Haq Rakshak ‘Power to Women’: Self-Defence Workshops for Women and Girls

From 26th to 28th September 2018, BGIF conducted HaqRakshak ‘Power to Women’ self awareness and self defence workshops for girls and women across Hisar, with renowned self defence specialist, Franklin Joseph. Seven workshops were conducted across the assembly constituencies of the Hisar parliamentary region; namely Bhawani Khera, Nalwa, Hisar, Hansi, Barwala, Narnaund and Uchana. Each workshop had 150-200 girls and women as participants in the age group of 13 to 30.

Here are a few statistics that show the dire need to work extensively on the safety and security of women and girls is Haryana:

  • Haryana has the highest rate of gangrape in India; 5 times the average of India
  • Haryana has the second highest rate of kidnapping and abduction of women in India
  • Haryana has the second lowest charge-sheeting rate for gender based crimes in India
  • Haryana has the second highest rate of dowry death in India

India’s standoff with violence against women has significantly increased in the past few years. We hear of very few cases where the survivors have been able to defend themselves or raise their voice against the violence. Thus, self defense for women is extremely important as is helps to build the confidence with which one can face the attacker and immobilise them, most times this can help the survivor in altering the consequences of the act. BGIF believes that, today, given the high rate of crimes against women, the subjugation and lack of freedom of speech they face in everyday Indian society, training in self defence has now become critical for girls and women, not only as a way of staying safe and secure but also as a way to encourage women to express themselves more confidently.

Franklin Joseph used combat science and neuro-behaviour reprogramming techniques to help women and girls use techniques instead of size and strength during an assault. Using simple mental, psychological, and physical coaching, he empowered women and girls with the ability to deal effectively with assault, harassment or abuse. Self defence is not just a tool for protecting oneself. It girds one with confidence and self esteem and enables each individual to defend herself whenever needed.

Hence the focus for these workshops was, Avoid, Prevent and Escape through situational and psychological awareness.

A core focus of these workshops was also on effective scientific tactics based on human instincts that nullify strength as the core factor. Dealing with fear and freezing in panic under violent assaults along with neuro behaviour reprogramming techniques was also taught during these sessions.

The trainings covered a large spectrum of attacks including grabbing, eve teasing, sexual harassment, molestation, kidnapping,

BGIF has a unique philosophy in which gender equality is an underlying theme across all our Focus Areas. BGIF strongly believes that each woman has the power and ability to defend herself against any kind of assault or violence. We at BGIF envision a day when no acts of crime against women occur; until then, we will endeavour to equip women with the tools required to defend themselves during acts of violence.