Who was I before Fightback? I was a girl who hesitated to go outside and preferred to stay, a girl unaware about situations the public might do or face and someone afraid of her safety because I knew that I am not capable enough to protect myself. I was wrong. Maybe five days of intense training won’t make me a Bollywood superhero who beats all the villains but what I became was someone more confident and aware. I trained with my friends, we were bunch of innocent teenagers trying to be safer in this world. Every single day new techniques were taught and mentally we were prepared that no place is safe. There are cases in this world where girls struggle to live soundly in their own houses. Cases of sexual assault were presented for awareness and information. A case which caught my eye was the case of “The Dating Game”. The rapist and serial killer Rodney Alcala was on murder spree, he starred in the show as a candidate for the bachelorette. Unfortunately he won the show but her instincts were against her own selection which led her to survive. They used this case to teach us that whenever you are alone or you with someone your instincts will always tend to give you hints. Those hints should never be ignored. No matter how light the situation is your instincts will always signal for benefit. This was one of the many reasons one was protected from anything dangerous. There are simple ways we can be safe but we are just unaware which is what Fightback broke. My self esteem also increased as I was informed well. Before all I thought that to protect yourself you should just be physically strong whereas the mind plays a huge. The mind monitors our actions and in situations like this everyone’s first reaction will always be anxiety. No one can stop one from panic attacks but we can control it. While one has a stable mindset they will be able to make smarter decisions and act maturely. Another important skill for self protection is technique. One can easily learn how to punch but it is difficult to punch someone correctly. Within five days I was able to learn the basic knowledge regarding correct techniques for self defense. They made an effort to find innovative ways for protection through daily products such as umbrella, pen, newspaper etc. There were physical fitness training it helped my mind to be fit and active thus my muscles revived again. My muscle still has memory after one year and instantly performs steps for defense. This has helped me to walk out without any hesitation. I changed, changed into someone who can independently protect herself using her physical and mental abilities. I received the knowledge of reality and the need for independence and confidence.
I feel fortunate and happy to get a chance to learn fightback skills. This program has surely increased my confidence level anywhere I go. As a grade 10 student my school life is almost over and will be starting my +2 soon, so now I would need to travel a lot in public transportation and sometimes I might also need to travel alone due to some situations. I always had a fear in my mind of traveling alone due to many incidents that I have seen and heard in news, but now I have learned many skills not only self-defense skills but also how a person can attack and how we can be alert all the time. Now I do not fear to walk or travel alone. I feel that now I can be independent since I do not have to depend on my parents or guardians to drop or pick me up from places I really need to go even though if those places are near my home. If somebody will come to harm me now I can fightback against them and protect myself and other women. I now feel empowered
We recently have a session of fightback and I really enjoyed it. It was great to get so many women together who I work with and across the organizations and learn vital things to keep ourselves safe. It was a great that it was specific about what is happening in Nepal and it was useful for everybody in that session. Before fightback program I was always interested in Gender issues and wanted to learn more about how to feel safe because I always don’t feel safe. As I am quiet small and get scared walking around alone. It was really good and great session to learn physical techniques and how to respond mentally and vocally to things in situations which I was never good at but now I am. I organized this fightback session here in UNOPS and it was very easy to do and the whole fightback team was responsive and helped the session to adapt in order to our needs. Fightback is useful and simple process and I recommend every institution to organize fightback session. Greatest gift a woman can get.
Fightback program was an eye opening session to me because I have never attended one of such session before where I learn about convenient way to defend myself. Specially being a girl in Nepal, this training is very useful and I recommend everyone to take the 'Fightback' courses. Before I attended Fightback program, I would have never thought of what I would do in dangerous situation and wouldn't be able to assess the situation in right manner. I think people should be more aware of what steps should be taken in dangerous situations. Fightback does cover Mental, Vocal and Physical aspect to ensure oneself to be one's own protector. Physical is important because we need to fightback in many situations but being mentally prepared is the most important aspect because you freeze in dangerous situation then physical and vocal won’t back you up. Therefore, fightback course is designed in such way that even if I forget to use in daily way I will remember this course when I will be in such situations.
The best part about fightback for me personally was before fightback program I did feel insecure even walking down the street outside my house but now I have stronger sense of safety and it is just not in terms of physical safety but mentally as well. I have stronger sense of awareness and stronger instinct. I know how I should react to anything that happens in sudden incidents to us while walking down the street or even going anywhere around the world. I think one of the biggest lessons and one of the most important sessions for me that day was improvised weapon training. Fightback trainers taught us that ATM card, our shawl and many more other that we use everyday can be used as a weapon for our own safety. Since in Nepal according to the law no one can carry weapon with them so trainers taught us that not only knife and guns can be weapon but everything we use everyday can be weapon if used with certain techniques. That session very educating to me. Another session that i enjoyed was the sexual violence in public vehicle where we can stand in certain positions to keep distance with people we don’t like in crowded vehicle. These are some important lessons that learned from Fightback training.
The fightback session that we had on 7th of December 2018 was quiet fruitful for us and me as well. We were able to talk about the things that we went through personally like those harassment and stuff. Yes, I have been through harassment. Before fightback session when I was harassed and I couldn’t do anything about it, I was in a freezing state on my mind, but since now I got fightback training I now know what to do in those cases and I has been really motivating and inspiration for us as now I am more aware of many types of scenarios. I feel that now if I or any other people I see in such situation I know a good way to respond it.