School to introduce self-defence lessons for pupils in wake of calls to tackle violence against women

It's one of a number of schools and colleges looking at ways to offer more support, as well as encourage the conversation about women's safety. Credit: Ashley Kirk

Nottingham Girls' High School is introducing self-defence lessons for pupils in the wake of growing calls to tackle violence and harassment against women and girls.

It's one of a number of schools and colleges looking at ways to offer more support, as well as encourage the conversation about women's safety.

It comes in the wake of Sarah Everard's death. This week, the government has also announced an immediate review into sexual abuse in schools following thousands of allegations from students.

Women gather in Nottingham city centre, some holding placards for Sarah Everard

Julie Keller, Head, Nottingham Girls' High School said: "Actually that's where the school's role is, education, and making sure our girls do know what to call out as wrong behaviour and bad behaviour.

"And in a girls school like this, the girls talk a lot, they talk more than ever at the moment. It's a school that listens, and the girls are able to express themselves and say how they're feeling.


Vigils took place across the Midlands to pay tribute to Sarah Everard. People gathered in city centre's to light candles and hear speeches about the issue of women's safety.  

A similar scene also took place in Birmingham, where people gathered in Victoria Square.

In Leicester, college students Holly and Aimee say they've felt empowered by speaking out.

Aimee Dawson said: "I think I'm more likely to not necessarily make a big deal out of it but to tell other people so that they can correct the situation because if they are doing it to me - they are more than likely doing it to other people.

"So, if me calling somebody out for their behaviour prevents them from doing it to somebody else then that's all I can do really."

Almost 3 weeks ago, over 100 people in Nottingham stood silent to remember Sarah Everard.

In tribute to her, many women and girls say they won't be silent about harassment anymore.

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