A new Canadian study has found that young female students who enrolled in a self defense program at university and made it though 12 hours of training were half as likely to be sexually assaulted. It’s one of the first studies of its kind to show success and be embraced by the scientific community.
The paper, published earlier this week, on Wednesday (June 10, 2015), in the New England Journal of Medicine, mentions that young women who participated in the program were shown how to recognize, assess and avoid sexual assault.
They courses teach participants how to kick and strike, as well as how to break wrist holds, throat holds, choke holds, and how to get somebody off of them when they’re on a soft surface and someone else is pressing down on them.
They were surveyed for a year after completing the program, with the researchers’ goal being to compare and see whether or not attending self defense courses is more efficient than reading brochures that are typically given out by the universities.
The results showed that the 451 young women who participated in the self defense program only had a 5 percent (5%) chance of being raped, while the 442 young women who made up the control group and were only educated / trained via brochures had a 10 percent (10%) chance of being raped.
Attempted rape was even less likely. The female students who participated in the self defense program only had a 3.4 percent (3.4%) chance of being exposed to such an experience, while the female students who were given brochures had a 9.3 percent (9.3%) chance.
Charlene Senn, lead researcher, University of Windsor women’s studies professor and sexual assault expert, gave a statement explaining that “What this means in practical terms is that enrolling 22 women in the EAAA resistance program would prevent one additional rape from occurring”.
The researchers believe that the findings show how easily women can stand up for themselves and fight back when they have the needed knowledge, skills and confidence. It enables them to live their lives more fully and to take care of themselves.
It’s not just the physical skill set that women in the program benefited from, but also a much needed change in their psychology and attitude as professor Senn informs that most young women have been taught to fear rape ever since they were little girls.
Sarah E. Ullman, professor of criminology, law and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was not involved in the study but praises it and gave a statement of her own stressing the importance of the results, and sharing that it proves how resistance and self-defense training has to become a part of every college’s sexual assault prevention program.
Sexual assault is the serious problem that many young women are still facing today, with some experts estimating that one in five (1 in 5) women attending university are raped, especially if it’s their first or second year on campus. The perpetrators are usually someone they know – classmates, dates, ex-lovers, or even simple acquaintances.
Experts say that alcohol abuse, freedom from parental monitoring, and fraternities that celebrates a macho attitude are all to blame.
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