Chicago Self-Defense Class Spurred by Rise in Attacks Against Women
March 29, 2022
A Chicago community organizer reaffirmed his commitment to teach women self-defense classes amid an increase in attacks against women, including one as recent as Wednesday night.
In the latest incident, a woman identified as Aaliyah Newell, 47, was found bludgeoned to death in her Englewood apartment. According to Chicago police, Newell died at the hands of someone else, but the suspect’s identity and motive remain uncertain.
“They messed with the wrong person, they did and for what,” a friend of Newell’s said. “What did you get out of it?”
Rael Jackson, a community organizer with Real Men Charities, had the idea to hold a women’s self-defense course prior to Newell’s death.
“Most of the women I know have dealt with domestic violence in some fashion,” he told NBC 5.
After learning Newell was beaten and then murdered, Jackson reiterated his desire to do something.
As of late Thursday, it remained unclear if her death was a case of domestic violence, but the city of Chicago has noted an increase in incidents and upped funding by $25 million.
The self-defense course is Jackson’s way of helping the cause and honoring Newell – a woman widely loved and sorely missed.
“She was always present at social events as well as community events, so it’s a tragedy to know my friends have to go through that loss,” Jackson said.