Defend Yourself works to empower people
— especially women and LGBTQ people — to end violence and create a world where they can be fully themselves.
In our classes you’ll learn skills to help you prevent, interrupt, heal from, and end violence and abuse. You’ll leave better equipped to deal with everything from bothersome people to full-on attacks.
What can we do for you?
Join a class that Defend Yourself has set up, or create one just for your group! Or take our Safe Bars program, Defend Yourself’s bystander intervention program for bar, club, and restaurant staffs. Or just one click and you can learn something now!
The teachers are nonjudgmental: they are not going to tell you that what you are doing is wrong.
This class exceeded my expectations! I looked forward to class and the chance to practice my skills. I enjoyed the supportive environment and the space to develop strategies for confronting harassment.
To my surprise, I found the verbal parts of the class the most beneficial. Instead of just preparing us for the chance of an all-out attack, we learned skills that have been helping me to navigate more assertively through everyday situations. You helped all of us to view self-defense holistically, and asked us to question our role in making this world less violent.
The teachers role-modeled being strong women.
This class has affected my life in many ways. I am now able to deal with many suppressed feelings. This is an opening for me. I finally allow myself to feel anger without blaming myself. I now realize I have the right to happiness and I will fervently fight whoever tries to take this.
Thank you for such an empowering, confidence-inspiring class. When you first announced that the class would teach both verbal and physical defense, I was a bit hesitant – I presumed I already knew how to verbally defend myself, and thought I was ready to get down to more hard core self-defense moves.
Lauren is very encouraging and patient. An excellent teacher, she makes everyone feel comfortable.
I feel so much stronger and more confident. Now I feel good about saying no to something I don’t want, where I used to feel bad about it. This is a big change!
Bothering leads to dangerous things and situations if we aren’t careful. We want to try to stop the situation before it gets really dangerous! There are bullies that can start at just being annoying by talking and saying those mean things but it can turn into something very dangerous if you are not careful. So the key is to be very smart and think before you act. – from the book by our students at Jump Start Girls/Adelante Nias
This class not only showed me how to defend my body, but it taught me how to express myself as well. It nurtured my soul and showed me that to be a woman does not mean that I am physically helpless.