Alison Broad chairs the Women's Self Defence Network Wahine Toa. She's asking for any support you can give to the battle to keep the Girls’ Self Defence Project going in the face of the planned funding cuts - see stargazer's 14 April post. The funding at stake is just $377,000 a year.
"It seems to us utterly bizarre that an effective, inexpensive (less than $50 per girl), long-running prevention programme should have its funding axed....it’s a political decision to axe the funding, so it’s a political battle."
That means making sure the relevant Ministers - who are all women - know there is strong support to keep this programme and its funding. They are:
- Hon. Paula Bennett, Minister of Social Development. Particular interest in young women and girls.
- Hon. Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Social Development. Particular interest in family violence, yet it was her decision to ‘reprioritise’ the funding.
- Hon. Hekia Parata, Minister of Women’s Affairs. Particular interest in violence (esp sexual violence) against girls and women.
- Hon. Judith Collins, Minister of Police. Particular interest in safety of women and girls.
Plus the Prime Minister, who has expressed interest in the safety of girls and women, and in anti-bullying
And there's a Facebook event too. “Save Our Girls Self Defence Project”.
To remind you of some details about the programme
Last year over 8000 girls completed an 8 hour school based programme to learn the fundamentals of protecting themselves from all kinds of violence. Over the last 15 years 77,000 girls have been involved, and 97% of the girls who have completed courses say they now know ways of how to deal with unsafe situations. A similar proportion also indicated they were more likely to talk to a safe adult in future if something happened to them or their friends.