Providing alternatives to the safety risk that walking home alone at night presents, Wellbeing will host two sessions of a self-defense and safety class this Saturday and Sunday.
The class, called the Women’s Complete Class, will feature an open discussion and a clinic of basic self-defense skills.
Brad Stewart, Fitness and Wellbeing Coordinator for University Recreation, said the purpose of this weekend’s class is to provide women with the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent potentially harmful situations. The class is also meant to provide enough basic knowledge so that women can be confident in their ability to defend themselves.
“I feel anyone should, male or female, know basic self-defense skills because an individual may not know the future harmful situations they may find themselves in,” he said.
Risk reduction and avoidance strategies will be discussed at the workshop. Stewart said participants will learn bystander response to use if they see others around them in potentially dangerous situations, as well as applicable tips to their own lives.
The skills portion will cover basic punches, kicks, elbows and knees. It will also teach more advanced skills such as how to escape bear hugs, ground defense skills and choke holds. There will also be simulations in which the instructor plays the perpetrator and the participants get to apply the skills they just learned.
Stewart said even though WSU was voted the safest college in Washington and the Pac-12, incidents of violence such as sexual assault, fighting and domestic violence still occur. He said national statistics show that one in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, the chances of which rise between the ages of 18 and 24. WSU’s numbers reflect this.
“WSU is a safe community, but if we can educate students, faculty and staff to be more aware and responsive to potentially harmful situations, hopefully we can continue to lower the rates of violence on WSU’s campus,” Stewart said.
If one does find themself walking alone at night, Stewart said they should be aware of their surroundings. Paying attention to others around them, possibly dangerous pathways and any inhibitions (i.e. if they have been drinking or doing drugs) can help one decrease the likelihood of assault.
“I think that it is extremely important to invest in your safety on campus and around town because it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared,” Stewart said. “Incidents still happen, no matter where you are. A (one-day) class is a small investment considering the potential outcomes which may happen if you are unprepared.”
Although registration closed on Feb. 28, classes to similar to this one will be offered at other times later in the semester.