April 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). What is Sexual Assault? Here is one definition from the Media Kit on Sexual Assault.
“Sexual assault is a sexual act, with or without physical contact, committed by an individual without the consent of the victim or, in some cases, and especially when children are involved, through emotional manipulation or blackmail. It is an act that subjects another person to the perpetrator’s desires through an abuse of power, the use of force or coercion, or implicit or explicit threats. Sexual assault violates the victim’s fundamental rights, including the right to physical and psychological integrity and security of the person.”
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is about awareness and prevention of sexual assault, harassment and abuse. It’s nearly impossible to prevent an issue no one knows about, and difficult to make people become aware of a problem without providing a solution. That’s why 20 years ago, April was designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) as an opportunity to create awareness and increase prevention of this increasingly prevalent issue.
Recently there has been an increase in media reports of sexual assaults in Vancouver, the city where I live. As a fitness leader, and member of the general public, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant and learn how to stay safe and protect ourselves and our loved ones. Education is the key, along with learning some basic self-defense skills. I’ve always said, “It’s always better to have the skills and never need them, than to need them and not have them”. Here are some important resources and safety tips. Be sure to check and see what’s available in your community by checking with your local police/RCMP, Chamber of Commerce, or community centre.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Bajus is a Krav Maga Force, FIMA (Federation of Israeli Martial Arts), UFAF (United Fighting Arts Federation) Black Belt and Self Defense Instructor in the Greater Vancouver area. Jen has been actively practicing martial arts for over 21 years. She is also a Krav Maga Combat Fitness Instructor, a Registered BCRPA Fitness Leader as well as a Certified TRX Suspension Trainer. Jen also collaborates and works with members from the Women’s Personal Safety Team of the Vancouver Police Department and their workshops. Jen’s passion and love for martial arts led a path to where she can utilize her skills and talent in a relevant, impactful and meaningful way. Education, empowerment and fun is the priority in every one of her class, workshop and seminars.
For all the most recent and updated information on activities to help create awareness to SAAM in April, please visit KravMagaForceFire on Facebook or Instagram, or for more information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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