The Vancouver Police Department and a number of non-profit agencies are hosting the second annual BStreetSmart Women’s at Langara on Safety Fair on Feb. 8.
The purpose of this event is to raise awareness and provide women with information if they find themselves in a violent situation. The fair will feature information booths and community discussions from experts in support services and personal safety, as well as a safety demonstration – for women only – by VPD tactical training specialists.
“It’s a demonstration with some interaction that’s going to talk about things that anybody can do no matter your size, your strength and your ability. Things that you can do to get out of a worst case scenario to get away and get help,” said Sgt. Richard Rabinovitch, who is one of the organizers of the event. “It was originally my idea, just kinda falling on the heels of several incidents in the city of Vancouver.”
“It’s really important not just to learn a bunch of physical techniques that you could use if you get attacked, but to learn things and skills like awareness, de-escalation tactics, learning to set boundaries and things that will keep you out of trouble in the first place,” said Lori O’Connell, owner and head instructor at Pacific Wave Jiu-Jitsu in Richmond.
In O’Connell’s self-defence classes, she teaches a two-hour class focusing one hour on teaching awareness skills, training body awareness and learning how to carry oneself in order to be less likely chosen as a victim and learning how to de-escalate a situation before it happens.
A first year Langara business student, Shaomin Li, agrees that women should take self-defence classes, “Of course, yes, it helps us to protect ourselves.”
The Information booths and community discussions will be located at the main lobby in Building A and will begin at 12-2:00 p.m. The safety demonstration will run from 2-4:30 p.m. in Building G.
Reported by Marie-Andree Del Cid