Other Campuses: Washington State U. group holds self-defense seminar

By Daily Evergreen

(U-WIRE) PULLMAN, Wash. – Assault is a serious issue for women everywhere – even on campus.

One of four women will be sexually assaulted in her life.

Every nine seconds, another woman in the United States is beaten.

Although there is no sure-fire way to prevent abuse, there are some ways to help reduce the potential for assault and to protect yourself if the situation arises.

That was the message at self-defense seminars organized by the Washington State University Association for Women in Communications and presented by the local Tian Wu Dao local martial arts club on Feb. 22 and 23.

“Risk reduction is the best term to describe our group,” said Kristine Thimm, a sexual assault prevention educator speaking at the seminar.

Thimm said the prevention of assault can be compared to a person trying to protect their car from being stolen by taking the keys with them, locking the doors and parking in a garage. However, if a thief wants to steal the car, there is nothing the person can do to prevent the thief from at least trying to steal the car, she said.

Although there are ways to reduce assault risks, Thimm states that assault, like the car analogy, cannot be 100 percent prevented.

“We are going to give you tips to protect yourself from assault, much like a car alarm on your car being broken into helps protect your car when in danger,” said Joe Northrup and Jeremy Gunderson, speakers from the Tian Wu Dao group.

They both demonstrated physical defense moves that can protect people should the threat of violence be found.

The men suggested to go for the target-point areas if attacked, which will cause major damage with little strength needed.

“Going for the eyes is your best defense,” Northrup said. “Gouging your attacker’s eyes will cause major damage and pain and will give yourself the chance for escape.”

Other target points to aim for are the ears, the groin area, the chin and the throat. Pinching and scratching are also sure fire ways to inflict pain upon an attacker.

An important way to increase your chance of escape is to cause a scene by taking dramatic actions like screaming if you find yourself in a threatening situation. By causing a scene, the attacker can be scared off or it could attract help.

Weapons like pepper spray or stun guns will also give you an advantage against an attacker. Even keys, if held like being inserted into a car and jabbed into the attacker like a knife, can be used as a weapon.

The men stressed that once the attacker has been injured or stunned, to run away as fast as possible.

Alcohol is a contributing factor to many assault crimes. Some actions that can be taken to increase one’s safety at parties are to keep in a group, watch your drink, which can be easily spiked with a date rape drug while being made or while you’re distracted on the dance floor, and to avoid isolated areas.

“I want to stress that no matter what the situation of an attack, even if it involves alcohol, the victim is never to blame for the incident,” Thimm said.

Another free clinic will be held for both men and women at CADD 21 on March 29 and 30. For more information contact the Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse at [email protected]

– Mikkel Becker