Women forced to resort to self-defence for survival to protect themselves from assault

  • Women rely on themselves first for protection in vulnerable situation
  • Learning self defence is a response to men's behaviour and not prevention
  • While women have to be skilled in self-defence, men should be educated better say campaigners

A self-defence workshop teaching women on what to do in vulnerable situations took place at Harpurhey neighbourhood centre

The event was mainly for women and non-binary people due to the nature of what was taught and to create a safe and welcoming space.

The workshop was the first of its kind and more will be run considering the response

The event helped attendees know their current rights when it comes to situations such as wrongful arrest.

Organiser Lucia Cook said the aim of the project was to help people feel more confident in their knowledge surrounding their rights and their physical ability to defend themselves if they find themselves in a compromising position.

She said: “The systems that are designed to protect us simply don’t, so the evening is designed to be an open, safe space to equip ourselves with both the sides of protection”.

“We ensured that community will always be a focus with these workshops from accessibility to affordability as well as making connections and creating a new sense of community for attendees who may not be a part of one yet.”

Self-defence, coach
Lucia Cook, self defence coach

Lucia Cook, self-defence coach at Moss Side boxing club, said: “Learning self-defence is a skill that women hope they would never have to use. It is not about teaching people how to fight but it is a means of survival and looking out for yourself first

“It is a response to men’s behaviour rather than preventing situations from happening in the fist place.

“However, having this skill doesn’t necessarily mean that the community is safer, but it provides the basic understanding of what to do in vulnerable situations.

“For me, I lived majority of my life feeling confident and having trust in myself that I can handle situations, and I hope that it gives other women the confidence to go about with their day-to-day activities and enjoy life.

She added: “I was impressed by the turnout as there were lots of interest but more people would have had access if the location was situated around city centre as there were lots of demands from girls if the workshop can be made online.

“Women getting trained in self-defence isn’t a common thing but with events already happening in England for protection against men, it means people have realised that there is a demand for it and whilst having to learn this, men should be educated better.”