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.
Get Empowered! A Self-Defense Happy Hour (16+), DC Center for the LGBT Community, various Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m. Last short class of the year is Nov. 13.
On My Own: Independence Skills for Tweens, Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park, November 16, 2-4:30 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 showed me that . . . I have every right to defend myself and take care of myself the best way I know how. My first responsibility is to myself.
I feel more confident and like I can get through anything.
I unfortunately had to use some tactics I learned from the workshop, as I was assaulted at the beach this summer. I honestly believe that I avoided a rape because of your training.
This class has given me a powerful toolkit and the confidence to yell “NO” and know I have every right to say it. It’s helped me rethink my personal boundaries and feel good about maintaining them.
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
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.
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.
Everybody needs this!
Her calm, steady energy felt reassuring.
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.