Be On The Lookout: How self-defense training empowers the woman in your life

PADUCAH, KY- Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

“We know that women are more likely to experience sexual violence than men,” said Amanda Harris, Family Advocate with the Purchase Area Sexual Assault & Child Advocacy Center (PASAC).

One in six women will be a victim of rape in their lifetime.

Those statistics from RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization, point to an issue that hits close to home.

“Our last fiscal year, we served over 800 victims here in our region,” Harris said of the eight county area PASAC serves in West Kentucky. “So again, we know that it’s a bigger problem than we may want to acknowledge.”

Those statistics are why PASAC and law enforcement agencies encourage women and girls to take self-defense courses. Carbondale, Illinois Police are offering them soon. Learn more details about when and where by clicking here.

The first of the three sessions they will offer will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30. The lecture and workshop will last from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., focusing on alertness, prevention, precaution and preparation. The workshop will also teach techniques to escape an attacker.

Some studies, including an analysis in this SAGE Journal article, find “Women who participate in self-defense training are less likely to experience sexual assault and are more confident in their ability to effectively resist assault than similar women who have not taken such a class.”

PASAC representatives say self-defense courses are helpful for women who want to ward off an attack, but also for those who have already been victimized.

“In addition to teaching self-defense strategies, self-defense training and practice also helps to strengthen the neurocircuitry of the fight response, which is one of the three automatic survival responses: fight, flight, freeze,” said PASAC Executive Director Lori Brown. “This is empowering for anyone, but especially for someone who has been previously victimized and went into freeze response.”

To find out about self-defense courses available in your area, contact your local rape crisis center or law enforcement agency.

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