25 September 2013 Volume :1 Issue :3

UKZN Women Taught To Defend Themselves

UKZN Women Taught To Defend Themselves
Participants at the Westville self-defense class with the instructors.

About 45.6 percent of women in Africa experienced physical and sexual violence, compared to 35 percent globally, according to a recent report by the South African Medical Research Council.

With this in mind and to empower UKZN women with defence skills, Human Resources in collaboration with Sports Sciences presented a self-defence class on all four University campuses.

The aim of the class was to provide women with the necessary tools to ‘maintain personal safety and to successfully confront and survive potentially dangerous situations’ such as rape, domestic violence and physical abuse.

Employee Wellness Co-ordinator, Miss Lungile Ntombela, said the classes also intended to empower, inform and provide UKZN women with the means to take ownership of their wellbeing.

Instructors demonstrated seven basic steps of self-defence to be used in different violent situations. Among other things, staff were taught to defend themselves from being attacked from the front and the back and to avoid being hit in the face.

Participants were also shown ways to escape situations that might seem impossible, and what areas they could target on an attacker’s body.

Participants were grateful for the class and many asked for it to become a permanent feature held during lunch breaks or after hours.

Ntombela said she was pleased with the turnout and would consider running the classes on an on-going basis. 

-        Sithembile Shabangu

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