National Women's Martial Arts Federation -- I'm working to change that.

Following a three-pronged approach focused on the culture of violence, boundary setting, and concrete tools (more on that later), this model is a stark contrast from traditional self-defense, which is typically based on reacting to a situation, rather than that preventing or destabilizing it. Integral in these courses is the idea that violence against women often stems from unbalanced power dynamics.

By teaching strategies like speaking with an assertive tone of voice, displaying confident body language, managing distance from the possible assailant and calling out inappropriate behavior, women can learn to interrupt escalating boundary violations.

However, despite the effectiveness of boundary setting, physical fighting skills are still vital, and most feminist self-defense instructors come from a variety of martial arts backgrounds. The "concrete tools" I explicitly teach are rooted in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Since this discipline is designed to allow a smaller, and possibly physically weaker person to control or incapacitate an attacker through dominant positions and submissions such as chokes and joint locks; it is perfect for women.

Piazza demonstrates a guillotine choke at the 2015 Hollaback! Anti-Street Harassment Rally in New York City.

Known for providing tools to be offensive from the ground, I use Brazilian jiu-jitsu to teach women to avoid and escape control from dangerous positions like being pinned on their back. By being aware of leverage and body weight, a small woman can successfully defend herself, as strength is less important than the application of proper technique.

The payoff of learning these techniques is not only an increased ability to defend oneself but the confidence that comes with it. This self-assurance can empower women to be more verbally assertive and improve their overall sense of well-being, which is the biggest transformation I see in my students.

The efficacy of feminist self-defense goes beyond my personal observations. Aside from benefits like increased self-confidence and healthier body image, a 2013 study from the University of Oregon showed that after taking a 30-hour feminist self-defense course, participants were significantly less likely to experience a violent incident of any kind. The study suggests that these courses go beyond teaching women to defend themselves from an attack -- they help to prevent violence by instructing women to confront controlling behaviors that could escalate to physical and/or sexual violence.

While women are never responsible for preventing violence against themselves -- as that responsibility rests entirely on the perpetrator -- feminist self-defense proves that women can be active players in liberating themselves from control and violence.

By teaching women to use all the tools available, feminist self-defense is a powerful way to resist domination and the violence associated with it.

Rachel Piazza is a TEDx speaker, an acclaimed feminist self-defense instructor, and adjunct professor teaching sociology at Wilmington University. You can learn more about her workshops at feministselfdefense.com.


This is what Taapsee Pannu wants to do for women’s self-defense and it’s great!
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, Apr 5, 2017

While her role in Pink became something that every Indian urban woman could relate to, Taapsee Pannu continues to work towards the cause of women empowerment in the country. In fact, she has always been vocal in public forums, on social media platforms where she has spoken about problems women go through in their daily day to day life.

In fact, putting forward her concerns about women’s safety, she has taken a step ahead and wrote a letter to her alma mater; school Mata Jai Kaur Public School in Ashok Vihar and Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology where she completed her computer science engineering, both in New Delhi to promote self-defense. She has requested the authorities there to introduce self-defense and martial arts coaching classes for young girls and women classes soon in their premises so that at an early age girls in school, they learn to empower themselves. She also ensured whatever help is required for this initiative will be taken care by the actress.

Taapsee Pannu wanted to do for women’s self-defense

Talking about the same, Tapsee said, “I think with the given situation we are in, it’s important to empower girls from a young age and I feel self-defense as a concept has nothing to do with someone’s sex. One should be strong and should be able to learn how to tackle a situation should it arise where their security is being threatened. I think a change always starts with small steps and for me that was to reach out to my school and request and assist them to begin a course for self-defense for students from a young age. The idea isn’t to just let them learn how to combat but also understand the importance of self-security and know when to utilize their self-defense knowledge.”

The principal of the actress’ school shared her letter with management and have even decided to introduce self-defense and karate in her school. For this, they have already enrolled a professional who will coach them in the upcoming vacation.


Newlywed Women in India are Being Given Wooden Bats to Prevent Domestic Violence
by Feliz Solomon, Time, Apr 30, 2017

Newlywed women in one Indian state are being given state-issued wooden bats to ward off drunk or abusive husbands, amid nationwide efforts to crackdown on alcohol-linked violence against women.

Agence France-Presse reports that Gopal Bhargava, a minister in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, gave the bats to nearly 700 women who participated in a government-organized mass wedding on Saturday.

Bhargava has reportedly ordered about 10,000 more paddles to hand out to future brides. The specially made bats, measuring nearly one foot long and traditionally used to beat dirt out of laundry, bear messages such as “for beating drunkards” and “police won’t intervene,” according to AFP.

The minister reportedly advised the brides to first try to reason with their husbands, but to “let the wooden paddles do the talking” if words fail.

“Women say whenever their husbands get drunk they become violent. Their savings are taken away and splurged on liquor,” Bhargava told AFP. “There is no intent to provoke women or instigate them to violence but the bat is to prevent violence.”

Several states across India have recently introduced measures to curb alcohol-related domestic and sexual violence, mostly geared toward prohibition or restricted liquor sales.

Experts warn, however, that while such measures have proven politically popular, prohibition has in some cases taken a toll on local economies and could lead to a rise in dangerous, illegal production of moonshine.


Woman patrolling squad to monitor violence against women
Ashish Mehta | TNN | Updated: Apr 30, 2017

JAIPUR: Jaipur police are set to launch "All woman patrolling squad" in the coming weeks to ensure safety and security of women. The role of the squad is like Anti-Romeo Squad of Uttar Pradesh. However, unlike Anti-Romeo Squad, woman patrolling squad will dish out punishment to the offenders.

"They will work in two shifts and crisscross the city on bikes. We will finalize the sites and spots where the squad will be patrolling," said Prafful Kumar, additional commissioner of police(Crime) while talking to TOI on Sunday.

He added that two teams comprising 12 women in each would work for eight hours a day. "During the day time, they would be patrolling public places including shopping malls schools and colleges in the city. The squad will intimate the police control room about the offenders, who would be directly handed over to the concerned police station," Kumar added.

Jaipur police is also planning to connect woman patrolling squad with 1090 helpline number for the woman. "Any girl or a woman who is continuously being troubled can directly call up the helpline number. The caller does not have to identify herself.


Why Isn't Self-Defense Training Available to Every Woman Who Wants It?

Jocelyn Hollander, Professor of Sociology, Univ. of Oregon, 06/17/2015

Imagine if someone found a simple, quick, and cost-effective method of preventing car accidents that could cut the rate of highway deaths by half. Would it be reasonable for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to refuse to endorse this solution because they thought that it was car manufacturers', not drivers', responsibility to make cars safer?
This is, essentially, what the Centers for Disease Control have done when they continue to dismiss the growing body of research that finds that empowerment-based women's self-defense training reduces the risk of sexual assault. A brand-new study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, reports that a 12-hour, empowerment-based self-defense class (one that focuses not only on physical defensive skills but also on awareness, social norms, and assertiveness) cut college women's risk of rape by nearly half. Participants' risk of other forms of sexual assault were also significantly lowered. This study, conducted by Canadian psychologist Charlene Senn, builds on earlier research (including my own, published in the journal Violence Against Women last year) that reported similar findings: when women learn to defend themselves, both verbally and physically, they are much less likely to suffer sexual assault.

The CDC has steadfastly refused to consider self-defense training as part of its approach to preventing sexual violence. And because other major organizations - including the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and a large number of universities and colleges - rely on the CDC for their research, self-defense training has been completely left out of the current rush to develop effective prevention strategies, especially on college campuses.

The CDC's stance rests on two beliefs. First, they argue that self-defense training does nothing to change the behavior of perpetrators. As CDC behavioral scientist Sarah DeGue told The New York Times, "It's possible that potential perpetrators could encounter individuals who have received training and just move on to more vulnerable individuals." But is this realistic? If a perpetrator attempts to assault a woman, but she escapes by breaking his knee or gouging his eyes, will he really just "move on" to someone else? Even if she resists non-violently, by yelling or setting clear boundaries, can we really assume that this experience will do nothing to shift his perceptions of women's vulnerability?

The second concern involves victim-blaming. According to an editorial by Kathleen Basile, another CDC researcher, which accompanied the NEJM article, the major weakness of Senn's study "is that it places the onus for prevention on potential victims, possibly obscuring the responsibility of perpetrators and others. What happens when women who complete the intervention cannot successfully resist rape?" We actually know the answer to that question already. Two recent studies found that women with self-defense training who experienced a subsequent assault blamed themselves no more than similar women without self-defense training - or even blamed themselves less. I have observed many empowerment-based self-defense classes in the course of my research. Every one of them has gone out of their way to emphasize that the responsibility for sexual assault lies solely with perpetrators.

Self-defense training does focus on what women can do to reduce their risk of assault. But no one is claiming that this should be our only strategy for stopping violence. Rather, Charlene Senn and other self-defense advocates suggest only that self-defense training should be one part of a multipronged approach. Bystander intervention, healthy relationship education, and community-level strategies should also be important parts of our approach to preventing violence. However, relying only on these long-term solutions means that millions of additional women will be sexually assaulted before we have made inroads into preventing perpetration. Is this really acceptable?

Making cars and roads safer is indeed important, and we should invest in these things. But building new roads and changing the design and manufacture of cars - like changing the culture that supports sexual assault - will take a long time. If there were a quick and effective way I (and my children) could be safer on the road today, I'd sure want to know about it.


Fall Tips for Personal Safety

Editors, Gastown Gazette | 

In recent weeks the Vancouver Police have issued a series of warnings regarding attacks on women in downtown Vancouver (1) (2). I thought this might be a good time to share a few important tips to keep women safe when out in public.

Here are my ten tips for women’s safety:

1. Attackers often look for a woman using her cell phone, searching through her purse or doing something else. They look for women who are “off guard” and therefore vulnerable to being overpowered.

2. Grocery store parking lots are the number one place from which women are attacked or abducted. Be aware of everything around you in these environments. Pay attention to the car parked next to you and where the nearest exits are. Keep alert and keep your attention focused on the people moving around you. Have your keys ready before arriving at your car.

3. Public washrooms can also be dangerous spaces. Try to avoid using them when you are alone.

4. Remember that attackers are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they are less likely to be caught. If you put up any kind of a fight, they will get discouraged. After a few moments they may realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be too time-consuming.

5. If someone is following you, and there is no one else around, turn around, look the person in the face and talk to him. Ask the person what time it is or make general small talk. You lose appeal as a target if you can identify someone in a police lineup.

6. If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell: “Stop! Stay back!” Most attackers will leave a woman alone if she yells or shows that she will fight back. They are looking for an EASY target!

7. If you are grabbed and you can’t beat your attacker back with strength, try outsmarting him. If you are pulled from around the waist, pinch the attacker under the arm or between the elbow and armpit. You can also pinch him in the upper inner thigh. Pinch hard!

8. After the initial hit , always go for the groin! Use your elbow! Remember your elbow is the strongest and hardest part of your body. (The founder of Safeteen would add: go for his eyes. jab or thumb gouge. and a kick to the knee-cap can mean you can run!)

9. Avoid alley ways and dark areas at all times, even if the distance is short. Try and use main streets that are well lit and are more likely to have people around.

10. Here is one last very important point: if you find yourself in a situation where you need to scream for help, always call out “fire” as opposed to “help”.

Below is a link to the recent Vancouver Police Department public warnings regarding attacks on women. Please have a look and take note of the locations and conditions surrounding the attacks.

Finally, don’t let fear drive your lifestyle. Get out there and enjoy yourself but be aware and be safe!

The VPD’s tips for personal safety can be found here.

The VPD’s warnings regarding attacks on women in downtown Vancouver (1) (2) can be found here.

By Kim Patton

David Schwimmer (and friends) launch chilling new sexual harassment awareness campaign

He made a promise to be there for you in the ’90s. And now, more than a decade after the beloved sitcom Friends wrapped, Ross Geller is delivering with a new Facebook series

by Ava Baccari, Flare Apr 10, 2017

David Schwimmer and his friends have launched a chilling new video campaign on Facebook to raise awareness about sexual harassment. “Concerned friends of mine and I created these for you to watch & share!” he said in a tweet earlier this week.

Aptly titled #ThatsHarassment, the series features everyday scenarios, based on real incidents, from a trip to the doctor to an interaction between two co-workers. Schwimmer teamed up with Israeli-American director Sigal Avin to produce of the videos (one of which he actually appears in), and each is more haunting than the next. Surprising stars make several cameos, including Cynthia Nixon and Emmy Rossum.

The videos, while nauseating to watch, are important to see. Here’s our take on each one. (Just be aware, they could be upsetting and/or triggering to watch.)

See the videos here: http://www.chatelaine.com/news/david-schwimmer-sexual-harassment-ca...

1. The Coworker

It’s a scene many of us know too well: trying to fit in at a job you just started — only here, it reaches a new level of disturbing as the co-worker who appears to decry toxic frat-boy behaviour actually engages in it, all while proclaiming to be “the biggest feminist there is.” Not cool, bro.

2. The Actor

Full disclaimer: I had to pause this video before mustering the nerve to finish watching it. The sharp transition from fun and flirty to gross abuse of power sent chills down my spine. The ease with which this hot-shot actor snapped back into lovable celebrity-mode after exposing himself will fill you with rage.

3. The Doctor

Cynthia Nixon is perfection here — you will actually feel your creeper radars BLARING right along with hers.

4. The Boss

Oh, the authority figure who forces himself on you and then “just wants you make you feel comfortable” afterward. Made that much worse by his terrible attempts at flattery.

5. The Photographer

A certain dirtbag fashion photographer comes to mind here as Bobby Cannavale’s instruction to the young and obviously uncomfortable model in front of the camera is overtly sexual and inappropriate. Wait for the 3:00 mark for your mind to be blown.

6. The Politician

Emmy Rossum’s stoic attempt to do her job is an unfortunate reminder of what many female journalists face on a daily basis.

Were you able to get through all the videos? I admit, I struggled to watch them all in one go. What’s probably most surprising about these disturbing depictions of everyday experiences is just how unnervingly common they are.


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