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WATCH: Workshop aims to empower women with tactical skills to protect themselves and their loved ones

This year we wanted to enhance the workshop to include a practical self-defence component and a shooting range experience with fire-arm handling. In today’s times, it is important to be situationally aware of your surroundings and upskill and empower yourself and in turn, your community.

In May, the police ministry revealed that almost 1,000 women had been murdered in South Africa in the first three months of 2023. Despite government’s ongoing promises to end gender-based violence, every day there are cases of women being raped or killed.

For Women’s Month, Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital partnered with Dragon Protection Services to host a two-day self-defence and empowerment workshop where a group of ladies were given a situational awareness talk by the CEO of Dragon Protection Services, Trisha Parshotam.

They were also given practical self-defence tactical training by trained Captain Robby Mahabeer and Mahommed Ismail Mia while on the second day, the group was given firearm safety and training at the Kings Shooting Range in the Durban CBD.

Under the guidance of Kings Shooting Range co-owner, Rowan Kirten, the women are shown various types of firearms including a revolver and rifles, and taught about gun safety. They are also taken to the adjoining range site where they are taught how to shoot, under the watchful eyes of Kirten’s trained team.

Marketing manager and project coordinator at AAK, Suraiya Vaizie, said they found that very often, their doctors either come out late at night or are preoccupied with their patients’ emergencies, so they are not fully aware of their surroundings.

“With this in mind, we partnered with Dragon Protection Services to offer self-defence workshops that would not only equip our female staffers with the knowledge but also the tactical skills to defend themselves or their loved ones. This ties in with our Women’s Month initiative where we also opened the workshops to wives and daughters of our male doctors,” she said.

Vaizie added that the partnership with Dragon Protection Services started in August last year when CEO, Trisha Parshotam, offered a situational talk to staff.

“This year we wanted to enhance the workshop to include a practical self-defence component and a shooting range experience with fire-arm handling. In today’s times, it is important to be situationally aware of your surroundings and upskill and empower yourself and in turn, your community. With the course facilitator being a woman, a wife and a mother, she is relatable and understanding in her engagement with the ladies. This is why we chose to offer this different type of pamper party for our valuable ladies of the AAK,” she added.

Speaking to IOL, Parshotam said it is important for women to understand what they can do if they find themselves in a robbery or hijacking situation, and how to not escalate the situation.

“The bottom line is that it’s all about avoidance and escape. It’s not for women to become paranoid but to have the know-how to protect themselves and their loved ones,” she added.

She said the idea for the workshops was born following the July 2021 riots when more women approached her for safety tips and situational awareness.

Here the women are taught how tactical techniques relevant to the crime in SA.

Five safety tips from Dragon Protection Services, CEO, Trisha Parshotam

– a woman must empower herself and understand the threats facing her and how to guard against them. “For example, if you drive home and there’s a traffic light that you know takes longer, driver slower towards it. Don’t rush towards it or stop. You can avoid a smash-and-grab situation.”

– everyone needs a home invasion plan. “Sit with your family and discuss a plan should there be a home invasion. Should anything go wrong, have a plan. This is who will do what, this is who will call whom.”

– in a hijacking, Parshotam said it’s advisable to tell the hijacker that they are getting out of the car. “You want to remain calm and get your children out as fast as possible. Tell them you are not armed. Most importantly, show them how to start the car.”

– in an Uber, Parshotam said women must familiarise themselves with where the door handle is. “Don’t move into the Uber where you take your shoes off and get comfortable. Know your surroundings and get ready to get out.”

– make sure that you regularly test your home alarms. “This is something that many people don’t do. Make sure the alarm and panic buttons work. Invest more in that than investing in a fancy kettle or toaster.”

Source: IOL – https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/watch-workshop-aims-to-empower-women-with-tactical-skills-to-protect-themselves-and-their-loved-ones-1be1da86-18c1-4ba1-bcfc-51cc76710e4d

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