woman boxer 88.
(photo credit: courtesy)
A reported rise in the number of rapes countrywide has spurred Tel Aviv gym Go-Active, part of a countrywide chain, and a former martial arts trainer for the IDF to offer Tel Aviv women a chance to learn the basics of self-defense.
"Hopefully the course will teach women how to take their shock adrenalin and turn it into positive power," teacher Dor Poles told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday, explaining how the four-week course was not designed to make women experts in karate but rather to give them instant tools to fight off potential attackers.
"The final session of the course will show women how to use protective equipment like pepper spray to ward off attackers," continued Poles. "I hope it will open women's minds so that they are able to protect themselves."
The course begins in December and is open to all women, and Poles said proceeds from the course - which costs a mere NIS 50 - would go to the Tel Aviv Rape Crisis Center.
"I think this is a win-win situation for everyone," commented Poles, who taught a similar course during his army service and is offering his expertise for free. "It is a way to improve the confidence of women in Tel Aviv, raise the profile of Go-Active and I will enjoy teaching it."
While the course was planned to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which was marked Sunday worldwide, Poles noted that it was particularly poignant now that Israel's most notorious serial rapist, Benny Sela, had managed to escape police custody.
Go-Active management said the course was inspired by recent figures released by the Tel Aviv Rape Crisis Center.
According to the center, 2005 saw a 32.2 percent increase in female victims of gang rapes or sexual assaults, a rise of 30% in cases of incest, 31.3% more attacks on girls under the age of 12 and a 50% rise in the number of sexual attacks on girls aged 13-18.
The Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Woman released a report Tuesday showing that 15 women had been murdered by either their partners or by other family members so far this year, compared to 15 in 2005.
The data collected also showed that there has been a 20% rise in the number of calls received by the Rape Crisis Center up to September of this year.