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 annoying people to full-on attacks.
Buy a gift certificate for yourself or someone else you love to one of our 2019 workshops.
Teens Can Defend Themselves, Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park, May 4, 2:30-5 p.m.
Get Empowered! A Self-Defense Happy Hour (16+), DC Center for the LGBT Community, various Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.
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!
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.
Everybody needs this!
I wish other women/girls could experience THIS feeling of girrrrlpower, instead of listening to Cosmo and Glamour to tell them where their power lies.
The teachers role-modeled being strong women.
What an empowering, enlightening class! You gave me a wonderfully empowering gift – the ability to speak! You helped take away some of the fear that I had by having me realize that I have some power within.
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.
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.
I feel more confident and like I can get through anything.
This class was a springboard. Now I know where I need to go in the rest of my life.
Lauren is very encouraging and patient. An excellent teacher, she makes everyone feel comfortable.