Girls learn self-defence skills
A female’s best means of self defence isn’t just her hands and feet. Her instinct, mind and voice come into play too, self-defence instructor Sandra Stewart says. Funded by the Women’s Self Defence Network Wahine Toa, year 7 and 8 girls at Alexandra Primary School also learned last week that their best line of defence was themselves. ‘‘It’s about giving the girls choices, about empowering them in situations where they may need to make decisions,’’ Ms Stewart said. Based in Castle Rock near Lumsden, she had been an instructor for 12 years, regularly travelling to Central Otago schools to teach the course, which for Year 7-8 girls ran for three days, and was condensed into one day to cater for Year 3-4 girls. Courses were also available for Year 10-12 students. Content included how to deal with being followed, obscene phone calls or texts, acquaintance and stranger attacks, sexual harassment, getting out of grabs and holds, and how to think their way out of threatening situations. Available nationally to selected schools, the courses involved discussions, games, physical sessions and role plays. Alexandra Primary teacher Tiffany Kemp said the girls were ‘‘learning life skills and everyday common sense around their own personal safety’’.
Girl power: Role playing and swapping was the name of the selfdefence game at Alexandra Primary School girls Laura Henderson (left) and Raimapaha Wilson.