Robbery victims use their experience to advocate women’s safety.
USUALLY when someone gets robbed they would make a police report, feel sad over their losses, add security measures and eventually move on from the horrible experience.
Eliza Lee and May Tan however, didn’t let their story end there. Late last month, the duo’s Phat Culture boutique in Petaling Jaya, Selangor was robbed and they suffered losses of around RM3,000.
The business partners decided to use the harrowing experience as a lesson to benefit not only themselves, but the women in their community.
“After the incident, many people asked us how we have moved on but we could only recount the story of what had happened,” said Lee, 25.
They wanted to be able to tell something more about the experience – especially how it could be used to educate young women on their personal safety as well as how to protect themselves when in trouble.
And that’s how the Be Your Own Heroine campaign was born.
The friends started to ask around, looking for an organisation that could work with them on a women’s safety awareness campaign, and decided upon
Leverage Combat Academy, which agreed almost immediately to help.
The collaboration resulted in four consecutive weeks of jiu jitsu workshops in Kuala Lumpur, conducted by certified instructors from the academy. And best of all, the workshops are free of charge.
“The workshops are catered specially for ladies and the instructors have tailored the class materials to focus on women’s safety,” said Tan.
“Jiu jitsu is about awareness and the need to always be alert.”
Tan, who attended two of the workshops, said that women can gain important tips from the instructors, who also remind the participants on the importance of being aware of their surroundings at all time.
One of the tips Tan received, and she believes is worth repeating, is that women should be alert especially when walking towards their cars in a car park. They should already have their keys in their hand instead of rummaging for it in their handbag which could distract them from potential danger.
To promote the Be Your Own Heroine campaign, Lee and Tan also invited several bloggers and celebrities including Joey Leong and Megan Tan to attend the workshop and post videos on the safety tips they picked up from the instructors.
“We want to empower people,” said Tan. “Hopefully, we will be able to help others
through this campaign.”
(Top) martial arts sifu aaron Goh (middle) teaching the girls how to execute a choke hold against an attacker.
Goh demonstrating the choke hold on another instructor as the participants look on.