Empowering Self-Defense Training

  title={Empowering Self-Defense Training},
  author={Martha Thompson},
  journal={Violence Against Women},
  pages={351 - 359}
  • Martha Thompson
  • Published 1 March 2014
  • Engineering, Medicine
  • Violence Against Women
The purpose of self-defense training is to expand people’s options, yet it is often framed as a solely physical, and limiting, response to violence. I draw on my own experience as a self-defense instructor and that of others in the self-defense movement to argue that an empowerment approach to self-defense training contributes to the anti-violence movement in multiple ways: providing a pathway to increase women’s and girls’ safety and their potential for becoming powerful and effective social… Expand
The importance of self-defense training for sexual violence prevention
Women’s self-defense training has been excluded from sexual violence prevention efforts for a variety of reasons, including concerns that it is ineffective, encourages victim blaming, neglectsExpand
Empowerment, Social Justice, and Feminist Self-Defense
Empowerment-based self-defense (ESD) training is an effective intervention for the prevention of violence, can increase feelings of self-efficacy and confidence, can reduce levels of depression andExpand
“Get Out of My Home and Don’t Come Back!” Empowering Women Through Self-Defense
The overwhelmingly positive findings from both studies suggest greater consideration be offered to providing further collaborative refuge/self-defense courses for women victimized by IPV. Expand
Feminist Self-Defense and Resistance Training for College Students
Self-defense training and resistance training should be combined with bystander intervention and men's programs with the goal of providing synergistic effects on rape reduction, and outcome research that examines the role of contextual factors and women’s victimization histories is needed. Expand
“Back Off Buddy, This Is My Body, Not Yours”: Empowering Girls Through Self-Defense
The findings from a large-scale evaluation of self-defense programs provided to three different age groups of schoolgirls from diverse backgrounds in New Zealand provide clear evidence of the many positive benefits that can result for girls of all ages who participate in feminist self- defense courses taught by carefully trained instructors with a strong empowerment focus. Expand
Empowerment Self-Defense Training in a Community Population
Nearly all research on the effects of women’s self-defense training examines college age or, less frequently, adolescent populations. This study broadens that focus by evaluating the effectiveness ofExpand
'It's breaking quite big social taboos' violence against women and girls and self-defense training in Nepal
Given the increased vulnerability to, and rise in reports of, sexual violence in post-disaster situations this article seeks to explore the role of self-defense programmes as a response to addressingExpand
“Don’t Ever Give Up!” Resisting Victimhood Through Self-Defense
Analysis of findings from an evaluation of a feminist self-defense course draws on a broader historical context to question dominant discourses around ideal femininity and explore the potential for empowerment such courses can offer, particularly for women deemed at high risk. Expand
Changing the Hidden Curriculum of Campus Rape Prevention and Education: Women’s Self-Defense as a Key Protective Factor for a Public Health Model of Prevention
It is shown, through an examination of campus rape prevention efforts framed as “primary prevention,” that self-defense is routinely excluded, which creates a hidden curriculum that preserves a gender status quo even while it strives for change. Expand
Fighting Back on Feminist Terms: Empowerment Through Self-Defence Training in Neoliberal Times
In neoliberal times, patriarchal narratives about “women who ask for it” combine with the myth of meritocracy to make the slippery slope between safety advice and victim-blame slicker than ever. TheExpand


This article discusses feminist self-defense as a victim-prevention strategy, describes the nature and scope of the self-defense movement, examines a case history of a women's self-defenseExpand
Self-Defense or Assertiveness Training and Women’s Responses to Sexual Attacks
Investigating the relationship of self-defense or assertiveness training and women’s physical and psychological responses to subsequent rape attacks showed that victims with preassault training were more likely to say that their resistance stopped the offender or made him less aggressive than victims without training. Expand
Teaching Women Self-Defense: Pedagogical Issues
Fear of being raped is so pervasive among women in the United States that it interferes significantly with activities, including recreational athletics and physical fitness regimens (Gardner; GordonExpand
Rights Consciousness and Victimization Prevention: Personal Defense and Assertiveness Training
In personal defense and assertiveness training women learn how to avoid being victimized. The actual behaviors the students learn are not very novel. What is novel for them is engaging in thoseExpand
Telling Our Stories: The Importance of Women’s Narratives of Resistance
  • J. Cermele
  • Engineering, Medicine
  • Violence against women
  • 2010
The importance of bringing true accounts of successful resistance to both academic and lay communities, and the benefits to women of recounting their own experiences ofsuccessful resistance to violence and harassment are described. Expand
An imperfect feminist journey: Reflections on the process to develop an effective sexual assault resistance programme for university women
The work of feminist researchers to develop sexual assault resistance education programmes for women builds on the early work by feminist activists, self-defence instructors and other educators whoExpand
Real Knockouts: The Physical Feminism of Women's Self-Defense
An examination of women's self-defense culture and its relationship to feminism. I was once a frightened feminist. So begins Martha McCaughey's odyssey into the dynamic world of women's self-Expand
Confronting Rape: The Feminist Anti-Rape Movement and the State
Confronting Rape: The Feminist Anti-Rape Movement and the State
This work documents two decades of anti-rape activism in the USA. From grass-roots efforts to the institutionalization of state-funded rape crisis centres, the movement has changed public thinkingExpand
Getting Physical: Subverting Gender through Self-Defense
This article presents ethnographic research on a women's self-defense course and proposes that socially available gender narratives of white femininity are potentially disempowering and victimizing...