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  • Writer's pictureKia Haumaru

More funding needed to teach Kiwi women self defence, says group

Ana Pereira teaches self defence in Invercargill, once used her skills in a home invasion, as says the skills could save your life. Source: Seven Sharp

Every woman and girl in New Zealand should have the opportunity to learn self defence because they are all potentially at risk of violence, a self-defence network says.

Each year the Government funds self defence lessons for about 10,000 girls and 250 women but while it's a start Women's Self-Defence Network Wahine Toa says it's not enough.

President Alison Broad believes every woman and girl in the country should have the opportunity to learn self defence because every woman girl in the country is potentially at risk of violence.

A briefing was held this week at the Ministry of Social Development after a report found self defence classes work.

The classes are run for women, by women and with a range of ages from primary school kids to 90 year olds.

You don't have to be fit or scary, says Ana Pereira who teaches self defence in Invercargill and once used her skills in a home invasion.

"When I learned the self defence course the teacher said get up, don't give up, and that's exactly what I did," Ms Pereira told Seven Sharp.

"I got up, kicked, punched yelled, and he ran out the door."

In New Zealand it's estimated one in four females are likely to experience abuse or sexual violence in their lifetimes and police attend tens of thousands of family violence situations every year, with a call-out every five-eight minutes.

Associate Professor Jan Jordan says it would be great if there was adequate funding to teach men not to attack women.

There's no telling yet whether the Government will roll out the programme nationally.

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