Self defence classes for women say ‘we shouldn’t have to’ following death of Sarah Everard

Good – more power to you and hopefully you have a line of women looking to get trained up in defending themselves, in fact go a step further – look into martial arts too.

Once again they keep pushing that lie (noted further down the article) that 97% of women have experienced sexual assault.

Full piece from the mylondon.news website below…

When Sarah Everard first disappeared walking home by Clapham Common, women around the world began to question their own safety.

Sarah, a marketing manager aged 33, left a friend’s home at 9pm on Wednesday, March 3, in Clapham and was making the walk to her home in Brixton.

The last known sighting of her is at 9.32pm on a doorbell camera. More than a week later, her remains were discovered in a woodland in Kent.

Police officer Wayne Couzens has been charged with her murder.

Her disappearance and death led women in London and globally to share their stories of harassment, assault and feeling unsafe walking alone at night.

Two women from Wimbledon created an online platform to raise awareness of sexual harassment, assault and rape against women.

Megan Callan, 24, and Amy Size, 27, hosted their first online self defence class with the London Self Defence Academy last Sunday.

Ondrej Matej, who has a second Dan black belt and is head instructor of the academy, organised a free session with Megan and Amy.

Megan says: “What happened to Sarah Everard hit us hard, me and my friends were feeling upset, vulnerable and powerless.

“We came up with the idea that it would be really nice to do a free self defence workshop.

“Women shouldn’t have to learn self defence, we shouldn’t have to change our behaviour.

“Sarah did every single thing she was told to do and she was still killed.

“Most girls are scared because they can’t adjust their behaviour any more without being locked in their houses day and night.

“And even when they are locked in their houses day and night, the statistics for domestic abuse are higher than any other statistic.”

‘A powerful thing’

Additional shocking statistics reported by The Guardian earlier this month revealed that 97 per cent of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed.

A further 80 per cent of women of all ages have experienced sexual harassment in a public space.

Shortly after their self defence class was confirmed, Megan and Amy launched Protect Our Power, an Instagram page dedicated to sharing women’s stories anonymously and advising women on how to stay safe.

“For everyone who consented to sharing their stories anonymously, they said it was a freeing experience.

“A lot of people have hidden this stuff for years and never told anyone.

“To be able to put it on social media but no one ever know it was you, I think that is always a powerful thing,” Megan adds.

A gofundme page has also been established by Megan and Amy, they hope donations can reach Sarah’s family or the Matthew Elvidge Trust , a mental health charity which Sarah was fond of.

Megan says Protect Our Power has received an overall positive response.

“One of my male colleagues reached out to me and said he wants to help, he is really passionate about helping women and to raise more awareness on the statistics out there, which is really lovely,” she says. https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mylondon.news%2Fnews%2Fsouth-london-news%2Flondoners-putting-self-defence-classes-20245278&cre=bottom&cip=31&view=web

Megan tells My London that Protect Our Power aims to be an online learning community that brings different voices together.

“Being a woman, you experience a lot of oppression, but if you add another demographic for example, being a Black woman, you face challenges a white woman doesn’t face,” she adds.

‘Victims are put on trial’

Megan, who studied Psychology with Criminology at University is also interested in the way rape cases are dealt with in the criminal justice system.

She says: “It is the only type of case in the criminal justice system where the victim is put on trial.”

Megan and Amy want to progress Protect Our Power further by listening to the feedback they receive from their followers and creating content based on this.

“We are focusing on having conversations with lots of different types of people for now, I think the key is learning from each other.

“Especially women learning from other women, I don’t think there is anything more important than that,” Megan says.

Follow Protect Our Power here