Every nine seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten and 1-in-4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
To mark “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” the Harlan County Domestic Violence Council will host their annual “Women’s Self Defense Class” with Howard’s Family Karate owner and instructor Master Daniel Howard, who is also the captain and training coordinator at the Harlan County Detention Center. This is a free event and open to all women who wish to participate.
Presenting this class in cooperation with the HCDVC for the past several years, Howard said this effort on his part was especially brought to light when he began working many years ago as a deputy jailer at the detention center.
“I get to see the results of domestic violence,” said Howard. “I get to see what happens in those cases. Working in the jail gave me a very different prospective on how the system works and what these women can expect if they do have a situation that ends in domestic violence and this person comes to jail.”
Howard said during the class he will provide information to the ladies about how the jail system works in regard to domestic violence arrests and what they can expect from the court system.
“We don’t just go over self-defence techniques about how to escape a violence situation, we also go over ‘this is what is going to happen’ when this case goes to court,” said Howard.
Having been in martial arts for the past 35 years, Howard said this self-defense course has been designed specifically to empower women with the skills, tactics and strategies to survive a violent situation.”
“Awareness is the biggest thing,” Howard said. “You try to give them empowerness and a way to escape the situation, not necessarily stand toe-to-toe with someone and exchange punches. This is about how to get out of a violence situation and hopefully, to avoid the situation all together.”
Caudel encourages everyone to wear purple, which is the color chosen to support victims, during the month of October.
“In declaring October National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the president said in his proclamation: Domestic violence impacts women, men and children of every age, background, and belief,” said HCDV Victim Advocate Sheryl Caudel. “Nearly one in four women and one in seven men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner.”
Caudel said in the president’s proclamation he also said, “Domestic violence victims are deprived of their autonomy, liberty and security and face tremendous threats to their health and safety.”
During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Caudel asks everyone to reaffirm their dedication to forging an America where no one suffers the hurt and hardship that domestic violence causes.
“While physical marks may often be the most obvious signs of the harm caused by domestic violence, the true extent of the pain goes much deeper,” Caudel quoted from the president’s declaration. She said, “victims not only face abuse, but often find themselves left with significant financial insecurity. Children who witness domestic violence often experience lifelong trauma. These heinous acts go against all we know to be humane and decent, and they insult our most fundamental ideals. We all have a responsibility to try to end this grave problem.”
The “Women’s Self Defense Class” will be held Oct. 16 from 6-8 p.m. at The Harlan Center on Main Street in downtown Harlan. The event is free to all women. Pepper spray will be available for sale during the event at a cost of $15. All proceeds from the sale of the pepper spray will benefit the Harlan County Domestic Violence Council.
For additional information, you may contact Caudel at 606-392-1129 or visit their website at www.hcdvc.org.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde