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Duck, block, kick: Delhi Police trains sexual abuse victims to fight back

A group of women, who have been victims of sexual assault, are learning self-defence techniques along with NCC cadets at a camp organised by the Delhi police.

delhi Updated: May 01, 2017 10:15 IST
Ananya Bhardwaj
Ananya Bhardwaj
Hindustan Times
Delhi Police,Self defence,Self defence camp in Delhi
Almost 30 victims of sexual abuse were invited by the Delhi Police to join a self-defence training in south Delhi. 12 of these women accepted the invitation and are now being trained at a 15-day camp. (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

On one end of the school ground, a group of girls are learning how to fend off a knife attack. Sitting cross legged on the grass is a 25-year-old woman who looks at the trainers in awe. She follows their hand movements closely and tries to emulate them as they explain the steps on the mats.

This 25-year-old housewife has been a victim of sexual abuse. She now aspires to become like her trainers — confident, brave and capable of protecting herself. “Only if I knew these techniques earlier, I would have known what to do when a guy dared to touch me inappropriately,” she says.

She is one of the 30 victims of sexual abuse and harassment, who were contacted by South district of Delhi police for training in self-defence. Out of the 30 who were invited, 12 consented and are now being trained, along with other school girls and NCC cadets at a 15-day-long camp in Apeejay school, Sheikh Sarai.

“The aim was to not sympathize but to empower these women who had been subjected to assault. As these women have been on the receiving end, the idea was to revive their self confidence. We will contact more women in the days to come and urge them to join this training,”additional DCP Chinmoy Biswal said.

The women receive training, along with other school girls and NCC cadets, at a 15-day-long camp in Apeejay school, Sheikh Sarai. (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

The 25-year-old has now mastered how to defend against a groping attempt or a knife attack, what to do if an attacker holds her by her the hair or neck and how to get the assaulter on his knees just using knuckles. “Honestly, when the police told me that this will instil confidence in me, I was not convinced. I joined as they were very persuasive. But, now that I have learnt all these techniques, I feel good when walking down the street. I know if it happens to me again, I will not be a helpless woman looking around for help. I can even punch the guy to protect myself,” she says.

The woman has even convinced her friends to join the classes.

ACP, Crime Against women, Apoorva Gupta, explains that training victims with NCC cadets has initiated a healthy exchange. “On one hand there are women who have been subjected to abuse and on the other hand there are NCC cadets who have undergone tough training. When both sides meet, they have a healthy exchange of ideas that is beneficial,” she says.

The training is being done in three modules. The first part is the self-defence, second being a session on cyber awareness and third is legal rights. The training, police said, will be conducted in several other schools as well.

The first part is the self-defence, second being a session on cyber awareness and third is legal rights. (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

“Rampant use of social media has made it mandatory that women, who often fall prey to cyber abuse, become aware how to protect themselves. In these sessions we will tell them about cyber safety, hazards and best practices to protect their identity when online. We will also educate them on what happens in case you become a victim of cyber crime. Who to approach and how to go about,” Biswal says. He adds, “The third step is legal awareness. As a young woman it is important to know your rights. What do you do if you are a victim of sexual harassment or domestic violence. What does the law say? What are the legal remedies available? Where to report these matters? We will educate women in all these aspects.”

AP Sharma, principal, Apeejay, Sheikh Sarai reiterates. “Police is doing a great job. This is the need of the day. Till you make empower women, they will not feel safe. Safety is a state of mind. I believe this training should be made compulsory in schools all over India.”

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 16:38 IST