April 13, 2024

Saturday, Sept. 9 was the annual Womyn’s Center self defense workshop led by self defense trainer, Johanna Kohout. Female students gathered in Shouvlin to learn about verbal and physical self defense skills to combat harassment, sexual assualt and potential abuse.
“It’s important when walking home at night, from a house or a party, to have the feeling that you can defend yourself,” Emily Parsons, ‘18, event facilitator and peer advocate, said. “It sucks you even have to do this and be scared, but it’s important to be here and help each other.
Students who came to the event shared their reasoning as to why they attended.
“It’s an unfortunate reality that women are attacked,” Samantha Reynolds, ‘20, said. “It’s higher statistically than it should be, but it’s important to protect ourselves.”
Fellow student Charisse Ponder, ‘18, agreed, saying that she is “passionate about protecting herself against sexual assault; I get scared at night.”
During the event, students were able to learn how to use their voice and breathing to remain calm and address an attacker with a strong voice and steady, clear head.
After realizing the importance of awareness of surroundings and verbal defense, the students had a chance to learn physical defense skills and practice with Kohout’s three assistants. Some of the skills students learned were wrist grabs, hits, hair pulls and even how to get out from under an attacker that may be in a more intimate, unexpected setting.
Kohout highlighted the importance of locating your surroundings and always being aware of where you are, along with the tip of keeping cash and a phone number in your shoe if you go out in case of muggings. She says to always hand over material goods to attackers, throw the phone, bag or item away from you and run. This is why it is important to have phone numbers memorized and cash hidden on your person.
From street skills, to verbal and physical defense, Kohout taught a variety of techniques to bring peace of mind to students on and off campus.
The event was facilitated by campus peer advocates, Parsons and Hannah Brown, ’19. As peer advocates, they bring programming to campus as well as host talks and information sessions with Greek life as well as Wittenberg athletics.
There are appointment hours and open hours available for counseling at the Womyn’s Center to talk with the state trained peer advocates. To make an appointment, call 1-937-328-5308.
Follow @womynscenter on Twitter to keep up with the latest information and events on campus.
For more information on the Womyn’s Center call 1-937-327-7417.
In case of any emergency, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-634-9893.

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