Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Protect Yourself!

As a young woman who was about to leave to go intern and live in a large metropolitan city, many of my family and friends warned me about being safe. Part of that advice included possibly taking some self-defense classes. Learning some basic skills about how to defend yourself if you are harassed, abused or assaulted is important whether you are a woman or a man, or if you live in a big city or a small town.

According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the statistics on assault and abuse gives a greater reason for why learning some basic self-defense is important.
  • 1 out of every 6 American women will be a victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 33 men will experience an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
Self-defense is defined as protecting oneself against violence or threatened violence and is basically made up of 3 components:
  • Awareness and prevention - 90% of avoiding violence and crime
  • Mind setting - mentally prepare and have a plan
  • Training - learn physical techniques for unavoidable situations
In Washington D.C., Defend Yourself is a self-defense program that works to empower people targeted for abuse and assault and to end violence and create a world where they can be fully themselves. Participants in the program learn skills to help them prevent, heal from, and end violence and abuse.

Defend Yourself instructors are specialized in teaching groups of women, teen girls, lesbians, gay men, abuse and assault survivors, and people with disabilities. These groups are especially targeted as victims of harassment, abuse and assault.

So whether you think you might be a target or not, self-defense helps everyone feel more capable in daily life. Being able to respond to assault or abuse can give you the confidence to meet other challenges as well.

Upcoming Defend Yourself Classes in the D.C. area:

Self-Protection Skills for the LGBTQI community - Sat. June 27 from 11AM - 2PM
@ MCC in downtown DC (near Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center. Metro, Green/Yellow lines)
Cost: $43, register with a friend and get $5 off each

Self-Defense for high school seniors & 1st year college students - Sat. Aug 1 1 - 4PM
in Bethesda (Cedar Lane)
Cost: $39 before July 19, $57 after. Sign up with a friend/family member & get $5 off each.

For more information or to register with Defend Yourself, check out their site. For other self-defense instructors/classes in the country, check out the National Women's Martial Arts Federation's site.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I took a similar class in high school, definitely worth your time!!! It is one thing to know self defense, and it is another thing to be able to practice in a classroom while your adrenaline is pumping, so that you can actually defend yourself if the time comes.