New Canaan Police Plan Domestic Violence and Assault Prevention Course; Startup Donations Needed

New Canaan Police plan to launch a personal safety course that’s designed to arm local women, including high school students, with techniques and information that address and prevent domestic violence and assault.

Led by Officer David Rivera, participants will meet twice per week for 90-minute sessions over five weeks, learning martial arts techniques such as in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, as well as awareness tips and information about sexual and other assaults. About $20,000 to $25,000 is needed to train New Canaan Police and kickstart the course, Rivera said. He’d like to start offering the course prior to the fall semester this year. (See donor information at the end of this article.)

Data shows that among high school students, sexual assaults often happen between upperclassmen males and freshmen girls, Rivera said. Open to high school girls as well as women 18 to 65 who live or work in New Canaan, the course will focus, in part, on preparing high school girls for college. “I think it’s a great opportunity to educate everyone and my hope is that with this class, we will see a decline in domestic violence or more people who are willing to come to us and help us to help them solve their issues,” Rivera said.