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Women in Safe Haven shelter learn self-defense art of Krav-Maga
Mashburn krav maga Web
Sgt. Todd Mashburn with the Bulloch County Sheriff's Department demonstrates a move in Krav Maga, a self-defense discipline, to the women at the Safe Haven women's domestic abuse shelter in Statesboro. - photo by LUKE MARTIN/special
    As a sergeant in the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department, Todd Mashburn knows about the levels of domestic violence in the county. As an instructor in Krav Maga, he is in a position to help prepare women to defend themselves.
    So, last week, Mashburn teamed up with Eva Hickman of the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit to offer some help. Mashburn and Hickman gave a two-hour seminar in the self-defense art of Krav Maga. They also taught the 12 women staying at Safe Haven – the domestic violence shelter in Bulloch County – how to get help if needed.
    “This is not just about self-defense,” said Mashburn. “This is about educating these ladies about how to protect themselves but also where to turn if they need help.”
    October is Domestic Violence Awareness month across the country and the self-defense clinic was a kickoff for the month. It was a collaboration between the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department, the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, Statesboro Karate and Safe Haven.
    Unlike other martial arts like karate, Krav Maga doesn’t have a sport aspect to it, Mashburn said. It was designed by the Israeli military for hand-to-hand and street combat.
    “It’s a system everyone can do and can learn quickly,” Mashburn said. “The whole idea is to be aggressive, effective and brutal. You want to eliminate the threat as quickly as possible. If you have to scratch, you scratch. If you have to bite, you bite. You do what you have to do.”
    Mashburn, who teaches at Statesboro Karate, is among the most highly trained Krav Maga instructors in the United States. He began studying in 2002 and now is one of less than 100 people in the country who have a black belt. He is the highest rated instructor in the Southeast.
    While Mashburn wanted to teach the physical aspects of Krav Maga, he also wanted to make sure the women from Safe Haven knew what legal options they had, which is why he collaborated with Hickman for the program.
    Hickman, who works in victims services for the District Attorney’s office, told the women they had the right to consult with the district attorney prior to trial, though the DA would make the final decision as to what charges to file.
    She also explained to them about victim’s compensation, which helps cover expenses associated with a crime if the victim meets the criteria.
    “I’m available if you need me. Call me,” she told the women.
    “We just wanted them to know what the district attorney and law enforcement officers are expected to do and legally bound to do for them,” Mashburn said.
    Mary Harden, executive director of Safe Haven, said the women learned a lot from the event and were grateful for the opportunity.

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