At the beginning of 2021, the project partners decided to continue the training of trainers online only to avoid any further pandemic-related delays. Our feminist self-defence trainers continued learning how to better include women with disabilities in their workshops and to accommodate their needs.
In March, the Lydia Zijdel Foundation provided us with a very interesting online module on working with hearing impaired women. Not only did we learn a lot about the history of Deaf and hearing impaired women and the specific forms of discrimination and violence they encounter. We also received a lot of practical tips for teaching from Maloush Köhler, a sign language interpreter who pioneered feminist self-defence for Deaf women in the Netherlands. A Q/A session on 23 March concluded this module. Two more modules will take place in May (working with women with visual impairments) and June (working with women with learning disabilities).
While the online training is informative, many of the participants regret that there are no possibilities to physically meet and get to know each other. There are differences in how feminist self-defence is organised in our four countries, how we become trainers and which groups we are working with. To be able to exchange our experiences and build connections across borders, we organised an online meeting on 13 February. 25 trainers participated, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We are looking into possibilities to organise more such opportunities to meet and work together.
In the framework of the European project No means No, Garance invites you to participate in online discovery workshops. Several dates to choose from (see below)
Our workshops aim to:
- increase self-confidence, self-esteem and self-efficacy
- strengthen individual and collective capacity for action in the field of
prevention of violence,
- raise awareness of your rights and of existing support and intervention services,
- to strengthen the link between women living with a disability in order to overcome
isolation and to strengthen solidarity.
Our workshops are very popular moments of sharing about safety in the street and at home (or in institutions). Participants discover that they have much more capacity for safety than they usually imagine, and they come away feeling more confident in their interactions with the outside world.
Interested? Want to register? Need more information?
These dates don’t suit you but you would still like to know more?
Contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I participate regardless of my disability?
Yes, the workshops are intended for women with motor disabilities who
Yes, the workshops are intended for women with motor disabilities who use a motor aid or not, as well as for women living with a chronic illness that impacts their mobility.
Is there a charge for the workshops?
Participation in the online or face-to-face workshops is free of charge.
What computer equipment is needed to participate online?
You need a computer or tablet with a built-in microphone and camera. A
A smartphone may be sufficient but is not the ideal medium.
What platform will you use for the online workshops?
We will send you a Zoom link for the workshop as soon as we have confirmed your registration. This link allows you to log in with any internet browser. If you have never participated in an online meeting before, we can do a trial run with you.
10 May / 17 May (English) / 18 May / 29 May
Time : 9.30 – 12.00
With the support of the European Commission, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Brussels-Capital Region, the City of Brussels and the French Community Commissio
I have to do long commutes every day and after a long working day, my concentration usually decrease, making it more difficult for me to find my way. So I’m always happy when people help me. One day, a man offered to guide me on my way to the station, which I accepted thankfully. What irritated me was that he immediately linked our arms. At first I ignored that strange feeling. The man was very friendly and seemed helpful. On our way we discussed a current political scandal at the town hall. We arrived very fast at the train station, and then he started patting my hand and interrogating me if I had a friend or was married. I was feeling frightened and disgusted. Then I remembered our self-defence class and that it was important to act and make noise. I gathered my courage and yelled : « This man is molesting me ! The man beside me harasses me. » Again and again, many times. First I felt uncomfortable, but after the second or third time, I realised that I felt prouder and braver. The men let me go very quickly and I was surprised. As I cannot see, I don’t know where he went. Several people came and offered their help, and I caught the train. Even if my knees were trembling afterwards, I felt great because I managed to fight for myself and my dignity.
The driver of an accessible transport company tried to assault me. I defended myself by hitting him with my wheelchair. I then filed a complaint with his company in spite of being afraid of retribution.
My partner’s family forbade us to barbecue while being in the countryside. I felt really offended. So after taking a self-defence class, I talked to my family-in-law and explained to them that I wasn’t a child and that I knew how to use a barbecue and make fire, and they allowed us to barbecue with my partner.
My mother had a new partner and I could not read his lips, nor understand him when he talked. Each time I asked him to speak more slowly and clearly, he laughed and made fun of me, so I would leave the room. One day, I decided not to go back to my mother’s place. She complained that I never visited anymore so I told her to meet at my place because I didn’t want to see her partner. Then I told her that if she wanted me to visit her again, she needed to explain to her partner that his behaviour was not ok. My mother finally talked to him and when I visited again, he behaved better.
My father-in-law never accepted that I was deaf, and so when I went to visit him, he used to talk to me when I wasn’t looking, or called me out from far away as if I was able to hear. So I decided to ignore him as long as he didn’t tap on my shoulder or didn’t make the effort to behave appropriately to enable me to communicate. My husband didn’t feel comfortable with the situation and held me responsible, but I thought that my father-in-law’s behaviour was disrespectful and so I continue to act like I did.
One time, I went out with my friends. At night, on my way home, four men followed and attacked us. I was the only woman in the group, and I told them that I would call the police. As I was dialling, one of the attackers said: “you want me to hurt you?”. I answered no and he said: “Then shut up!”, pushed me on the ground and spit in my face. I got back up and yelled so loud and for such a long time that they went away and left us alone. The neighbours heard me and called the police.
Once I was driving my car on a country road. My husband was shouting at me. I told him several times to stop because it was dangerous, but he kept yelling. So I detached my husband’s safety belt and hit the breaks all of a sudden. He hit the glove compartment and hurt his knee. He stopped shouting at me.
Once, I was delivering newspapers in a big apartment block. I entered the lift with my huge newspaper bag. A telephone worker was in the lift. He started rubbing himself against me. I pushed him away and took up more space in the lift. He got off the lift at the next floor.