Finders-Keepers received a certificate for their ingenious creation of a purple light display. Submitted photo

Self defence course increased confidence of Hope’s women and girls

Event timed nicely to continue awareness of domestic violence

Sharlene Harrison-Hinds

Special to The Standard

October, the official month for shining a light on domestic violence, has come and gone but the community is still aglow with activities and support for Purple Lights.

This past weekend, Rob Yun, of the Golden Tiger Martial Arts & Family Fitness program, and his team, empowered women and girls at a free Women’s Confidence and Self Defense Class at the Recreation Centre. Over two dozen participants of all ages learned not just defensive moves, but also the concepts of body language and how to use their voices to deliver a powerful message of NO! to potential attackers and abusers.

He and his team explained and demonstrated how to effectively communicate their strengths and defend themselves. It was a gentle teaching approach that immediately reassured all those in attendance that they were all capable of stopping any potential assailants. And the message was that it all starts with one simple word — NO – backed up with the confidence demonstrated by physical stance that communicates strength. He also taught that a measured, controlled response was most effective in dissuading those who confront or threaten them. The message was that silence is not an option but serves only to show vulnerability.

Training began with introductions, followed by gentle warm-up and breathing exercises. Next, demonstrations of how to handle unwelcome physical contact, such as what to do when someone grabs your wrist and reverse the power with a few simple, basic moves. Training included other basic self-defence moves that everyone there could execute. The increase in confidence was palpable in the room. Strangers when they first met, a sisterhood of strength brought them together in a successful quest for confidence and the ability to stand up for themselves.

Another wonderful event was the presentation of the awards for best displays in Hope businesses and organizations. Cat’s Meow, Tillicum and Hope Child Care Resources were the three major winners of the Paint the Town Purple competition. Finders-Keepers also received a certificate for their ingenious creation of a purple light display.

The Purple Light Nights of Hope appreciates all the amazing support of everyone in the community. Together, we shone brightly into all hiding places of domestic violence. Together, we made a difference in transforming the vulnerable into the victors. Together we demonstrated that domestic violence of any kind is not welcome in Hope.

For more information on the campaign please contact Victim Services at 604-869-7770. To enquire about the various programs offered by Golden Tiger, call 604-869-2304 or 604-506-7175.

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