Self-defence on the road

2015-05-05 06:00
The women who attend the self-defence workshops are empowered to defend themselves and speak out about abuse.


The women who attend the self-defence workshops are empowered to defend themselves and speak out about abuse. PHOTO: supplied

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Seven local women are on a mission to teach others self-defence.

With the increase in sexual offences in Cape Town, the Shoprite StaySafe women’s road show set out to offer workshops for free as part of a multi-stop road show. At these workshops women can learn various self-defence techniques from an African master of martial arts.

“We are on a mission to empower women in impoverished areas,” says spokesperson Mantsadi Sepheka.

“So far we have completed nine workshops with the ninth being a very successful workshop in Ceres.

“We began these workshops in Bredasdorp [in June 2014] where we paid tribute to the late Anene Booysen. Each workshop has been attended by around 100 women,” Sepheka says.

On Saturday 28 March, the heroic women made their tenth stop – in Lentegeur at the Docks Mission church hall.

The workshops provide women with tools to defend themselves, the encouragement to speak out about their abuse and confidence to act in defence of themselves.

The women are also guided through the psychological background of sexual offenders and given general safety awareness and hands-on self-defence training.

After completion of the workshop they are also equipped to identify a potential harmful situation and use the skills taught to protect themselves.

The self-defence workshops are presented by Sanette Smit, the highest graded woman in karate on the continent.

As the chief instructor, Smit, along with her qualified team, will hold a total of twelve workshops over a period of twelve months in twelve communities in the province.

The cause has attracted attention from ­international singer Annie Lennox who has also endorsed the project.

“I think this is an excellent initiative and I heartily endorse and appreciate what the team at the Shoprite Stay Safe Self-defence Road Show are doing,” she said in a statement to the group.

Shoprite was also a key sponsor of the event. The roadshow will finish with a workshop in Fish Hoek on Saturday 23 May

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