TWO community groups partnered up to host a self-defence class that aimed to raise awareness of domestic abuse against women.

Martial arts centre MKG Southampton and abuse rehabilitation charity The Hampton Trust advised twelve women and teenage girls from Southampton on how to become more aware, as well as how to use breakaway techniques and use self-defence.

Breakaway techniques included how to get out of attacks like clothing, hair and wrist grabs - with the overall class held to raise awareness of the 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence, which follows White Ribbon Day on November 25, an annual event to help raise awareness of domestic abuse against women.

The class was taught by Aaron Davis, the owner of MKG Southampton, along with help from self-defence expert Gareth Bezani, who works with companies such as Net-A-Porter, teaching women the key messages on how to protect themselves from abuse.

Aaron said: “I was so impressed with how the women reacted to the session, they did fantastically, and the feedback was so positive we are looking to do women only self-defence classes more often, working with local colleges, girl guide clubs and we will definitely be interested in working The Hampton Trust again.

"A big part of the class was informing the attendees what to look out for prior to an attack, being aware of your surroundings contributes massively to prevention of abuse."

He added: “Look out for anybody suspicious, does somebody look out of place and shifty? If so, take yourself out of that situation, walk away. An attacker will look for somebody that is vulnerable and distracted. Don’t walk around with your head buried in your phone; this is only asking for trouble."

Chantal Hughes, Chief Executive of The Hampton Trust, said: “The self defence class was well received by all that attended. Women can often feel vulnerable in the home as well as out of it and classes such as these can be vital in ensuring women’s safety. We hope that by organising events such as these, and promoting national awareness initiatives such as November’s White Ribbon day we can work toward a future that is safer for all.”