Class teaches women protection skills

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Learning to protect one’s self against an attack is an important, but often overlooked set of simple skills that, once learned, can aid in a threatening situation.

The Sexual Harassment, Assault, and Rape Prevention class (S.H.A.R.P) is one of the Arvada Police Department’s most popular and long-standing free classes. For a steady 10 years, members of the police department have taught this class with one goal in mind: to give women and young adults the confidence and skills needed to defend themselves against different forms of harassment, assault and rape.

“We’re teaching them (students) how to punch and how to do the best kick to get enough resistance to get away,” said Arvada Police Detective Kelli Scherer.

Each session consists of four, three-hour long classes, where students will be given examples of real-life situations where defense may be necessary. Within the class, instructors teach students about different pressure points throughout the body which will target a response when touched. While these tactics do not harm the individual, they will initiate a signal to the perpetrator to back off, or allow a victim time to escape.

The class, while not extremely physical, does involve some physical repetition of kicks and punches, but each participant works at their own level.

“Students are encouraged to stay at their level,” Scherer said. “If you have any physical limitations you can still take the class — there’s no limitation.”

While the class is currently open to women, ages 16 and up, the principles are designed for everyone.

“It doesn’t matter what size you are, it’s not your strength, it’s the techniques you use.” Scherer said.

For more information or to register for either the October or November session, call 720-898-7985. The class is free and open to the public. Class sizes are capped at 16 students and spots are allotted on a first-call basis.

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