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Defence Lessons For Homeless Women

Young homeless women in Adelaide are being taught self-defence in a program seeking to protect them from sexual assault and other crimes.
Program founder Leonie Karlsson said homeless women were particularly vulnerable to sexual and physical assault.
"Being homeless puts them in often risky situations and locations, many have drug and alcohol issues which add to their vulnerability, and they often suffer low self-esteem," she said.
The program also encourages women to report sexual assault to police or other authorities.
Ms Karlsson said few homeless women reported assaults for fear of further victimisation or because they did not feel comfortable around authorities.
"As a result, they can end up blaming themselves or feeling acute anger and distress, and that can lead to self-harm, lashing out and other destructive behaviour," she said.
"We want to help them learn coping behaviours that enable them to move forward."

AAP (16-05-2006)


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