Ermelinda Baruti - Translator & Press Office
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
Articles from different Journals
In First Page for women's personal Defense. Published 25 November 2016 by Lejla Barletta.
Today is the International day against violence on women’s. It Is a very sensitive and difficult argument. These situations make us feel angry but also alarmed about the idea that the incapacity to defend ourselves from violent man is our fault.
Unfortunately, the need for self defense comes from panic moments, especially late at night. In “Eco della Stampa” most of the employees are women and they also work night shifts. Years ago when mobile phones didn't exist, women used a whistle as a signal in case of danger in the street during night shifts. The Company has always been sensitive towards the employees and still today It fights for women’s security to work. That is the reason why “Eco della stampa” has provided a course of self defense held by Milano Difesa Personale in collaboration with the municipal patrimony of Milan. The program of the course is extensive and it starts from legal notions and explains further the moves you need to practise in case of need. Based on ISTAT statistics in 5th of June 2015 presented to the Presidency of ministry, it can be seen that less than 10% of the reported rapes in Italy are committed by foreigners; that's why we need to stay away from prejudices.
69% of the reported rapes are committed by partners, husbands or fiances; in Europe 12%-15% of women is a victim of daily domestic violence and this is the primary reason of deaths from age of 16 to 44 years old rather than cancer, war and accidents.
It is obvious that we should do something for this phenomena. In Italy 6 million 743 thousand women from age of 16 to 70 years old has been a victim of violence (1 million and 150 thousand in 2006 -taken from ISTAT); 1.400.000 women have been violated before having 16 years old.
What shall we do for this baffling situation? Certainly It doesn't need to be played on the physical part.
We still should not give up and learn some kinds of personal defense which can change ourselves, our inner sight and give us a strong mental health which can help us be more courageous and avoid being a victim. The art of self-defense makes us feel more secure, teaches how to manage aggresivity and violence, makes us feel more conscious and works with our self-esteem. It is a way to react immediately, to break the walls of violence on women and respect them.
In 2015 are recorded 128 cases of feminicide, 8 cases less than last year and 51 cases less than 2013 which recorded 179 cases. But this doesn't mean that we should lower our guard.
To be able to defend yourself apart from calling the police you can also talk to an instructor and attend a course. The aim of the course is not only to teach you the techniques but mainly to show how to behave in case of aggression. It shows how to get out of the situation as hurtless as possible. ‘’During the lesson we try to explain that all men and women have limits'- explains to VERO the instructor of Milano Difesa Personale. ‘’For this reason’’ -continues ‘when you are being attacked you should first observe the situation and see if you can find a way of escape and only in cases when you have no other choice you can defend yourself using the techniques learnt in the course’’. When attacked you should just use your brain and think. In case you can do nothing you can use your physical force.
When a woman under threat she should not panic and should stay as calm as possible. In these situations fear is paralyzing and is a factor in favor of the aggressor. What the aggressor doesn’t expect is a reaction of the victim, who needs to be calm and block. One of the most dangerous situations you may find yourself in is when the aggressor grabs your throat making you loose your senses, but you can react immediately kicking him on the shin bone or finger nostrils to move his head upwards so he can let you go.
According to the instructor of the Association Milano Difesa Personale, it Is better to avoid aggression by walking in well-lighted and crowded places.
Better shout “Fire” instead of “Help” even if you are capable of using techniques to defend yourself. It Is better to try to avoid aggression. So you should walk in well-lighted and crowded places. You better keep your mobile phone in hand and not in your bag in order to call the police immediately. It Is advised to talk on the phone with someone (or pretend to). If It happens to be under threat you better shout ‘’Fire’’ instead of ‘’Help’’ because if someone hears you goes in panic and calls the police.
80% of the students in our course are women- says the Instructor. Lately our Association has done some research and most of the students attend the course because they feel unsafe in the streets especially after sunset. Others attend It to fight stress and to have a better psychological health- explains the Instructor. The institutions are sensitive to the problem of violence on women. ‘’Municipal of Milan ‘-’confirms the Instructor has offered for our association a sport Center where we do our courses. The students pay a very low fee which includes the annual registration fee in the association and an insurance in case of accidents during the classes – concludes the Instructor.
Current situation in Italy
Based on Instat Survey results , 35% of women in the world are victims of physical or sexual violence.
Other results concerning our country as follows:
● 6,788.000 Number of women who have been victims of physical or sexual violence.
● 652.000 Number of women who have been raped
● 746.000 Number of women who suffered sexual assault
● 62,7% Number of women raped from partners or ex partners
● 76.8% Numbers of victims of sexual harassment by unknown
● 3.466.000 Number of women victims of stalking (16.1 of Total % )
Our Association A.S.D offers courses of self-defense for all in different areas of Milan and different days. It is particularly paid attention to the woman anti-aggression techniques but also to man personal defense techniques (which are not excluded considering the various violence episodes). The aim of the course is to help students feel more determined and secure, to make them trust their physical and mental abilities teaching how to react immediately in case of aggression. Trusting their physical and mental abilities they learn how to manage a dangerous situation and assault.
It is easy to be worried and give up as usually all the news about violence on women. But it is not easy to try to change things in a country where the state is not able to make a National efficient Plan against violence. Someone Is not waiting anymore and is doing something. “Every time I heard talking about the delicate topic of violence against women, I asked myself what I could do for this Company, firstly because I really think that the working companies should not be isolated from the social contest they take part of and secondly because 80% of our employees are women. I found the answer when I received the proposal of a group of collaborators who suggested us to organise a course of self-defense. The proposal was accepted with a lot of enthusiasm and brought in our company more awareness of the argument.
Furthermore, Silvia Bolzoni Administrator of Zeta Service, Association of Personal Administration in Outsourcing of a good reputation (Best Workplaces for 7 executive years, Ambrogio d’oro 2013 between 18 stories chosen by Confindustry for the ‘’Capitani coraggiosi’’ just concluded) is not just a common entrepreneur.
2016 is “the year of welfare” in Zeta Service. 12 months dedicated to mind and body health balance because it is a necessary for the people and for the 180 collaborators of the Company. And this is the role of the organisation Milano Autodifesa Personale which is hired by the Company for the first time. Its aim is to rise women’s standing by working on a general input of “free from Attack” and on self-defense techniques for every kind of aggression, not based on the physical strength but on mental one.
45 employees that participated in 7 lessons concluded a few weeks ago have been certified and won the Pink belt. They are ready to attend a more advanced level in autumn and in the meantime there will be other base level courses. The cost of the course totally supported by Zeta Service has been mainly a support of time: 90 minutes of each lesson are based on 60 minutes of lunch break and other 30 minutes invested by the Company and also other 30 minutes in order to give time employees to prepare for work.
Too much consideration? Not for Zeta Service which has developed a structure within the Company as “Work for achieved targets” and offers a flexibility in time for the employees. For other companies maybe it is too much especially because they have other target which is focused on timecard punctuality.
Next Step, a proper project for the sensibilization against violence on women for the 20% of men who work in the company. It is not so difficult , isn't It?
Suffering an assault may be the worst experience ever for a woman but being able to deal with it in the right way may save your life. Being a victim of aggression Is a really terribile experience and impossible to forget. It can bring psychological devastating consequences.
The episodes of violence against women are notably high. To have a more clear view of the phenomena expansion, only in Milan a few days ago there were 3 cases of aggression reported in 3 days. So it is very useful to attend a course of self defense in order to know how to react in these kinds of situations. Let's see what the causes are about.
First use your mind then your body.
As you can guess from the title, personal defense is an art for one's safety and its techniques must not be used to attack a person unless you are in a Dangerous situation. You can practise what you learn during the
course only when it Is absolutely necessary for self defense or when someone needs help. “The most important thing that must be transmitted by those who teach in the courses” -affirms the instructor of personal defense in Milan “is that se all’ have our limits, so we are being aggressed we need to think how to avoid it other then to use a technique which can ne used only under some circumstances. First use your mind then your body.
Block the person unexpectedly
The students gain a higher self- esteem because they learn how to behave in different aggressive situations even though they should do everything to avoid being part of it. During the lessons it is explained the way how the aggressor wants to attack and that when we feel under threat our physical reactions grow immediately. The instructor also explains another important point which is “Don’t Panic”, don’t stay immovable but block on surprise. In fact the aggressor doesn’t expect the victim to react. So in many cases it is enough to use just a simple technique to stop him.
Those who frequent the course of personal defense gain many benefits in different aspects, including physical exercise and learning techniques which keep you fit. You have the possibility to meet new people and socialise outside classes as well. The real point of all personal defense instructors is to teach you correctly how to manage a case of aggression and how to cause less possible damage to the aggressor. You definitely need to have high self-esteem and believe in yourself in order to gain this ability. That is why their job is a very important capacity.
The right moves
The course teaches you how to defend yourself according to the aggression in a situation. In every situation you need to watch attentively and think what you can do. How you should react in most situation as follows
It Is one of the most terrible cases of aggression because you might faint if you don’t react immediately. You can not defend yourself when the aggressor has both his hands on your throat. But you can react by kicking with your tiptoe or putting your fingers in the nostrils and pushing his head upwards.
It Is fundamental to know how to work with the wrists and forearms using techniques learnt during the course. Use the parts of the body to block the arms of the aggressor and turn his arms on the backside.
When you are being attacked you must never pull back his arm because you make him come closer. Actually you need to move his arm from inside to the outside as fast as possible unexpectedly and you will get free.
6 months course
How to reduce danger
To prevent is better than to refuse an aggression. This is why it is important to understand when the situation is dangerous. Once in danger be more alert to react . You may find below some advices to use in order to reduce the risk in those situations.
Choose well-lighted streets
Walk in well- ligheted and crowded streets with open bars in the evening or at night. In these contests it Is more difficult for the aggressor to attack.
Keep your mobile in your hand
It is important to keep your mobile phone in your hand and not in the bag, so you can dial the police numbers immediately (112 or 113). It is better if you talk with someone on the phone (or pretend to do so) specifying the name of the street.
When you are being attacked it is better to shout “Fire” or even “Burglar” than “Help” to attract attention. People may call the police leaving you victim in his hands.
Makes you feel free
85% of the students are mainly girls and women. This kind of discipline is particularly dedicated to the weakest sex who Is more easily exposed to dangerous situations and needs self defense. Moreover being able to walk freely and safely in the streets and having the capacity to defend yourself emancipates women and makes them feel more free. You can frequent the course of self-defense from teenage years exactly from the age of 13. To get enrolled you need to provide a medical certificate which proves good health conditions. Even though you may be a bit old of age you can attend the course if you are healthy.
Once a week classes
A class of self-defense has about 10-15 students depending on the space where the lesson is held. Every class lasts about 2 hours. The program of the course includes the warming up, the theory and practice of techniques which are held in pairs. It is advised to wear comfort clothes,a gymnastic suit. There is a tatami carpet but you can also use kneepads when falling. Use of fingerless gloves when needed. The course is attended weekly and has a duration of 2 months. 6 months duration course costs around 125 euro but there are also some Municipal Center organised for free. Service of Roberto de Filippis Consultation of the (Instructor of the Association Milano Difesa Personale)
Ermelinda Baruti - Translator & Press Office