(San Diego, CA) Tinesia Conwright of DETOUR Empowers and creator of F.A.N.C.Y. Teen Girls Expo hosted a women’s and teens self-defense class with the help of Divas In Defense, an organization empowering women of all ages with the training and tools imperative to their personal safety and the safety of their families. This weekend’s event was educational and entertaining as close to 20 teens and women gathered at The San Diego Dance Theater in an effort to kick butt for a cause. We learned everything from how to react in a purse snatching incident to the options available if ever being held at gunpoint. This weekend’s fundraiser benefited two local non-profit agencies, F.A.N.C.Y Teen Girls Expo and Eleanor’s Place for Women.
According to Divas In Defense, “1 in 3 women are murdered by an intimate partner, 1 in 4 college women will face a rape situation, 1 in 6 women will be a victim of assault and 1 in 87 women take a self-defense class.” With numbers this staggering, Tinesia Conwright hit the nail on the head bringing awareness to teens and women on why and how they should to defend themselves. Chris Britto, Founder and CEO of Divas In Defense shared, “Our goal is to teach you how to get out of a dangerous situation as quickly and safely as possible, fighting is always a last resort.”
Tinesia became passionate about women’s empowerment over five years ago when starting her non-profit organization. The women’s self-defense class today supported her mission and raised funds for worthy causes simultaneously. “This event was an excellent way to educate women on ways to defend themselves against an attack, raise awareness regarding sexual assaults against women and to support organizations who provide services for women and girls within Southeast San Diego” states Ms. Conwright.
The group of women gathered today shared similar sentiments and most of them agreed that a self-defense course is necessary and they’d love to take one again! Local resident and registered nurse, Aerain Bordeaux, shared that “The best part of today was learning the different ways I can move my body in order to get out of a physically restraining circumstance. Today gave me perspective on being aware of my surroundings.” There were a few mother’s who brought their teen daughters along to learn the valuable lessons taught today. “The class was empowering. I think this was the best gift that I could have given my daughter. The gift of self-defense. The little tips we get to take home may very well save our lives.” tearfully stated, mother of two, Johnique Woods. Johnique’s daughter mentioned that she feels better prepared if anything ever happened and that she would encourage all her friends to learn these skills.
Local business owners came out to support the cause and to learn a tip or two in defending themselves. “I have always wanted to take a self-defense class and the way this one was promoted caught my eye. Not to mention supporting the two causes that are near and dear to my heart.” shares Ghia Ransome, owner of Mz. Impeckable Inc. Briget Winton of Briget’s Essence of Beauty Hair Salon was on hand to join in on the festivities. “It was important to me as a single woman to know how to defend myself. I have been mugged before, but I was much younger, so now I wanted to learn new skills on how to get myself out of a dangerous situation if that should ever happen again. I can’t wait to go home and practice what I learned today!”
We were fortunate to be taught by Chris Britto, who shared that he and his brother decided to start Divas In Defense three years ago after being raised by a mother who was a victim of domestic violence. Both he and his brother are father’s to daughters and believe that it is important for a woman to know how to protect themselves.
Chris brought along t-shirts and self-defense tools like pepper spray and stun guns for purchase. He also shared a few quick tips for all women to take heed.
9 Protection Tips for Women
- Trust your women’s intuition. Feel free to voice your concern if in an uncomfortable situation. You don’t have to deal with anything that makes you uneasy.
- Stay away from dark alleys and street. Walk in a group if possible.
- Scan your surroundings. Pause. Look around again, especially when at an ATM.
- If ever being attacked, yell “Fire!” or “My baby! My baby!” Statistics prove that people go the opposite way when a victim is yelling “Help.”
- Don’t sit in your car in the parking lot and text.
- Take front and back photo copies of all ID’s and credit cards. In case they are stolen, you will have the 800#’s needed to call banks, etc.
- If held at gunpoint, give them what they want. Also, keep your ID’s on your body (in bra or in pockets) when going out. If an attacker gets your purse, then he won’t know where you live.
- Don’t talk on cell phone when out alone, walking to your car, leaving gym or grocery store, etc. It automatically cuts off 50% of your hearing and vision. You must be aware!
- Women with small children – put the groceries in the car before the children. You’d rather an attacker get the car and groceries instead of the car and your child.
Fundraiser profits supported: DETOUR Empowers, an organization that uplifts, motivates and inspires women and girls to work towards self-development and self-improvement, while surrounding themselves with positive reinforcements. Eleanor’s Place for Women, an organization that provides transitional housing, clothing and mentoring to teens and women coming out of jail, drug programs and domestic violence.
Written by Jazmin Steele, Creator of Pretty on Purpose