Escape Alive Classes Help Protect Women From Assault

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Women becoming victims happens far too often, but one self defense class can change that.

Donna Palomba is the founder and president Jane Doe No More, an organization that is helping change the way society responds to victims of sexual assault. It also offers the Escape Alive class, which equips women with defense techniques. The class itself is taught by one woman who is reminded of the chilling pain of sexual assault every day.

“I was approached someone said hello to me, I said hi to them, never even giving it a second thought and without even thinking twice, he actually came back from around behind me and was able to put a bag over my head and a knife to my back,” said Tracy DiGiovancarlo. “Which allowed him to bring me to a secondary location. But because I froze. I did absolutely nothing I completely froze which is the absolute worse thing you can do.”

DiGiovancarlo was 12 years old when she was raped in Waterbury after being taken in broad daylight. Years later she is a trained fighter and takes that power to make sure others don’t become victims. She teaches women how to fight back, she says it’s therapy for her as a survivor.

Daniele Sorrano is the vice president at East Coast Training Systems. She’s seen women from 13 to 87 years old take the class

“They change in those four hours it’s hard to describe its very empowering for them,” she said. “A lot of times we have victims that never came out, by the end of the class they approached one of the instructors and say I was a victim where can I go how can I get help.”

The escape alive classes are offered free of charge thanks to the partnership with Connecticut’s Jane Doe No More. Each month women can register for the four hour class offered at many different locations statewide.

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