Stu­dents of­fered free self-de­fence classes fol­low­ing at­tacks

Safety: Young peo­ple at Dundee Univer­sity to be taught tips and skills from in­struc­tors

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - Paul ma­lik pa­ma­lik@the­courier.co.uk

The main thing which will be taught is how to make it safe to run away, with con­fi­dence, be­fore call­ing the police. CARO­LINE GOODLIFFE

Dundee Univer­sity stu­dents are be­ing of­fered free self-de­fence classes, in light of a num­ber of re­cent high-pro­file as­saults.

The Dundee Univer­sity Stu­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion will be of­fer­ing three “get home safe” lessons at their Air­lie Place head­quar­ters from this evening, which vice-pres­i­dent of stu­dent wel­fare Caro­line Goodliffe hopes will in­spire con­fi­dence among res­i­dents.

Classes will be op­er­ated by the Dundee Univer­sity Self-De­fence So­ci­ety and over­seen by a qual­i­fied in­struc­tor, ac­cord­ing to the stu­dent ex­ec­u­tive.

The so­ci­ety will em­pha­sise “sim­ple, ef­fec­tive, phys­i­cal tech­niques”, util­is­ing real sce­nar­ios cap­tured on CCTV on how to re­act if at­tacked.

Ad­vice will also be handed down by in­struc­tors de­tail­ing some of the “soft skills” revered by self-de­fence ex­perts, in­clud­ing bound­ary set­ting and ver­bal re­in­force­ment.

Ms Goodliffe said: “I have at­tended a few of the self-de­fence classes or­gan­ised through­out the year by our self-de­fence so­ci­ety al­ready and they re­ally em­pha­sise on teach­ing you to have con­fi­dence in your abil­ity to ‘get away’ from a bad sit­u­a­tion.

“They use YouTube footage of in­ci­dents cap­tured on CCTV, talk­ing through each sce­nario and show­ing the ba­sic skills to pro­tect your­self if you are at­tacked.

“The main thing which will be taught is how to make it safe to run away, with con­fi­dence, be­fore call­ing the police.

“A lot of work goes in to pre­par­ing peo­ple tak­ing the classes about the men­tal as­pects of self-de­fence.

“The per­son who leads the classes is the union’s op­er­a­tions man­ager, who is qual­i­fied in self-de­fence tech­niques.

“He is in charge of cus­tomer safety at the union, as well as be­ing in charge of teach­ing door staff tech­niques for re­mov­ing peo­ple from the build­ing safely and without harm.

“There will be lots of ap­pro­pri­ate safety equip­ment on the nights, with pro­tec­tive mats and gloves and the like. We wouldn’t want peo­ple get­ting hurt at a self-de­fence class, of course.”

As well as self-de­fence classes, the ex­ec­u­tive is in dis­cus­sions about ex­pand­ing its night­bus ser­vice – a free trans­port avail­able for stu­dents liv­ing in the city which will take them home, ei­ther af­ter a night out or a night study­ing.

The bus cur­rently runs from 9pm each evening and will de­liver stu­dents to their door, within the city lim­its.

Mem­bers of the Dundee Univer­sity Self-De­fence So­ci­ety demon­strat­ing tech­niques.

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