EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Juarez police are holding self-defense classes and sharing safety tips with migrant women staying at a government shelter.
The training led this week by uniformed officers at the Leona Vicario shelter primarily included moves to break away from an attacker and run. The officers also distributed common-sense safety brochures and talked to the women and girls staying at the shelter.
“It’s not that we are afraid they will be victimized,” Juarez Police Chief Cesar Omar Munoz told Border Report. “This is part of our efforts to get close to them, so they feel they are part of the community.”
Still, migrant advocates on both sides of the border say migrants – including women and children – are vulnerable to and often the target of criminals on the streets of border cities like Juarez and Tijuana.
At a House Homeland Security subcommittee meeting this week, U.S. migrant advocates testified that thousands expelled under the soon-to-be-terminated Title 42 public health order have been victims of robbery, kidnapping, rape and sometimes murder in Mexico.
The Leona Vicario shelter in Juarez sits inside a former factory on a gated lot with soldiers patrolling the entrance.
Santiago Gonzalez, head of the Human Rights Office in Juarez, told local media migrant women staying at the Kiki Romero shelter in Central Juarez also received self-defense classes.
“(They) received training on techniques to repel an attack, including with a knife, attempts at people holding them or trying to get them to submit,” Gonzalez told El Diario.