José Manuel, the Zaragoza policeman who protects and teaches personal defense to victims of sexist violence


José Manuel is one of the eleven agents belonging to the Family and Women Unit (UFAM) of the Superior Headquarters of Aragon Police who is dedicated every day to protect the women who are considered by the Viogén system to be at risk, either extreme or low. A difficult job since a person’s life depends on him, but his way of being makes the victims not only feel safe, but also lose their fear. A) Yes This is witnessed by Carolina, who has been under his protection for four years. But the implication of this official of the National Police Corps goes further and He also teaches self defense techniques to women.

It does it through the Aragonese Federation of Olympic Wrestling and gives this type of training in groups of ten people. “They are not only women victims of sexist violence, there are also those who want to know how to act if someone attacks them while going to work or going out on a night out “, highlights, while stressing that “you never teach to be harmful to the attacker, but on the contrary, to always appease.”

In fact, José Manuel, who is what he likes to be called even though he is in uniform at the time of the interview with this newspaper, explains issues that go beyond what most people may believe that defense is. personal. “I tell them that before shouting ‘help’ or ‘help’, they have to say ‘fire’; since everyone hears that, it creates an alarm and it is easy for someone to see an assault“, he says.

It is not the only trick this agent highlights. Another that she tells her students is that, before running away, if there is a vehicle parked in the vicinity, “play around, chase each other” because “they will never be reached and it is easier than asking for help someone is aware of what is happening. ”

But beyond that, José Manuel insists on emphasizing that “it does not consist in teaching how to do karate or boxing because the technique is too complicated for the objective being sought”. The techniques that show the most is that of punctual pain, which is to apply pressure in a specific place causing temporary damage to the aggressor, without being harmful, but that nullifies him for a time. He also teaches them something as simple as “curling up” or covering the ear “if the woman is receiving blows to prevent one of them from leaving her in shock, either from a strong blow to the stomach or the ear.” Another lesson is to take advantage of the inertia with which the aggressor arrives to step aside, push and produce an imbalance in him.

All this is completed with talks on personal safety devices such as the one known as the anti-panic button, the pepper spray or the Alertcorps mobile application. Knowing what characteristics they have, how they can and should be used are some of the questions that José Manuel explains.

This agent highlights an aspect that, in his opinion, is very relevant to self-defense groups: the relationships established between the participants, even more so when they are victims of gender violence. “Many of them, seeing themselves understood and safe with other women, have later told me that it has also served as therapy,” says José Manuel, visibly proud.

As he says it, Carolina nods her head. “I gained self-esteem when I did the classes “, adds this 37-year-old girl who has been living with her abuser for 13 years and is under the protection program. José Manuel would like not to have to teach this type of techniques that back in 2014, when the UFAM did not exist as such but that he already worked with women victims of gender violence, he began to show.

The 016 serves the victims of all violence against women. It is a free and confidential telephone that provides service in 53 languages ​​and leaves no trace on the bill. Information is also offered through the email [email protected] and counseling and psychosocial care through the WhatsApp number 600 000 016. In addition, minors can contact the ANAR telephone number 900202010.

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