|Youth at Risk||| Print ||
Self-Defense Workshops and Life Skills For At-Risk Youth
Thousand of Israel’s young people enter adulthood walking the thin line between the normative world and the street. Those who live in difficult economic or social conditions, who are exposed to violence from a young age, who are new immigrants or the children of new immigrants struggling to integrate into Israeli society are identified as “At-Risk”:
• At-risk of dropping out of school or work
• At-risk of getting involved in crime, drugs or prostitution
• At-risk of STDs or AIDs
• At-risk of entering abusive relationships
• At-risk of having at-risk children
At some level, all adolescents are “at risk”, some more than others. Just as every young woman learns to drive, we think every young woman deserves to acquire the life skills she needs to maintain her physical and emotional safety. That is what our courses are designed to offer: “driver’s education” for a young women’s body, mind and spirit.
In our courses for At-Risk Youth, young women learn:
• Healthy boundary setting, how to say “no” and to have that “no” respected as part of their inherent right to full control over their own bodies, minds and spirits.
• De-escalation as a tool for violence prevention and self-efficacy.
• Identification of and constructive responses to verbal and emotional violence.
• Threat identification and the role of intuition with an emphasis on identifying intimate partners with violent tendencies.
• Awareness and strategies to deal with the dangers of the Internet, Social Networking, Chatting, etc.
• Simple, effective physical techniques as ‘last resort’ tools enabling escape from physical violence.
• Situational analysis and application of the “toolbox of skills” taught in a broad range of realistic simulations.
By increasing their self-confidence and equipping young women with basic self-defense and self-protection skills, we hope to provide empowering alternatives to whatever violent or abusive relationship patterns they may have experienced in the past, to present them with new choices for their lives and the lives they will build for their own children.