Never a Victim class hopes to help students stay safe

April 4, 2016

Abbie Stillman
[email protected]

Never a Victim, a self-defense class that took place March 31, was for anyone who wanted to learn how to defend themselves against violence. Including a classroom setting and physical participation, the event covered information such as statistics on violence against women, prevention, domestic violence awareness and more.

Participants were encouraged, but not required, to partake in the physical aspects of the class. Each participant also received a packet of information on how to be more observant and aware if you are in a bad situation.

Colorado Springs resident Doris Rivera-Black started the class four years ago. UCCS is one of several locations in the Colorado Springs area where the class is taught.

Rivera-Black was the victim of domestic abuse for several years until her eleven-year-old daughter changed her mindset.

“My daughter is my hero, when she said she waits ‘till I go to bed just to make sure she doesn’t have to call 911, I said ‘that’s it,’” Rivera-Black said.

The redman suit is used to demonstrate an attack response. Abbie Stillman | The Scribe
The redman suit is used to demonstrate an attack response.
Abbie Stillman | The Scribe
“You always think ‘it won’t happen to me’ until it does happen to you.”

Each participant had different reasons for being in the class.

Exercise science junior Lexy Tatham said she wants to be prepared when she goes hiking.

“I go hiking a lot on my own and want to be well-prepared. I definitely feel comfortable using the techniques I learned while on my own.”

Junior criminal justice and psychology major Megan Womack said she liked that the class didn’t involve using weapons.

“Honestly, I wanted to kick some ass; I already have a pocket knife I carry everywhere.”

Domestic abuse is not just physical, it can be in varying forms such as mental and emotional abuse. The class offered a list of red flags to be aware of if you think you are being abused or think someone else is being abused.

Some signs of abuse could include controlling behavior, manipulation, financial dependence on the abuser, blaming everyone else, violent behavior, constant criticism and unfounded jealousy.

Being aware of your surroundings and keeping private information off the internet is crucial, the class explained. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and online dating sites are easy ways for a potential abuser to find you.

After instruction, students were then able to practice the demonstrated skill with a partner or on an instructor. Students were also allowed to try more than once until they were comfortable with the technique being used.

One of the most important pointers instructors offered is to trust your instinct, or, as they called it, your sixth sense. If you feel like something is wrong, it probably is.

They also offered several preventative pointers such as knowing where you park, having your keys where you can reach them and making as much noise as you can.

The Lowdown
What: Never a Victim Self-Defense Class
Where: University Center room 122
When: April 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
How much: Free to Students (register through Mountain Lion Connect)