Monday, May 28, 2012

Effective Self-Defense Education

Self-defense and prevention programs are highly diverse. A comparison of anti-rape, sexual harassment, and child safety programs suggest four key components of effective self-defense education.

1. Participants learn, observe, and practice in realistic situations.

2. Participants learn and use multiple verbal and physical strategies.

3. Participants learn skills that build on their existing strengths, abilities, and inclinations.

4. Participants develop self-esteem, self-confidence, and supportive emotional relationships.

IMPACT meets all of these criteria: participants practice in realistic situations, learn multiple verbal and physical tools, add to their existing toolbox, report increased self-esteem and confidence, and are part of a supportive and collaborative learning environment.

Adapted from: Martha E. Thompson. 1991. Self-defense against sexual coercion: Theory, research, and practice. Pp. 111-121 in Elizabeth Grauerholz and Mary A. Koralewski (Eds.) Sexual Coercion: A Sourcebook on its Nature, Causes, and Prevention.Lexington MA: Lexington Books.

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