In New Zealand according to the statistics released by the Women’s Refuge one third of the women live in fear of violence. World Health Organization study in Auckland and Waikato has concluded that one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence. Without fear mongering I have to say that continuous physical and sexual abuse suffered by women in this country has to be psychologically most damaging because it goes contrary to the natural instincts of self protection for the victim who is stuck in such a relationship. The victim gets to a point where they believe they are not worth protecting.
No logic can persuade a woman to leave a violent relationship; that can only be achieved through emotional leverage and establishing in oneself a sense of self-worth. Where do you draw the line, the slap, the escalation to choking, being slammed into a wall or being threatened with a knife? I tell the women, who come to me to learn combatives, choke and weapon defences that there is no need to be a victim ever again with Krav Maga. Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it. It may be easy for me to say but I think that the first time a woman experiences violence she is a victim, the second time she is a volunteer. It is important to have the assertiveness to leave the violent partner.
Restraining orders are simply pieces of paper. Lawyers, counsellors and police like them; they make arrest and litigation easier. They serve the police and prosecutors but not the victims. I seriously doubt a piece of paper will stop an angry fist or a knife. These restraining orders only work in cases without a history of violence. For many abusive partners refusing to accept rejection is often more important that life itself; often after killing the estranged wife or girlfriend the man would commit suicide. When the rejection is brought up in a public litigation, something which was so difficult to face in private suddenly goes public. This is a dangerous time when there is a high risk of homicide.
On 12th of December, Indomitable Mind Body Combat Academy will be running a “Knock Our Breast Cancer” self defence seminar. The aim of the seminar is to teach basic Krav Maga defences to common attacks such as chokes, hair and wrist grabs etc. All proceeds from the seminar will go towards breast cancer research. The seminar is tailored for women’s self defence. I call it the 3G principle: Good Cause, Good for You, and Good for the Community.
Rotorua Daily Post interviewed me and ran a photo shoot about the training that I offer. When asked what my advice to women would be I have to say that Krav Maga teaches how to react to an attack or threat but the best advice is to be proactive. Be aware of you surrounding especially when carrying groceries and loading up the car, park in well lit areas and avoid walking alone through deserted areas particularly late at night. One of my students once told me that she was so pleased that since learning Krav Maga she was no longer scared to take a shortcut alone through the park late at night. I told her that self defence is about avoiding the shortcut in the first place.