Rome launches self-defense course for women

14:10, February 10, 2011      

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Rome's local authorities inaugurated on Friday a two-month special personal defense course for women victims of violence aimed at teaching them basics skills to enhance their safety.

The course, called "How to become pink belt," teaches Judo, Kungfu, Karate and other disciplines to women of all ages who have either been victims of violence or who want to learn how to defend themselves from possible aggressions, rapes and harassments.

Special psychological lessons are also held while legal advice is available for victims wanting to denounce their aggressors.

The course comes as a necessary response following the recent peak of violence in Italy against women, who are ever more the victims of their former husbands' or boyfriend's hatred.

Since the introduction of the crime of stalking in the country' s law system in 2009, an incredible amount of cases have come to light. Police have also set-up a network of SOS violence centers for women asking support.

The self-defense course has already turned into a success: the applications have exceeded the number of places available.

"The initiative has aroused a lot of interest and this demonstrates that women intend to handle moments of insecurity with adequate instruments and preparation," said Pier Giorgio Benvenuti, one of the organizers.

Among the teachers is also black-belt Paola Pompei, a former champion of Italy's national Judo squad.

According to police data, one out of four Italian women are victims of violence. In 2009 almost 120 women were killed by their ex-partners.

Source: Xinhua
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