My name is Johana Kawelmacher; I’m the daughter of Vicki Kawelmacher. My mom has always taught me to be aware of my surroundings. This advice helped me seven years ago when I was ten years old. In an instant, I was the target of child abduction; fortunately I got away before they could throw me into a moving vehicle. I was aware of the vehicle and the two men sitting inside as soon as I went outside, it felt strange to me, this car was out of place and I’d never seen it before. Looking back I should have gone back into my house, but remember, I was only ten years old at the time.
I am now seventeen years old; I’ve taken my safety to the next level with Charles Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I’m currently a blue belt and working to get my black belt. Training in martial arts helps prepare me if I ever find myself in a situation where I must fight to survive.
Watching horrible stories unfold on the news about rape, or someone being beaten and or killed hurts me and my mom because sometimes it seems to take a tragic life event for women to get training or make the decision to carry some form of protection. Something as simple as a pepper spray or a little knife might just make the difference between life and death. Choose safety because you are worth it and so am I.