The right to defend yourself

Christine June, Story and photos
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***Women have the right to defend themselves, and Geraldlyn Vasquez wants to show women in the KMC how to exercise that right.

“Sexual assault can happen anywhere,” said Mrs. Vasquez, who teaches women’s self-defense courses to females 13 to adult for the 415th Base Support Battalion Landstuhl Youth Services. “You never know when you are going to be in a ‘situation.’”

Mrs. Vasquez is the only American Women’s Self Defense Association instructor in Germany.

AWSDA is an international, educational organization dedicated to ending violence against women by increasing their awareness of self-defense and rape prevention. It does this by providing training programs for instructors who in turn teach women basic self-defense to empower them not to become victims.

“I’m their representative here to get the word out to women that we are here to help them,” said Mrs. Vasquez, who also teaches Karate Tech for LYS in Landstuhl and Vogelweh.

Getting the word out, Mrs. Vasquez added a “kick” to the 415th Base Support ***image2***Battalion Better Opportunities for Servicemembers’ sexual harassment training Feb. 10 at the KMC Onstage on Kleber Kaserne.

“I thought the self-defense demonstration was awesome, and it kept the audience’s attention more than having someone just standing up front talking for an hour about what you can do,” said Spc. Mercedes Miramontes, 415th BSB BOSS president, who organized the training.

“I’m glad Specialist Miramontes asked me to put on a demonstration for this training so I can let more women know what kind of training we can offer,” said Mrs. Vasquez.

The next women’s self-defense course taught by Mrs. Vasquez starts March 7. It is a six-week course and is held 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays at LYS, Bldg. 3701 on Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Registration is required and can be done by calling the 415th BSB Central Enrollment and Registration Office at 489-6142 or 0631-536-6142.