Monday, May 20, 2019

Ways to Tell Someone About IMPACT

Fifteen is the maximum number of participants who can enroll in the IMPACT Chicago Core Program or IMPACT for Girls. With our sliding scale, no one has to be held back because of their financial circumstances. Help us make sure there are 15 participants in every class. The number 1 reason someone signs up for IMPACT is because someone they know recommends the program.

Here are some ways grads have encouraged others to register for an IMPACT program:
  • Send a personal email to 1-5 women at least 2 months before an upcoming Core Program, tell them about your own experience of the course and what it has meant to you; let them know about the sliding scale and the buddy discount; and link to our website.
  • Send a personal email to parents with girls ages 12-15 about an upcoming IMPACT for Girls program.
  • Invite a friend, co-worker, or family member to attend a What is IMPACT program with you and to join you in cheering on the women completing the final three scenarios of their class.
  • Share the event information posted on Facebook about an upcoming program.
  • Click “interested” on upcoming IMPACT events on Facebook
  • Share a personal story about the value of IMPACT to you on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, including a link to our website.
  •  Carry IMPACT Chicago postcards with you and if someone mentions their concerns about safety, share your experience and give them a postcard. To get postcards, contact outreach.
  • Work with your employer to bring an IMPACT workshop to your workplace.
  • Work with your employer to underwrite or match Core Program tuition.
Please tell someone about IMPACT Chicago!

Monday, May 13, 2019

What About Those Safety Tips?

Once you've had a self-defense course, people are often eager to hear about the safety tips you learned, from how to wear your hair to what weapons to carry. In "Safety Tips for Women, Revised" on the IMPACT Boston Blog, Shay Orent offers a look at the dangers of safety tips and suggests instead:
  • Know the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships
  • Practice boundary setting
  • Know the research

For her analysis of safety tips and more about ways to keep ourselves safe, check out Orent's "Safety Tips for Women, Revised" 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Protecting Kids Without Scaring Them

In " 10 Ways to Teach Your Child the Skills to Prevent Sexual Abuse" published by the Child Mind Institute, Natasha Daniels offers ideas about how to protect children without scaring them.  Her suggestions:

  • Name body parts and talk about them early
  • Teach them that some body parts are private
  • Teach your child body boundaries
  • Tell your child that body secrets are not OK
  • Tell your child that no one should take photos of their body parts
  • Teach your child how to get out of uncomfortable or scary situations
  • Have a code word your child can use if they want to be picked up or feel unsafe
  • Tell your child they will never be in trouble in they tell you a body secret.
  • Tell your child a secret body touch might feel good but they are still not OK
  • Tell them these rules apply even with people they know or another child.
For details and nuances for each of these suggested rules, check out Daniels' article on the Child Mind Institute website: "10 Ways to Teach Your Child the Skills to Prevent Sexual Abuse."

Monday, April 29, 2019

"Get Out of My Home and Don't Come Back"

In Jan Jordan and Elaine Mossman's "Get Out of My Home and Don't Come Back: Empowering Women Through Self-Defense," they report their research on the possibilities of empowerment self-defense programs for preventing domestic violence (Violence Against Women 2019, Vol. 25(3) 313–336).

Women in domestic violence situations who completed an empowerment self-defense course reported:

  • An increased capacity to stop an attack
  • More confidence
  • Increased use of their voice
  • More awareness of violence and their options
Jordan and Mossman conclude that their research "demonstrates the potential of feminist empowerment self-defense programs to build confidence and resilience in women whose lives previously have been circumscribed with fear and violence."

Monday, April 22, 2019

Chicago Organizations Working for Survivors

In "Chicago organizations that support survivors and work to prevent sexual violence"  Reader,  journalist Karen Hawkins identifies five Chicago organizations that are dedicated to supporting survivors and preventing sexual violence. The organizations:

  • A Long Walk Home
  • Apna Ghar
  • Chicago Children's Advocacy Center
  • Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline
  • Howard Brown Health
  • Mujeres Latinas en Acción
  • Resilience
For more details about each organization and what they do, you can find the Reader article here.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Women Can Defend Themselves: I'm Tired of People Lying That They Can't

Our society raises all non-male genders to fear men. We are told that they are too strong for us to fight. When I was growing up, the wise advice we got from the police was, “Don’t resist and you will be okay.” Even at 10 years old I knew that was bullshit.

I used to watch Law and Order: CSI (I stopped watching several years ago for this very reason). One of the main characters, Detective Benson, was a woman who was very good at her job. One day she was assaulted and raped. We had spent many, many years watching this character defend and stand up for herself and be very confident and powerful. She had shot and even killed people in the line of duty. She regularly went into dangerous situations with her colleagues. But when the violence was rape, she was not able to defend herself. REALLY!?!?!? So she can defend the lives of other people, no problem, but when it’s interpersonal violence against herself, she can’t do it???

This is the message we get over and over again…  It’s a lie, and I’m tired of hearing it.

We are all capable of defending ourselves. We were designed to survive and have MANY mechanisms designed to keep us alive. We were born with the will to survive. All we do at IMPACT and other ESD courses is REMIND you of the skills with which you were born and give you the opportunity to practice them. 

Lisa Gaeta
Founder and CEO

Monday, April 8, 2019

DARVO--Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender


What happened when women came forward to hold R. Kelly and Brett Kavanaugh accountable for sexual abuse? According to University of Oregon research Jennifer Freyd, DARVO is what happened. DARVO is short-hand for "Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender." She says it happens when someone who is guilty of sexual assault says that he is the victim of the accuser's lying.

Freyd and colleague Sarah Harsey conducted two experiments to assess the success of DARVO in turning a perpetrator into a victim and vice-versa. In the first experiment, two groups learned of an account of abuse. One group did not have any other information and the other group heard a DARVO response from the perpetrator. Those who heard the DARVO response were more likely to blame the victim and less likely to believe the victim's account.

In the second experiment, half the participants learned about the DARVO response and the other half didn't. The DARVO-educated participants were more likely to find the perpetrator less believeable.

Freyd and Harsey intend to do more research, but believe their results suggests that DARVO is effective in discrediting victims but that DARVO-education can reduce its effectiveness.

Check out Jennifer J. Freyd's webpage What is DARVO to learn more about:
  • Institutional DARVO
  • Empirical research
  • DARVO in the news