Among sexual violence victims raped after their 18th birthday, 31.5 percent of women reported a physical injury as a result of a rape and 36.2 percent of injured female victims received medical treatment according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Army Community Service has brought in a professional martial artist and self-defense instructor to provide training to Fort Bragg’s female population as part of Women’s Total Self-Defense.

“The goal of the women’s self-defense course is to give women the skills needed to survive an attack from a potentially stronger person,” said Jeffrey J. Travers, the Fort Bragg Garrison sexual assault response coordinator.

The statistics account for only victims after their 18th birthday. However, Women’s Total Self-Defense is available to participants ages 13 and older.

“We hold mother-daughter classes and the daughters cannot be younger than 13 and must be with their parent or legal guardian,” said Travers. “All participants must be a military ID card holder.”

Women’s Total Self-Defense is a three to four hour class where women will learn many techniques to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of assault.

“The class empowers women to be more assertive, aware of their environment and teaches skills that may thwart an attack,” said Travers.

The class isn’t intended to make women go out looking for a fight. It is designed to prepare women for tough situations.

“This specialized course of study is designed for females caught in a physical assault scenario and teaches self-defense skills essential to escape, such a scenario by the use of techniques that are capable of inflicting serious bodily injury to an assaulter,” said Travers.

Classes like Women’s Total Self-Defense outside of the Fort Bragg area can cost anywhere from $25 to more than $75 an hour.

“Army Community Services paid for a one-year contract with a martial arts/self-defense instructor so there is no cost to the participant,” said Travers. “Free childcare is provided as well for children that are registered with CYSS Child, Youth and School Services. Attendees must make the child care reservations through CYSS and then ACS will issue a voucher for payment on the day of class.”

Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and bring water and a snack to the Hammond Hills Neighborhood Center on the following dates: October 17, November 12, December 12, January 9, February 6, and March 6 beginning each date at 9 a.m. lasting until 1 p.m.

For registration and more information please call (910) 396-5521.