Defend Yourself empowers 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.
Join us for free webinars that will support you, your family, and your community during the pandemic. Email Heather to get notified when registration opens.
- Active bystander skills for stopping anti-Asian hate
- Basic boundaries during the pandemic: Setting limits inside and outside the home
- Partners, family, and roommates: Dealing with too much togetherness
Get Empowered! A Self-Defense Happy Hour (16+), various Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m., DC Center for the LGBT Community, 14th and U Streets, NW.
On My Own: Independence Skills for Tweens, Saturday, May 2, 2-4:30 p.m., Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park.
Active Bystander Training, Wednesday, April 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m., The DC Center for the LGBT Community, 14th and U Streets, NW. POSTPONED
Safer & More Confident: Six Weeks of Empowerment Self-Defense, April 15 to May 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., The DC Center for the LGBT Community, 14th and U Streets, NW. POSTPONED
Find out more about our classes for everyone.
What can we do for you?
Join a class that Defend Yourself has set up, or create one just for your group! Check out 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.
This class opened a door for me that I didn’t know existed. I know exactly what I would do if I needed to. It was the first time in my life that I felt that. Even if something happened, I would still feel safe in myself.
Thank you for a wonderful class. I will spread the word around my high school and to every interested girl/woman I know!
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.
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.
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!
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.
This class was a springboard. Now I know where I need to go in the rest of my life.
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.