Dundee students to get free self defence classes following assaults

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Members of the Dundee University Self Defence Society demonstrating techniques at the student's union building.

Dundee University students are being offered free self defence classes, in light of a number of recent high profile assaults.

The Dundee University Students Association will be offering three “get home safe” lessons at their Airlie Place headquarters from Thursday evening, which vice president of student welfare Caroline Goodliffe hopes will inspire confidence among residents.

Classes will be operated by the Dundee University Self Defence Society and overseen by a qualified instructor, according to the student executive.

The society will emphasise  “simple, effective, physical techniques”, utilising real scenarios captured on CCTV on how to react if attacked.

Advice will also be handed down by instructors detailing some of the “soft skills” revered by self defence experts, including boundary setting and verbal reinforcement.

Ms Goodcliffe said: “I have attended a few of the self defence classes organised throughout the year by our self defence society already and they really emphasise on teaching you to have confidence in your ability to ‘get away’ from a bad situation.

“They use YouTube footage of incidents captured on CCTV, talking through each scenario and showing the basic skills to protect yourself if you are attacked.

“The main thing which will be taught is how to make it safe to run away, with confidence, before calling the police.

“A lot of work goes into preparing people taking the classes about the mental aspects of self defence.

“The person who leads the classes is the union’s operations manager, who is qualified in self defence techniques. He is in charge of customer safety at the union, as well as being in charge of teaching door staff techniques for removing people from the building safely and without harm.

“There will be lots of appropriate safety equipment on the nights, with protective mats and gloves and the like. We wouldn’t want people getting hurt at a self defence class, of course.”

As well as self defence classes, the executive is in discussions about expanding its nightbus service – a free transport available for students living in the city which will take them home, either after a night out or a night studying.

The bus currently runs from 9pm each evening and will deliver students to their door, within the city limits.

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