Program in metro Detroit seeks to teach women to defend themselves

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) - The statistics related to domestic abuse are staggering.

According to the National Network to end Domestic Violence, three women die daily as a result of domestic violence. October is designated as a month to mourn those lost to domestic violence, and to celebrate those who have survived it.

In Oakland County women will get a unique opportunity to learn life-saving techniques throughout the month with four separate four-hour long courses trained to prepare women as the month is also dubbed “Women’s Self-Defense Month.”

Classes will be hosted in Rochester at the Older Person’s Commission Auditorium on every Saturday in October.

“Our encouragement is escape, survival and making sure you can maintain your consciousness,” explained Sgt. Jen Miles, a rape aggression defense trained instructor.

Sgt. Miles is teaching courses, and gave a sneak-peak of some of the techniques that will be taught next month. While simple, the techniques have proven to be effective. There is also instruction about being loud to get attention, and draw eyes to a developing situation.

“You have the right to defend yourself,” explained Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “We want to give you a little knowledge how.”

The classes are free, and open to the public. They are collecting items for HAVEN, but donations are not required to attend. HAVEN is an organization that works with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. The nonprofit also offers shelter and counseling. Among the items being accepted at the classes: sheets (twin and full), pillows, towels, sweatshirts and sweatpants (matching sets if possible), large diapers (size 4, 5, and 6), agendas/calendars.

If you’d like to register you’re asked to email with a preferred date to take the course, a name of the individuals wishing to register and written permission for participants between the ages of 14 and 17. The classes are limited to first come/first served.

Schedule of classes:

Saturday, October 7 - 9am-1pm

Saturday, October 14 - 9am-1pm

Saturday, October 21 - 9am-1pm

Saturday, October 28 - 9am-1pm

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