Gender-based violence is a form of harm directed at a person based on his or her sex or biological gender identity.
The Office of Violence Prevention hosted a dozen locals to gather at Sherman Park Saturday afternoon to gain tips to defend and empower individuals to feel safe wherever they are.
Alfonso Pettis, CEO and founder of Mentoring thru Arts & Sports Enrichment LLC, has seen firsthand how gender-based violence passes down through generations throughout Milwaukee. "There's a lot of unhealed wounds here in Milwaukee," said Pettis.
Pettis joined Dr. Amber Tucker, a professor, and martial arts artist, in teaching physical defense moves to help another fight back if they're ever in a dicey situation.
More than fighting back, Dr. Tucker wants people to simply just be mindful wherever they are in their day to day activities. "When you get out of your car look around, know who's around. When you're walking up to the door don't have your head buried into your phone just always be aware of your surrounding," said Tucker.
Her goal is to empower all genders to feel safe in any situation.
"If you always think that you’re gonna be a victim sometimes. That can invite something that you don’t want to happen."
According to the Office of Management Analysis and Planning, they've seen anincrease of domestic violence by 18% in the last year in Milwaukee.
"Statistically, women are the ones that report the highest rates of violence," said Tucker.
The fear of being helpless is something that many women in the community share, according to their workshop.
"There's a lot of situations like leaving the store late at night going to get gas I mean I know as a woman for myself I cringed when I'm out of gas it's late and I might not be in the best side of town," said Karin Tyler of the Office of Violence Prevention.
OVP has plans to host two more events throughout their Summer of Healing series.