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  • Writer's pictureKia Haumaru

Class aims to give women confidence

Women of the Otago Peninsula have an opportunity to take part in a free self-defence class next month.

The class is being run by an accredited member of the Women's Self Defence Network, Bell Murphy, and the cost is covered by funding from the Ministry of Justice.

Ms Murphy said the key message was that everyone deserved to be safe and to live lives free from violence.

‘‘The courses we teach have been developed over 26 years of research and work alongside other organisations.''

The class would cover physical techniques to deal with a range of situations, from disrespect to matters of life and death, she said - ‘‘kicks and punches, how to get out of strangle holds, those sorts of things."

‘‘We will also have a lot of discussion and some group work around things like healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics, self-confidence building and the effects of fear and anger.''

The goal was to empower women and allow them to live lives free of violence and ‘‘also to live lives free of the fear of violence''.

‘‘Even those who don't experience violence - all women live with a kind of shadow of a fear of violence.‘‘Research shows self-defence can give them that confidence.''

The class would also cover how women could be verbal and use words to assert themselves and support others.

Peninsula woman Racheal Bergersen approached Ms Murphy about holding the event and said it would be a good way for women living on the peninsula to take part in a community event.

‘‘There will be child-care options available and we can help with transport if need be,'' she said.

The self-defence class is being held in Portobello on May 29 from 9am to 5pm. The venue is to be confirmed. For more information or to register, email XXXXX or call Racheal Bergersen on XXXX

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