Students spent two active hours at a self-defense workshop taught by instructors from the Center of Anti-Violence Education and hosted by the Women’s Center on March 28.
“I’m excited to have a break in my day where I can move my body and connect with the teacher, friends, and students,” said Melissa Corning, who’s part of the women’s history month committee.
The workshop consisted of a few types of exercises from strikes to de-escalations. For example, the first exercise was to keep walking around the room. As the students walked around, one of the instructors, Erin Aliperti, would quickly and randomly tell them to point to certain things in the room to protect them, like hiding spots or weapons.
“Everybody should learn self-defense because the world is unpredictable,” said Adilia Verde, one of the participants. “As much as we can believe that everybody is nice and has good-intentions. You always have to prepare for the worst.”
According to a study conducted by Hollaback! and Cornell University, released in 2015, 85 percent of women in the United States experienced their first harassment before age 14. Around 40 percent of those women experience harassment on college campuses, from being stalked to being groped.
“At the Center of Anti-Violence, we believe that everybody deserves to live a life free of violence” said Aliperti.
Many who participated in the workshop came because they wanted to learn techniques that they can use if they ever run into a violent situation. Unfortunately, many participants and their friends have already ran into situations where they wished they knew self-defense moves at the time.
Monia Begum, another participant, explained that she has tried to learn self-defense by watching YouTube videos. However, it didn’t work well for her. The workshop helped her learn the moves she wanted and needed to best protect herself.