The Wen-Do self-defence course for women became recognized this year on the Co-Curricular Record.

The Wen-Do program is a 15-hour program that operates from October 27 to November 24, aimed at teaching women at UTM self-defence. According to the program’s instructor, Deb Parent, in an interview with The Medium, Wen-Do has been taught across Canada since 1972.

“I realized the importance and the benefits the students can have if they have a CCR credit on their academic record, so I put the proposal in and the committee approved it,” said Corporal Bobbi-Jo Duff to The Medium, who initiated the program.

Parent stated that it is the first time in Canada, of which she knew, that Wen-Do became a part of the CCR.

Parent also said that the program offers a place for discussion with women to share their feelings and thoughts about different forms of violence that a woman can face, explaining that from these discussions, they “build on different ways, we as women, can use our bodies effectively, and use our voice effectively.”

“Women come because they want to feel more confident, they want to lead full and active lives, and want to have resources and options for any of the harassment or threats that they might face,” said Parent.

In the past years, the sessions only included three-hour workshops, but the structure has been changed, and will keep changing to meet the demands and fit the schedules of UTM women who want to partake in the program.

The program is funded by the Police Department at UTM, along with eight other departments, such as Student Affairs, Health and Counselling, Residence, Student Engagement, Office of Student Transition, and Equity and Diversity Office for UTM women, which includes students, staff, and faculty.

Another five-week training session is currently underway for the winter semester.