Women urged to learn self-defence

AS TAMWORTH continues to reel from the shocking sexual assault of two women last month, a local martial arts instructor has come forward urging women to learn self-defence.

With the “streets not being as safe as they used to be” and domestic violence statistics on the rise, Clint Chaffey said it was crucial women knew how to defend themselves against would-be attackers.

His business, Chaffey’s Black Belt Academy, previously provided the occasional six-week self-defence course, but recent events have prompted Mr Chaffey to schedule a weekly class.

The 30-year-veteran instructor said the “life skill” was just as important as learning how to swim.

“You’ve got to do something to help these young girls in the community,” Mr Chaffey said.

“We believe everyone should be able to feel safe ... whether down the street or at home,” his wife Carol added.

“They should be able to regain some of their freedom.”

The self-defence classes will focus on 10 techniques ranging from the groin kick, knee strike and heel stomp, as well as two other vital areas – the eyes and throat, Mr Chaffey said.

It follows Oxley crime manager Acting Inspector Josh McKenzie’s message to locals earlier this week to be “alert but not alarmed” after the second sexual attack in Tamworth in as many weeks.

In the latest incident, two men targeted a 32-year-old woman as she was walking alone near the skate park about 12.30am last Sunday.

On February 9, a 21-year-old walking home along White St was dragged into a laneway and sexually assaulted before her attacker fled the scene.

No arrests have been made but police investigations are continuing.

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