Dawson teaches women how to feel safe.
Like many women,
Jane Dawson thought wrestling around as a kid with her brothers had
toughened her up. She learned otherwise when she was assaulted several
with my brothers was different; their intent was not to kill me,"
Now trained in
krav maga, an Israeli form of self-defense, Dawson, 46, has a right to
feel safe. To help other women, she visits workplaces around Milwaukee
to conduct a lunch-hour crash course in personal safety. "One
thing I’m concerned with is a lot of women don’t have time to
train," she says.
one-hour presentations provide tips on preventing an attack and teach
how to fight back. So far, employers including North Shore Bank,
Johnson Controls, Kaplan College, the American Red Cross and the
Wisconsin Realtors Association have held workshops.
A session also
was held at a school in the Avenues West neighborhood, and Dawson
would like to do more work with teenagers. "These girls can be
surrounded by violence, even just waiting at the bus stop," she
women to walk tall and confidently, and to be ready to fight and
scratch their way out of an attacker’s hold. At just 5-foot-3,
Dawson is reputed to be "a force to be reckoned with" in
classes at Krav Maga Milwaukee, where she serves as outreach
Milwaukee, which offers classes in Brookfield and Bay View, calls its
program Fit 2 Fight Transformative Self Defense, and Dawson says she
indeed was changed by learning how to fend off an attack. "People
who knew me say, ‘You’re back,’" she adds.
certified to teach the use of a hand-held self-defense tool called a
spikey, but notes that a handful of sand or whatever is available to
throw in an attacker’s face can provide an opportunity to escape.
said that if a woman fights for 10 seconds, her attacker more than
likely will give up. They want someone who’s just going to give in
and give them what they want," says Dawson. "As long as you’re
alive, you’ve won the fight.