A self-defense class title “Love Your Body Week” was held at Saint Mary’s College.

The self-defense class, co-sponsored by Athletics, BAVO (Belles Against Violence Office), Security and Women’s Health taught participants five basic physical moves that are part of the Self-Awareness and Familiarization Exchange (S.A.F.E.) national program offered by the National Self-Defense Institution.

Connie Adams, director of the BAVO office, said self-defense is an important aspect to what individuals can do to reduce personal risk of experiencing violence.

“Perhaps the most important reason [self defense] falls within the category of risk reduction is because it empowers participants,” Adams said. “If participants take one thing away, I hope it is empowerment, confidence.”

During the program, facilitators discussed the importance of trusting one’s instincts. Recognizing one’s own inner strength empowers women to have the ability to trust in themselves, Adams said.

“From what I have witnessed, Love Your Body Week focuses on recognizing your inner strength, being grateful for who you are and respecting yourself as well as others,” said Adams. “In my experience, sometimes women have a difficult time trusting [their] instincts, trusting themselves.

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