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.
Bystanders Who Won’t Stand By: Skills-based intervention training: Saturday, May 20, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Mediterranean Cafe, 3237 Rhode Island Avenue, Mt. Rainier, Md.
Empowerment Self-Defense Intensive: Tuesdays, July 11-September 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Hyattsville Mennonite Church, 4217 East-West Highway, Hyattsville, Md.
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!
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
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 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.
Everybody needs this!
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.
I feel more confident and like I can get through anything.
The teachers are nonjudgmental: they are not going to tell you that what you are doing is wrong.
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.
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 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.
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More safety, more confidence, more freedom, more fun!