Two officers from the U.S. Marines gave tips on self-defence to participants at a Women’s Safety and Street Survival Workshop organised by the American Center on Tuesday.
The women were asked to picture themselves in a situation where they are being attacked, and the officers gave them practical solutions on how to use their own physical strength to deal with the situation.
Being in Delhi, where statistics show that there is an attack on women ever 20-30 minutes, the participants came up with numerous situations of harassment, stalking, assault or abuse that they have encountered in their life.
From dealing with strangers brushing against them while travelling on public transport, to stalking, the participants were taught how to practice simple self-defence skills to create muscle memory so that they can react effectively.
The workshop was organised in association with an NGO, S.L.A.P, that works towards giving women skills to fight back if they find themselves in a threatening situation and creating a gender-equal society.
Mriganka Dadwal, the founder of S.L.A.P, shared her experience when she was attacked on a dark street, an incident that pushed her to get self-defence training and pass on the knowledge.
“It is very difficult to react when a situation unfolds very quickly. That can be avoided if women train themselves to be more aware of their surroundings at all times and trust their sixth sense,” said Ms. Dadwal.
The U.S. marines demonstrated how to identify the weak spots of an attacker to deliver simple but effective blows when pinned down. Some of the participants even shared stories on how they faced harassment at their workplace. Some of the participants were as young as 12 years old who had been registered for the workshop by their parents as they felt that such sensitisation needs to start early.