Self-defense classes being offered in light of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and there are programs and resources across the Capital Region aimed to help those in need.

It’s estimated that one in five women will be victims of severe abuse. Martha Lasher-Warner’s daughter, Liza, was one of them.

“Oh, she was a wonderful, caring, giving person,” Lasher-Warner said. “Liza lost her life to domestic violence on October 1, 2004.”

Liza was killed by her husband.

“She was ending her five-year marriage,” Lasher-Warner explained. “They were estranged, and he broke into the home and killed her and killed himself.”

Now Lasher-Warner is determined to help others by working with a domestic violence program in Troy.

“It helps me heal, and I feel the need to reach out and help others, and hopefully, save them from the same fate,” she said.

Lasher-Warner cheers when she hears about classes like the one at Pai’s Taekwondo in Clifton Park that teach kids and families how to defend themselves in case the worst happens.

“I love it,” she said. “It makes me smile. I think it’s a wonderful thing. Kids need to be aware that abuse of any kind in the household is not a normal thing.”

Megan Myers is the director of Domestic Violence Advocacy and Family Resource Programs in Mechanicville. She and her team at the Mechanicville Area Community Center helped arrange the classes.

“It helps you to see other people growing,” Myers said. “Growing in their self-confidence, growing in their empowerment skills.”

The goal is to not only give people the tools to avoid violence, but also the skills to be ready to defend themselves in case the worst happens.

The message is simple.

“Reach out,” Myers said. “Don’t be afraid to call and get help. If you see something, say something.”

Through these types of services, Lasher-Warner knows she’s keeping her daughter’s legacy alive.

“She’s around, and she’s with me and I know she’s proud of the work I’m doing,” she said.

Pai’s Taekwondo in Clifton Park is offering free self-defense classes every Tuesday night through the month of October.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse, call the hotline number for help: (518) 664-4008.

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