The ASU says “no” to domestic violence

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Valley College spreads awareness of domestic violence, with the help of congressional candidate Angelica Dueñas, self defense trainer Jennifer Silverman and the ASU.

By Natalie Metcalf, Staff Writer

Angelica Dueñas (R) Jennifer Silverstein (L) demonstrate self-defense tactics during the Say "NO" to Domestic Violence workshop hosted by the ASU and Womens Empowerment Group on Monday. (Photo by Ava Rotate/The Valley Star)

The Associated Student Union hosted a workshop yesterday in the North Mall of campus, spreading awareness of domestic violence and advocating for women’s protection.

The event titled “Say no to domestic violence,” hosted 16 people who were given protective training by martial arts and self defense instructor Jennifer Silverman. Each attendee recived a “thank you bag'' equipped with a flashlight and alarm ringer keychain. Angelica Dueñas, congressional candidate in CA-29, squared off with Silverstein, a women's advocate committed to sharing her training with others. ASU President Sandra Sanchez and vice president of Women’s Empowerment club Kimberly Solis, spoke about the importance of the presentation.

“[The workshop] is meant to provide knowledge about self defense and how they [women] can take their power back,” said Solis.

Once a month, Sanchez leads the Women Empowerment club which meets on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. in person or on Zoom to discuss women's issues such as domestic violence, sexual harassment and lack of awareness.

During the event, Silverstein demonstrated WWI self-defense tactics including ear dismemberment, eyeball gouging and how to escape from a head lock. The military veteran is head instructor for Kravgirl Tactics, an organization that encourages women to find their power through self defense. Silverman is also a co-instructor with the “I fight for my life” team, a tv show about taking women victims and turning them into “women victors.” Now Silverstein shares self defense and street smart survival skills around the community colleges in her area. During her presentation, the instructor picked audience members to help her demonstrate.

"Hearing about this event, I thought that it was a very important topic,” said Dueñas. “Domestic violence is something that affects low income women of color. Indigenous women are more disproportionately affected than anybody else. I thought it was very important to be present and [be] supportive of the actions that [Valley] campus is taking.”

As of last year, 34.9 percent of women in California were victims of domestic violence. Local domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 19,159 calls — that is 13 calls every minute.

“[Domestic violence] is a really important topic to address especially since it was domestic violence awareness last month,” said Sanchez. “We just wanted to make sure that we didn't leave it behind because it's such an important topic.”