Every 98 seconds, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. That's according to RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. Most of the victims are women, which is why Jenifer Hardy, a soccer coach at Vandegrift High School, is taking action.
The team is holding a self-defense workshop called, "Dangerously Cute.” It will teach hundreds of women life-saving skills they can use to fend off an attacker, if it ever were to happen.
Normally you can catch Hardy coaching women's varsity soccer, but on Saturday she'll be taking on a different role, holding a self-defense seminar.
“The possible situation you can be in is someone possibly choking you from the front, from the side, from the back, wherever it might be and we go through all the possibilities,” said Hardy.
Hardy says she started the self-defense program eight years ago because she saw there was a need for it.
“We're taught different characteristic thing. We're taught to be good people, we're taught to cook for ourselves, we're taught to you know be out there and be smart, but we're not taught to defend ourselves. That’s such a huge component that is missing for young women and for women in general really,” stated Hardy.
The five hour workshop teaches women how to defend themselves against sexual assault and parking lot attacks. More than 700 women have gone through the program including Amity and Camille Carriere, a mother and daughter.
“For me it's given me a sense of confidence. She's growing up and about to leave for college. It's an exciting time, but it's also really nerve racking once you know the stats about sexual assault in college. It really gives me a sense of peace of mind that she can at least protect herself somewhat on a campus,” said Amity.
Recent numbers show that 1 out of every 5 college women are sexually assaulted. Right now Camille is a junior and will be going off to college in a couple of years. She says after taking the workshop twice, she believes she'll be ready.
“I learned not to be scared, to not black out in that situation. When you get attacked you don't see black and you know how to react,” Camille said.
Camille's teammate Tara Lujan agrees. “It was such a fantastic experience. When I first got there, I was very nervous because the whole sexual assault rape topics are very sensitive for women our age. I remember leaving after and I felt empowered, confident, super accomplished and felt I can take on anything.”
The workshop is tomorrow (3/25) from 11:00 until 3:00 at Vandegrift High School. The cost is $30 per person. All proceeds will go to the non-profit "It Starts With Soccer" and the women's varsity team.
The workshop is open to ladies from age 12 and up, including senior citizens. Click on this link to register. http://krav-maga-san-antonio.com/dangerously-cute-comes-to-austin-4/
Hardy's goal is to get this program in as many middle schools, high schools, and college campuses as possible.