A top Irish model has urged women to be strong and give themselves every chance by learning self defence.

The former Mrs Ireland, Monica Walsh has a new book coming out. Her newest title: “Don’t be a victim and fight for yourself” encourages women to learn how to defend themselves.

The mother-of-one from Clonee went to the Golden Tiger Academy in Dunboyne to share her stories of her hands-on experience dealing with domestic violence.

Monica, who now works as a Montessori teacher spoke of how important it is for women to have the ability to defend themselves.

She wants to raise awareness and show brave survivors of toxic relationships that “life can get so much better and they deserve to be happy”.

Ken Byrne is an instructor at the academy, they run many free group self defence courses and individual training for victims of domestic violence.

He said: “I want to help spread awareness and give women a fighting chance to survive and hopefully avoid domestic violence.

“Women very often protect others but keep forgetting about themselves.

“There are only a few classes enough to be able to defend and protect yourself from abusers.

“We can learn how to put someone asleep and that gives us a time to escape or call for help.”

Monica’s mission to help those in abusive relationships is fuelled by her own family’s harrowing experience when her beloved godmother Kalina was brutally killed.