Monday, October 28, 2019

There ARE ways to Handle Multiple Assailants!

Defense Against Multiple Assailants (DAMA) is offered every other year. And this is THE Year: Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17, 11 am - 5 pm, 1650 W. Foster Avenue in Chicago. You can get more information or register HERE or contact Amy It is suited instructor Nat's last IMPACT class, so we hope you can be there!

Graduates say DO IT
Amy: "In terms of my size and shape, I'm a fairly small person-but I've pretty much always *felt* large. While I loved my Core experience, DAMA is the program that truly made me question, fight for, and own that feeling. I've rarely felt so very, very small as when I found myself facing 2-3 assailants. And I've rarely stood so securely in how very, very large I am as when I came out of top in our encounters. DAMA took my certainly from me...and I earned it back. So, highly recommended."

Emma: "This class builds on what you learn in the Core Program so effectively! A really valuable chance to keep leaning into your own bravery and power. And honestly, it's fun."

Julie: "I highly recommend it! It was intense and scary but I got so much out of the class. Everyone was so supportive!"

K. : "There's a special kind of energy in the room due to the class requiring so many teachers present as assailants. You know that love and care you feel from being around people so committed to making a difference in yours and other people's lives during Core? There's a special kind of 'Wow, the crew's all here--this is really powerful--we ARE going to improve the world!' to being around so many teachers at once. That and you learn some really empowering 'Oh, wait, there IS a way to handle this' concepts, just like in Core. 'You can cry and fight at the same time' feeling--only applied to a new situation."

Lisa: "Fun, fun, fun, and valuable! I highly recommend this advanced program open to IMPACT grads."

Michelle: "DAMA was the best decision of my life. Going to therapy helped me get over the abuse, but there was still something very important missing, physical protection. Therapists cannot teach you how to physically protect yourself. IMPACT Chicago-Defense Against Multiple Assailants did just that, and more."

Rachel: "One of the scariest things I've done, but so worthwhile. Why yes, you can cry and fight at the same time and fight really well!"

Monday, October 21, 2019

The Power Within You

Many of us remember hearing about the brutal attack and rape of an 18-year-old West Town woman last summer. Although most attacks against women happen by someone they know, sometimes time and unforeseen occurrence happen to us all. In "Woman, 18, Visiting Chicago From Poland Had To Relearn How To Walk And Talk After Brutal West Town Rape, Prosecutors Say,Hannah Alani, a Block Club Chicago reporter shares a truly remarkable story of a brave young woman and the capture of her attacker. Chicago neighbors call her "Warrior Woman" in recognition of her fight for survival, and the GoFund me page has passed the $30,000 goal to help the woman and her family. 

Submitted by Maple Joy

#ImpactChicago #WomenEmpowerment #Courageous #Bold #StayStrong #NeverGiveUp

Monday, October 14, 2019

Who Should Violence Prevention Programs Target?

Criticisms of teaching women self-defense often center on the idea that instead of teaching women self-defense we should be teaching men not to rape. We asked IMPACT Chicago Facebook Friends on August 27 to let us know what they think: Men are the primary perpetrators of violence against women and girls--should men be the primary targets of funding and programming or should efforts focus on empowering women and girls? 

The overall message is that YES, men should have access to violence prevention programming but there was a concern that men would not take advantage of this programming. AND we also need to prioritize programming for self-defense and other empowerment training for targets of violence. These responses were part of the inspiration for the #YesAnd Campaign. See below for what people had to say and let us know what you think.

Tina, 2017 IMPACT grad 
"Men should be the primary targets. They are the problem."

Clay, IMPACT Chicago Suited Instructor (Retired)
"Most men won't go to these classes. I may be wrong but from being a man that would be my guess."

Rose 2010 IMPACT grad 
"Focus on women and girls. Females seem to take self-help classes more than men from what I see and experience. I truly wish more men would take classes on self-improvement relating to women."

Amy, 2017 IMPACT grad 
 "In general I'm leery of making the primary target of funding and programming the aggressor. I feel it takes agency from the people who most deserve it (in this case folks who identify as/are perceived as women and girls) and hands the decision about whether or not to continue to perpetrate violence against them to the very group who has quite a long history of bad decisions on this subject.

100% yes to educating men. But I prioritize empowering women more. Not because violence against them is ever their fault - but because they deserve to walk through the world unafraid without waiting a second longer for "permission" to do so.

I'm speaking without nuance here, because social social media. I'd relish the chance to sit down with any of y'all and dig at the details." 

Chemely, 2012 IMPACT grad 
"I think that men should also be the focus of programs to end gender-based violence. Since men are mostly the perpetrators of violence directed toward women, they must be educated on equality, assertiveness, empathy, and on toxic masculinity/overall patriarchal rules that make them think they have to act certain ways, etc. I believe women should continue to receive self-defense training to help with our own sense of power."

Gianine, FB Friend
I think the men need to be educated along with the women. It's the only way real change can happen. They have to shed their brainwashed ideas of their roles and women's roles.

Michelle, 2016 IMPACT grad 
"Wow, that's such an important question. Women and girls have been subjected to all that comes with patriarchal power structure for so long that ESD is life-altering, and I think we/they deserve to have that programming as an option, that said, the men's incubators that are popping up are encouraging. Is there a way to create meetups like Men4Choice seems to be doing, and gather intel on how to hook into more interested individuals who might be willing to donate time to a mentoring program? Just thinking out loud here. "

Monday, October 7, 2019

Rosa Parks: Sexual Assault Investigator

Rosa Parks is known for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. That refusal was a spark for the civil rights movement in the US. 
Standing up for what was fair and just was not new to Parks. She joined the NAACP in 1943 and worked on criminal justice issues as a sexual assault investigator. She investigated claims of rape against black men by white women--working to protect black men from false accusations of rape. She was also committed to making sure that black people who were sexually assaulted by white people could seek justice.  The Rape of Recy Taylor is a film that chronicles one of the cases that Rosa Parks brought to national attention. 
For more about Rosa Parks' important work and her own experience with stopping sexual assault, check out "Before the Bus, Rosa Parks Was a Sexual Assault Investigator."