Highlighting the statistics and benefits of self-defense.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
With many of the River’s students soon departing, self-defense is a key mindset to obtain for their future. Being young and on their own can leave them vulnerable for some type of danger. Taking self-defense classes can lower the chances students running into danger on or near their future college campus. Students can look for multiple types of self-defense classes in martial arts studios or their local police station.
“I think it is a good idea to have that awareness especially as a parent now that you’re not there to protect them, or what you feel is protecting them when they’re out in something,“ principal Shannon Scarbrough said. “I know that a lot of universities offer those kinds of things, so that would definitely be something that if they’re interested in I know they would do.”
Self-defense can be seen as a reassurance for one to know how to defend when alone or with someone unable to protect themselves. One method to learn in order to be safe from harm is to understand the different techniques that self-defense can bring. Being able to resist a predator allows the potential victim to gain time to escape or for bystanders to interfere.
“Self-awareness; a lot of people walk with their heads down and just look at the ground instead of looking around,” Bradenton Police officer Joshua Small said to Spyglass. “If they actually had their head up looking forward and scanning side to side on a regular basis they are less likely to be a victim.”
Being aware of one’s environment can be the leading factor between life or death. Understanding how to identify potentially threatening situations, could give someone an advantage in getting to a destination safely.
Having the knowledge on how to properly defend does not just provide protection in itself; it also provides confidence and self-respect. Knowing the techniques on how to fight back from a potential predator allows one to feel better about their possible future situations. Feeling as though one can fully protect themselves from danger, allows them to gain a large amount of self-respect. Believing in oneself allows the burden of fear to be lifted and replaced with self-love.
Art courtesy of Elizabeth Bernate.
“I took karate classes when I was a kid and I think it teaches you more than just self-defense,” government teacher Brian Kirchberg said. “There’s a certain amount of discipline and self-respect. I just think those are just healthy things to have so when it comes to self-defense classes learning self-defense is an important part of that, but I think what comes along with that is self-confidence and respect for others. I think that is to understand exactly how to treat other people.”
When one is unable to attend a self-defense course, other options can be taken. If one is unfortunately in a situation where they are forced to protect themselves from someone, they should follow their survival instincts. If they think there is the chance to outrun the attacker then one should flee. If one cannot flee away, then fighting is the only option, and never giving up.
“Fight with everything they have, even if they never fought in their life. Fight with everything you have and don’t give up and you yell,” Officer Small said. “You yell and yell and yell.”
Feature photo courtesy of Elizabeth Bernate.