“I think people are realizing they need to step up,” Lauren Taylor said. “They want to be more proactive, and feel like they want to do something and they’re not sure what that is.” “Ahead of Trump inauguration, this group trains bystanders to stand up to hate,” The Washington Post.
The “reality of violence is that for women and girls, the vast majority of attacks are by people we know,” said Lauren Taylor, director of Defend Yourself. “Crime uptick in and near Capitol Hill drives some to learn self-defense skills,” The Washington Post.
”Take your hand off of me!” Farah Fosse yelled as Lauren Taylor’s advances made a scene at BeBar. “Self-Defense Class for GLBT Community Lands at BeBar,” Metro Weekly
Lauren Taylor and Tamara Maze Gallman, founder and chief executive of Disability Partnerships, demonstrated self-defense techniques for wheelchair users at the NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo.
Lauren Taylor chats with Stevie Bridgwaters on CBS about Defend Yourself and empowerment self-defense. And, at 6:51, “I want to make change in this world. I believe that if we’re safer, all kinds of other things happen…[lack of] safety can hold us back from everything. If all of those changes happen, people live fuller and more authentic lives and what I get to do, which is such a gift, is that I get to be in a room with a bunch of people and they are different when they walk out than when they walk in…I call it instant social justice, just add water and stir.”
The only thing necessary for a rape to happen is the presence of a rapist. Lauren Taylor and Jessica Raven, executive director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, speak out on alcohol and sexual assault. “Without alcohol, we’d still have rape,” The Washington Post.
“I think anything you do is okay as long as you make a conscious choice about it. I think if you start down the road of I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I have to wear shoes I can run in….you can end up locking yourself up in your apartment and never having a friend or a partner, and never seeing anybody, and yeah you’d be safe, but what kind of life would you have?” Do It! With Justin: Best Defense, MetroWeekly
Somewhere between one and four and one and three women is sexually assaulted, between one and three and one and four is in an abusive relationship. And I would say close to 100% are targeted for street harassment or harassment in the workplace…so it affects every women’s life. “Defend Yourself Empowers Women,” video by Noorjahan Akbar
One organization that is challenging the rules is Defend Yourself, a Washington, DC group that provides comprehensive self-defense classes to the community. Defend Yourself is helping to rewrite the narrative of sexual assault by advocating for empowerment, choice and confidence. “Defend Yourself,” Examiner
“The message of street harassment is that public spaces belong to straight men,” said Lauren Taylor. “D.C. Council holds roundtable on street harassment,” The Washington Post. View her testimony here.
“I believe that every issue that gets us closer to justice and equality is important, and for me, you have to start with the body,” says the group’s founder, Lauren Taylor. “If you can’t feel safe in your own body, it’s hard to move forward with anything else.” “Five Self-Defense Moves You Can Practice at Home,” Washingtonian
The black high heel Vanessa Schutz is holding suddenly looks pretty menacing. “Temple! Throat!” she shouts, aiming at the air. “Defend Yourself Workshops Teach Rape Prevention,” DCist
Taylor, who has over 25 years of experience teaching self-defense, offers some tips for bystanders who find themselves witnesses to harassment or assault, and want to do something about it. “How Bystanders Can Help Groping Victims,” Washington City Paper
I took a self-defense class because a friend told me it was good and because I was going traveling by myself. I found it so life-changing that I had to do more, learn more, and eventually, share what I learned. “Interview with Lauren Taylor,” HollaBack! DC
Lindsay Conn “believes the course made her aware of an internal power she didn’t know existed. ‘That came as a surprise and changed my life around,’ she says.” “Jab Training: Self-defense classes teach safety and esteem,” Washington Post Express
Empowerment self-defense does more than help individual women fight off rape attempts: It changes the world, individually and collectively – and ultimately, systemically. “Lauren Taylor and Empowerment Based Self-Defense,” Girls Fight Back
Lauren Taylor and Jessica Raven, Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, got a grant from Raliance for Safe Bars, where they train bar staff on how to intervene to stop sexual harassment. “Bars Are Learning How To Stop Sexual Assault, And The NFL Is Helping,” Huffington Post
Lauren Taylor and Jessica Raven, executive director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, train bar staff in the DC-area to detect unwanted sexual aggression. “These Bartenders are Fighting Sexual Harassment,” MicMedia.
Lauren Taylor, Jessica Raven, Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, and Angie Fetherston, CEO of Drink Company, chatted with WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi about spotting signs of sexual harassment in bars and doing something. “Training Bar Staff and Bystanders To Prevent Sexual Assault,” The Kojo Nnamdi Show
Defend Yourself and Collective Action for Safe Spaces have been collaborating for two years on Safe Bars. “Safe Bars Brings Sexual Harassment Intervention Training to D.C. Nightlife,” The GW Hatchet
Bystander intervention is one of the most effective ways to stop someone from becoming a victim. That’s what makes Safe Bars so important. “Bars Are Trying Something New To Help Stop Sexual Assault, And It’s Actually Pretty Simple,” A Plus
Safe Bars training helped two bartenders know what to do to help one woman avoid a possible assault. “Bartenders in DC are Learning How to Stop Sexual Assault, and So Far, it’s Working,” Upworthy
“It’s just hard to do, for a lot of people, but what you actually need to say or do is not rocket science,” Lauren Taylor said. “Step Up in the Club,” Slate
“What we’re talking about is changing rape culture,” Lauren Taylor said. “Seeking Solutions For Sexual Aggression Against Women In Bars,” NPR
National Street Harassment Hotline
Stop Street Harassment launched a national bilingual hotline with Defend Yourself and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). “Finding Help After Street Harassment is Now Just a Call Away,” Revelist
Latinas report experiencing higher rates of street harassment than other racial groups. “This New Street Harassment Hotline Offers Free Support in English and Spanish 24/7,” Latina