Assemblywoman Marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month by taking part in Hands-on Self-Defense Demonstrations
Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester) on Monday partnered with martial arts experts at Underground Martial Arts in South Jersey to host a special forum for women called “Operation Stop Women’s Violence” as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April).
“This was an eye-opening and inspiring event,” said Mosquera. “As we pause to honor Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it’s important to take stock of what can and needs to be done to empower more people to protect themselves. Coupling strong public policy with self defense is a great start. I look forward to crafting more laws to protect victims of violence and, even more importantly, help prevent it in the first place.”
The event was designed to promote self-protection and defense and call attention to the public policy issues supporting the protection of assault victims. Mosquera has been one of the legislature’s leading advocates against sexual and domestic violence, most recently sponsoring a bill (A-4078) that is working its way through the legislature to enable more victims of sexual assault to seek protective orders against their perpetrators.
While current statutes allow domestic violence victims to seek a protective order against offenders, individuals who are victims of sexual assault, but not domestic violence, do not have similar protections under the law.
Mosquera’s bill would grant an order for emergency relief when necessary to protect the safety and well-being of a victim – regardless of whether criminal charges were filed – and would remain in effect until a superior court judge issues a further order.
Mosquera noted that sexual violence is a very serious public health problem that affects millions of women and men. In the United States, one in five women have been raped in their lifetime and nearly one in two women have experienced other forms of sexual violence at some point in their lives.
During the event, Mosquera took part in hands-on demonstrations involving the psychology of self-defense, defenses against common attacks, and empowering combatives. *Pictures from the event are attached.
Mosquera also hailed the efforts of Underground Martial Arts and Fitness Center to empower students to become fit, protect themselves and build unshakable confidence, which, in turn, is magnified in all areas of their lives.