'Seek help from outside your circle'

Wendy Fitzwilliam takes part in a women's wellness and self-defence workshop at UTT Valsayn on Thursday. PHOTO BY AYANNA KINSALE  -
Wendy Fitzwilliam takes part in a women's wellness and self-defence workshop at UTT Valsayn on Thursday. PHOTO BY AYANNA KINSALE -

In order for domestic violence to become a thing of the past, men need to educate themselves and support each other and the women they love.

So said former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam on Thursday at a women’s wellness and self-defence workshop, held at the UTT Valsayn Campus on Old Southern Main Road.

Fitzwilliam joined several women and men who were educated in ways to defend themselves against attackers, by the Master Boodram’s Combat Readiness Programme.

“The roles of the sexes have changed our women are doing phenomenally. There are professional women. They are raising children while handling their business as they were and that is difficult for men to deal with sometimes and they lash out,” Fitzwilliam said.

Fitzwilliam said she did not have a personal experience with domestic violence but since high school had people close to her who were harmed by male partners. Some fully recovered from the ordeal while others are still struggling.

She advised people in dangerous domestic situations to not only seek help from people close to them, but outside their circle.

The programme highlighted tips for combat readiness and women’s survival tactics.

Founder and director of the programme, retired soldier Major Sarwan Boodram, warned women not to give up control of their lives to a man they just met, and said the simplest family arrangement could end in death.

He said the most common attack which could lead to a fatal domestic interaction was a simple punch, but signs of an abusive partner could come long before a blow even lands.

“When he ignores your wishes, he tries to separate your friends and family, he becomes abusive over time. Verbally then physically then he tells you, you made me do it. By that time it is already too late, you are already a punching bag. So don’t be a punching bag,” Boodram said.

Boodram showed the class methods to defend themselves and reminded them that a situation could turn fatal in the blink of an eye.

For this year, eleven women have been killed in domestic violence cases.

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"'Seek help from outside your circle'"

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