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Self-defense is a risk reduction strategy that may offer assertiveness training, education about dangerous situations and “red flags” that perpetrators may exhibit, and strategies to physically and verbally resist dangerous situations. Self-defense does not prevent the choices perpetrators make to assault, but may provide individuals with confidence, awareness, and diffusion strategies to increase their safety and potentially lessen the severity of attacks.
If you have survived violence and did not fight back, you are not at fault. Research about sexual assault indicates that tonic immobility, or rape-induced paralysis, is a very common and normal response.
Some survivors find self-defense programs empowering, and others find them triggering. Both reactions are valid, and only you know what is right for you. If you have survived violence and are considering a self-defense program, please note that the two programs below have a mix of educational and physical components. Before you register, you may want to contact the program to ask about how much physical contact you might have with other participants (e.g., grabbing, kicking), how the instructors work with survivors who are triggered during the class, and how you can develop solutions or alternative strategies for participation.
Designed for and taught by women.
For women and girls ages 14 and older.