JLMC’s Girl Power Project Self Defense Training Saves Lives
JLMC’s defense training for girls and partnership with Community Legal Volunteers for the Girl Power Project® prevents rape.
Through our accredited Girl Power Project® Curriculum, we teach girls many empowerment tools, including Self Defense training and the importance of a girl knowing that her body is her own and to be treasured. The power of this training and knowledge was leveraged recently when one of our 15-year-old students (we’ll use the name Sharon for this story) was nearly raped by one of her family members. She was able to utilize the skills she learned through Girl Power Project® to fend off rape and perhaps even save her life.
The family member had tricked her into thinking that he was leaving town for a few days, even packing his bags and assuring neighbors that he was leaving. At midnight, a loud knock came at her door and Sharon called out for her brother to open the door but the caller insisted Sharon open it herself. When she finally opened the door, he called her to his room, which she knew from her training and from her mother was not OK. She succumbed to the pressure and it was there he grabbed her and forcibly tried to take off her clothes, his were already off.
With the self-defense training she had undergone, she had already put on a tight pair of shorts that were intentionally difficult to remove. She also knew what was happening was wrong so she fought back and shouted for help. Her little brother climbed over the bedroom wall and ran to get the neighbors.
By the time the neighbors came for the rescue, he had pulled the girl out of the house towards the garden causing her many bruises, but due to her continued fighting and shouting he was unable to rape her and he ran away naked once he saw the neighbors approaching.
The Community Legal Volunteers and the Local Council Administration rescued the girl and took her to the Police to report the case. JLMC was contacted by our Community Legal Volunteers and we supported the girl to get medical attention and then after opened up the case. We supported the police to reach the scene of the crime and do a proper investigation where we learned that this man had attempted to rape and defile many women and girls in the neighborhood. They also felt safe to tell their stories and submit testimonies.
A warrant is out for the man’s arrest and Sharon is being protected in a safe space.
Through the tactics and knowledge that Sharon acquired during the self-defense session, she knew that she does not deserve to be violated, she knew that she needed to fight because what was being done to her was not right. Through the work we are doing she also knew that her neighbors and community would support her and that her voice would be heard.
This is just one example of how the Girl Power Project Curriculum continues to transform the world, one girl at a time, and we are continually grateful for your support as we take Girl Power Project GLOBAL to empower more girls like Sharon. Watch Vivian’s video about this story here.
About Just Like My Child Foundation: Since its founding in 2006, Just Like My Child Foundation has developed deep partnerships with rural communities in Africa to deliver sustainable programs that address health care, education, microenterprise, social justice, and women/girls’ empowerment. Through that work, JLMC organically came to understand that focusing on vulnerable adolescent girls is a powerful approach to disrupting the cycle of poverty. Today, Just Like My Child Foundation is focused on its mission to empower vulnerable adolescent girls by enabling them to create healthy, self-sustaining families who prosper without further aid. Learn more about their quest to transform the world, one girl at a time, at www.JustLikeMyChild.org