Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn – To commemorate January as ‘Self-Defense Awareness’ month, community residents joined Council Member Al Vann Tracy Hobson, Executive Director of The Center for Anti-Violence Education and advocates at a community-wide, free self-defense course held today in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The course empowered citizens on how to protect themselves from becoming victims of sexual assault. The classes were organized following a string of incidents that occurred throughout Brooklyn and New York City. In October and November, there were two attempted sexual assaults targeting older women who were working by themselves, within different stores in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“We can each play a part in protecting ourselves and taking back our streets,” said Speaker Quinn. “From Bed-Stuy, to Park Slope and everywhere else in Brooklyn, today’s self-defense class empowered residents and sent the clear message that we will not tolerate sexual assaults in our neighborhoods.”
“The Bedford-Stuyvesant community’s collective response to these despicable attacks is a blueprint for improving safety within our neighborhoods,” said Council Member Vann. “The collaboration between our local precincts, businesses, and community organizations – partnering with the Council and Center for Anti-Violence Education – to provide tonight’s training represents a cooperative model to be utilized in preventive safety measures. Our community eagerly awaits the return of the NYPD’s Blockwatchers Program to help engage more of our residents in community safety efforts.”
“The Center for Anti-Violence Education has been providing self-defense and violence prevention programs for communities especially at risk of violence including women, youth and the LGBT community for 37 years,” said Tracy Hobson, Executive Director. “While we know that it is NEVER the fault of the person who is attacked, we also know that there are skills and strategies that we can use to keep ourselves and our loved ones as safe as possible. We’re happy to be partnering with the City Council to be providing classes on these skills throughout the community.”