Greenville Teen Hosts Self-defense Clinic To Help Curb Rates Of Domestic Violence

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Bayan Abunijem, a senior at Greenville Tech Charter High School, has organized a self-defense workshop to help lower domestic violence rates in South Carolina and to raise awareness about domestic violence in the state. It takes place Friday, Nov. 2, 2-3:30 p.m. in the dance studio at the Herman W. Lay Physical Activities Center on the Furman University campus.

The workshop, “Self-Defense Training for Women at Furman University,” is free and open to women throughout the Greenville community.

Abunijem hosts the self-defense workshop as part of her service project related to her participation in the Emerging Public Leaders (EPL) program at Furman University’s Riley Institute and her high school senior project.


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Abunijem has partnered with The Raja Academy of Martial Arts to provide professional training to Greenville women. Sonay Browning, a Muay Thai boxing instructor at the academy, will lead the self-defense class. During the workshop, participants will learn basic self-defense moves that could help protect themselves from violent domestic incidents and/or sexual assault.

Abunijem was spurred to action after learning South Carolina ranked No. 1 in the nation for deaths caused by domestic violence. Said Abunijem, “Seeing South Carolina rank so high for deaths caused by domestic violence was not something I could ignore. Through the self-defense workshop, I want women to gain confidence in their ability to stand up for themselves and lower the state’s rank for deaths caused by domestic violence.”

EPL is made possible by generous sponsors including State Farm, Cox Industries, Walmart, and the Riley Institute at Furman University. For more information, contact Melanie Armstrong at Furman University, 864-921-8367, or Bayan Abunijem at 864-553-8602. Learn more about the Riley Institute’s Emerging Public Leaders program.