Undertaking an IWMF trip meant I recently got the rare opportunity to spend 4-days completing an action-packed HEFAT training course in Mexico – designed specifically for women journalists.
From the beginning, it was clear our trainers held an intimidating amount of knowledge and experience. Jeff and Laurier tackled the self-defense/awareness training, while Cath took on medical/cyber security. I would love to say that by the end of the training you felt fully equipped to take on hostile environments, but the reality is that only experience can fully prepare you. That said, the team did the next best thing by simulating numerous situations to build our confidence and enable us to be self reflective on how we might each (re)act to certain stressful situations.
From a simulated kidnapping to medical emergencies, the course not only taught me how to be more rational and focused during a crisis, it also stressed the importance of self-awareness and self-defence so that potential hostile situations are avoided … all in comic book / superhero-esk fashion, of course.
– Ali Rae