Self-defence training for women in Ponoka

Self-defence training for women in Ponoka Self-defence training for women in Ponoka

Rape, Aggression, Defence (RAD) self-defence training for woman is being offered in Ponoka for the first time.

The two-day course, available only to females ages 13 and up, will be taught by certified RAD instructors and is free of charge to all registrants.

While the course will focus on different physical self-defence techniques, it will also discuss the concepts of personal awareness and safety as strategies to minimize a potential attack.

According to Sexual Assault in Canada 2004 and 2007 by Shannon Brennan and Andrea Taylor-Butts, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Statistics Canada, in one year, 427,000 women over the age of 15 will report they have been sexually assaulted. In a year only 10 per cent of all assaults are reported.

By the age of 16 half of the women in Canada will have experienced at least one act of physical or sexual violence, according to The Violence Against Women Survey, Statistics Canada.

Ed Rifo, executive director of Ponoka Victim Services and an instructor for the course, is encouraging women to attend and gain an awareness of possible situations.

The course is not martial arts, says Rifo, it’s self-defence.

“It’s also a healing process for victims of rape.”

Live scenarios such as being hassled at a bank ATM or being attacked by two pursuers are going to be used as practice.

According to Rifo, men in padded suits are going to be present, and for those who have never gotten to punch or kick someone with 100 per cent of their strength, getting the chance to is empowering.

“You get to see how strong you are.”

The course is being sponsored by Ponoka Victim Services and will be held at the Ponoka Fire Hall June 2 and 3.

Now that Rifo is the executive director of Ponoka Victim Services he’s able to donate the services of the course to the town.

“It’s how we give back,” Rifo said, referring to himself and the other instructors of the course.

Those wanting to participate need to be registered by May 27. However, there is limited space available. To register email ponokavictimservices@shaw.ca or phone 403-783-6539.

By Amelia Naismith

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