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Monday, November 30, 2015

Taking Street Harassment Seriously

Soraya Chemaly (2015) argues that we need to take street harassment seriously. While it varies from country to country, 80-90 % of women experience street harassment, most before they are 17 years old. The harassment that girls of color, LGBTQ community, and women with disabilities experience is particularly intense. She acknowledges that most men and even some women view street harassment as a compliment, but Chemaly argues that it is on the continuum of gender-based violence and creates tolerance for disrespecting women and girls.

Chemely urges parents to talk to kids about street harassment and to use the resources developed by Stop Street Harassment to raise awareness of and provide avenues for stopping street harassment.



Chemaly, Soraya. 2015. “Why We Need to Take Street Harassment Seriously. Washington Post, September 28.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Overcoming Self-Blame for Sexual Assault

Empowerment self-defense is not just about preventing, interrupting, or stopping sexual assault, it is also about getting support, being safe, and healing from assault. Given that we live in a society where people who are sexually assaulted are often blamed or criticized, it is not surprising that survivors of sexual assault may blame themselves. Sian Ferguson identifies four ways to overcome self-blame after sexual assault:

1. Understand victim-blaming at an intellectual level.

2. Tackle those self-blaming thoughts directly.

3. Surround yourself with people who support your healing.

4. Be gentle with yourself when you get it wrong.

For more, see Ferguson’s blog at Everyday Feminism

Monday, November 16, 2015

Empowerment Self-Defense Part of the Solution

When people take empowerment self-defense, they develop an informed and embodied understanding of violence and develop options to recognize, prevent, and interrupt violence—in short, they gain the capacity to become powerful and effective social change agents right now.
The above quote is part of IMPACT Chicago Instructor Martha Thompson's response to an anti-self-defense letter published in the DeKalb Daily Chronicle

Monday, November 9, 2015

Conflicting Reports on Rape on College Campuses

Mother Jones recently compared the findings of a survey by the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the data that 25 universities report as required under the Jeanne Clery Act of 1990. Their major finding: official records report only a fraction of reported rapes. For example, at Ohio State, 271 university students say they reported a rape in 2014-2015 but the university Clery filing reported only 22 reports. For information about other universities, read the Mother Jones article.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Seventeen Years Ago, I Took a Self-Defense Course

Jill Cermele writes about the ways that taking IMPACT with Prepare of New York has affected her life.
"I’ve used what I learned in self-defense every day for the last 17 years.  Because self-defense training changed my life.  It taught me that I am worth fighting for, and that I can be the person in that fight.  It taught me that I can stand up for myself and for others because I know what to do if a situation turns threatening or violent.  Because I can fight, I don’t necessarily have to."
For more of her journey and its influence on her research and teaching about self-defense, check out her blog on See Jane Fight Back 
http://seejanefightback.com/2015/10/30/seventeen-years-ago-i-took-a-self-defense-course/