Fighting back

KATHMANDU: The students of St Mary’s School were given safety training on the school’s premises at Jawalakhel.

The Paritran Risk Management Solutions (PRISMS) and Association of St Mary’s Alumnae Nepal (ASMAN) had organised the training through the initiation ‘Fight Back’ to empower the girls. Students of Classes VIII, IX and X participated in the training from December 1-3, and students of Classes XI-XII from November 28-30.

As per PRISMS Director and one of the trainers Vikrant Raj Pandey, “Fight Back is a sexual violence risk reduction educational programme for women and girls that develop critical mental, vocal and physical skills to prevent, mitigate and manage the risk of sexual violence.”

“After the training, I hope girls will learn about how to identify vulnerabilities, threats and risks pertaining to sexual violence,” he added.

In the training session, the students were given training on how to use their body, posture and voice to de-escalate situations and physically defend themselves, if necessary. For example, when an attacker tries to nab the neck, in self-defence one can kick on the attacker’s groin with the right or leg knee by raising it.

At that time both hands should form fists with the thumb outside. Similarly, when someone tries to grab one from the back, then one must lean low, keep both hands in front at chest level and strike the attacker with the elbows.

“These are the simple techniques. By using these, girls can protect themselves during physical assault and harassment. But we are also giving them mental and vocal training,” said martial arts instructor Udhav Thapa Magar.

“We don’t always have to use physical skills for defence. Many times we can stop harassment vocally. For this, one should know the technique to shout so that such harassment can be stopped forever,” he pointed out.

As per the Executive member of ASMAN Dr Kisu Rawal, “The training has been given according to the demand of students. Earlier, we did two workshops on Reproductive Health and Domestic Violence and its Impact among Children with these students.

After that most of these students wanted to learn safety skills in case of harassment. So, in the third phase we have provided training through PRISMS.”

Class IX student Astha Ghimire, 14, shared, “This Fight Back training is very helpful for us. Now, we don’t feel that we are weaker than boys. With certain techniques and rules, we can protect ourselves from any kind of harassment.”