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My friend has a teenage daughter who has experienced sexual harassment at school, to the point she is sometimes scared to go to the nighttime activities at the school. Should my friend offer to send her for a self-defense class to alleviate some of her worry? Or might this give her a false sense of security?
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I think that every girl should take a self-defense class. Yes, it may give her a sense of security, but it will teach her many life lessons and may save her life someday.
Most self-defense classes stress that you should not use your "skills" unless in a life-threatening situation. They role-play situations that will open up your friend's daughter's eyes to other potential safety issues that she may not be aware of.
I would ask around for recommendations to see which class would fit this girl's needs.
I am sorry to hear that she is being bullied. I sure hope that she can somehow avoid future harassment.
I too, agree with all being said.
Self defence as a means to build confidence and get out of holds can be very useful. They also provide communication scripts when faced with an unsafe situation in some classes too.
In some places, there are now safety apps that can also assist with quick links to security support when wandering alone at night on school/college grounds.
It is unlikely to provide a false sense of security for your friend’s daughter but rather a strategy to help her to feel safe and not live in fear.
I didn't take a self-defense class until I was in my 20s and I wish I had done so earlier. If it wasn't for the skills that I learned, it was the class itself. I was surrounded by other women, a lot of mother-daughter groups, who had the same concerns that I did. I no longer felt isolated and the power within the group helped my self-esteem. The class was also just a great way to learn some basic tips for scary scenarios. I don't think it's too early for a teenager to take the class.
I think it would be a great idea. She could do the class with her mom or a group of friends.
What a horrible situation for your friends daughter. In terms of self-defense, I believe it is beneficial for everyone to have some basic understandings of this - much like first aid training. When I was in highschool I attended a self-defense class as part of our physical education studies and the things I learned are still fresh in my mind, now 20 years later.
Self-defense skills include a range of things. It covers some basic tactical moves to get out of a dangerous situation but it also includes information about avoiding harmful situations and other things you can do if you find yourself in a situation where your safety is threatened. One of the key things i remember is about wetting your pants or defecating if someone is attacking you. I also remember how to get out of certain holds - including if a larger person is laying on top of me.
Attending a self-defense class is great for building confidence so yes - I think it is a great idea.
I'm very sorry to hear that your friend's daughter has already been a victim of sexual harassment. The fact that this is happening at school - a place where she should feel safe - must be a concern for her parents. I would suggest that her parents approach the school principal and guidance counsellor and possibly even the school district to implement a program that covers issues such as respect, consent, and other topics relating to harassment (both in person and online).
With regard to the self-defence course, I think that a course that can provide and girl or boy with some self-defence skill as well as other tips regarding personal safety are valuable. I do not think that a self-defence course is necessarily a solution to the problem which needs to be addressed at a broader level, but the course might increase the girl's level of confidence. Bullies and harassers will often avoid people who appear confident and self-assured and who are more likely not to tolerate their abuse.
For night-time events, suggest that the girl attend with a close group of friends and make use of a buddy system where she knows that someone is always keeping an eye out to make sure that she is okay.