Women learn various ways to defend themselves

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"I hope you learn something today that will make you more confident," said self-defense instructor and senior black belt, Michelle (left). She expressed the gratitude that she feels from being able to impact women who come from different walks of life and spoke on accepting herself after a childhood of abuse. Photo credit: Lauren Valencia

Lauren Valencia

A group of resilient women participated in a self-defense class at North Valley Caring Services in North Hills on Sunday, March 26th, to better understand techniques for fighting back when the time is crucial.

Activist for the homeless, Laura Rathbone, hosted the self-defense class with defense instructor and senior black belt Michelle.

“With what’s going on in the world right now, I think self-defense classes are very important,” said Rathbone. “Everyone should know how to defend themselves. If you are living on the streets I think it is very important especially as a female, from what I’ve heard it can really break one down mentally and make them feel worthless. I am hoping these classes made them feel strong on the inside.”

Violence and assault can be common among women of all ages and because of this it becomes extremely essential for them to be informed about how to protect themselves in various situations.

“Any measure to protect one’s self from an attacker is an excellent idea,” said CSUN Professor Dianne Bartlow, the Department Chair of Gender and Women’s Studies. “There are preventative measures that need to be utilized as well to help perpetrators understand no means no and understand in no circumstance is abuse okay.”

CSUN student Jeremy Mauritzen, child development and deaf studies major, acknowledges the impact of self-defense classes among college students. However, he expressed that there is a deeper problem within our society because these classes exist.

“Although self-defense classes could better equip potential victims with the tools necessary to fend off assailants,” said Mauritzen. “To me, it makes more sense to focus our energy on creating a society in which people do not commit sexual assault rather than teaching people how to defend themselves if assaulted.”