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.
Get Empowered! A Self-Defense Happy Hour (16+), DC Center for the LGBT Community, various Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.
Active Bystander Training With The Outrage, Saturday, Feb. 22, 1-4 p.m.
On My Own: Independence Skills for Tweens, Saturday, March 14, 2-4:30 p.m.
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!
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.
Lauren is very encouraging and patient. An excellent teacher, she makes everyone feel comfortable.
This class was a springboard. Now I know where I need to go in the rest of my life.
The teachers role-modeled being strong women.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.