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Self-defense classes available for local women

Due to increased demand, there will be two more free women’sself-defense classes this week, at 6 p.m. on Monday, September 19,and Tuesday, September 20.

The classes will be held at P.S. 10 at 17th Street and SeventhAvenue and can each serve 100 women, aged 18 and older. The Mondayclass will be conducted in English and Spanish. Instructors will beprovided by the Center for Anti-Violence Education (CAE).

If you are interested in participating, register by emailinginfo@caeny.org or call 718-788-1775 as the organization’s serverhas been inundated with requests.

These classes come on the heels of two successful classes heldlast Saturday, September 10, at Cross Fit 718 on Fifth Avenuebetween 22nd and 23rd Streets.

According to Councilmember Sara M. González’s office, whichreached out to CAE and CrossFit with Councilmember Brad Lander toorganize classes, additional classes in more areas such as SunsetPark, where the June 4 rape and many of the other sexual assaultsin recent months occurred, will depend on demand, since currentclasses are being held in Greenwood Heights, Windsor Terrace andSouth Park Slope because of local outcry there.

We are absolutely trying to reach out to other organizations,businesses and entities based on demand, said Mike Schweinsburg,González’s communications director. So we’ll be looking at demandand adding opportunities so women can feel safe again.

Sign-ups were also conducted at Wednesday night’s Take Back OurStreets rally at the Prospect Avenue R subway station on 17thStreet and Fourth Avenue, which was organized by Safe Slope, a newcommunity group formed in the wake of the assaults to give voice toresidents north of 36th Street.

Asked whether there would be classes for men, as at least oneman was turned away from last Saturday’s class, Schweinsburg saidthat also depends on demand.

There are no plans on offering self-defense classes for men,but if there’s any man who feels he needs the classes, he’scertainly welcome to reach out to our office and we’ll do what wecan to accommodate him, he said.

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