Women’s Self Defence Project
The Women’s Self Defence Classes project was considered as a response to the Latrobe City Council Municipal Health and Wellbeing plan 2017-2021 which identified that ‘Feeling Safe’ is one of the community’s biggest concerns and priorities. It was also identified that there were 33 incidents of family violence per 1000, compared to a state rate of 12. Of those affected by family violence across Victoria, 75% were female.
The project aimed to increase community safety, connectedness, and engage women who would not have participated in a program like this before and/or may have been previous victims of violence.
The project launched self-defence classes at The 44 Gym for residents of Traralgon, Moe, Morwell and Churchill (plus surrounding towns), each town included four sessions of 1 hour for 20 participants over a 4-week period. As the classes were located in Traralgon, transport support was offered to all registered participants.
Overall Project Statistics and Findings
- There were 20 participants registered for each of the Traralgon, Morwell and Moe programs (that is, full attendance) and 17 participants in the Churchill program;
- 70% attendance rate for all active participants;
- 51% of participants completed the online survey;
- 71% of the participants who completed the online survey said that if they had to pay for this program it wouldn’t change their decision to attend or miss a session;
- 77% of the participants who completed the online survey said that they loved the program;
- All participants who completed the online survey rated the sessions, facilitator and Latrobe Health Assembly highly;
Since the completion of this project, The 44 Gym has continued to run this program independently from the Latrobe Health Assembly due to high local interest. This is a testament to the communities desire to have access to such programs and a successful outcome to be able to offer the Women’s Self Defence Project as a sustainable model.