Calgary jiu-jitsu instructor hosts free classes after assaults on women

A Calgary woman is stepping up to help her neighbours following a string of assaults.

Police say there have been 15 reported incidents since November in a number of communities, including several in Mission, Thorncliffe, Huntington Hills and Hillhurst.

Investigators say a man approaches women from behind, groping them before running off.

Read more: Calgary police investigating 15 reported sexual assaults on women walking alone

The news prompted jiu-jitsu instructor Diana Trang to use her skills to help others by hosting free self-defence classes online.

“It’s obviously hitting close to home with the recent news, so I have to use this as an opportunity to get more people learning these kinds of things so they know how to protect themselves,” Trang said.

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“I’m passionate about empowerment and people having the skills to defend themselves if need be.”

The first class was on Jan. 24 and organized via Facebook through a private community group. The event ended up getting hundreds of likes and shares across the province.

“It just got such an overwhelming response, with a couple of hundred people in less than a day,” Trang said.

Trang has decided to host a second live virtual class on Feb. 6.

According to the Calgary Police Service, the assaults have happened during the day and night.

Safety tips

  • Walk with others or in well-populated areas
  • Stay in well-lit areas
  • Be aware of your surroundings, limit the use of devices that would prohibit your awareness
  • Limit the number of belongings that you are carrying in your arms to reduce your vulnerability

If you are attacked:

  • create noise to attract attention
  • do not try to keep hold of your possessions or valuables
  • pay attention to physical attributes of your attacker and what they are wearing
  • call 911 immediately

In a news release, CPS states groping is classified as sexual assault and upon conviction can be subject to jail time.

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