“(I learned) how to identify unhealthy relationships and how to defend myself if needed.”                  – course participant

Empowerment Self Defense training provides female, gender non conforming, and LGBTQ students with increased awareness, verbal and physical skills, and greater confidence in their ability to identify and address risk for themselves and their peers. The course addresses common safety concerns of college students related to campus life from negotiating with professors to roommate challenges, parties, and hook-up culture.

Participants gain skills in assertive communication and boundary setting, de-escalation, and bystander intervention. Physical defense skills include strikes and escape skills and do not require physical strength to the effective. Students engage with one another around the underlying issues that perpetuate gender-based violence, gain knowledge of their rights under Title IX, and engage in ways to create change in campus climate.

Research shows ESD training reduces attempted or completed sexual assault of college women by as much as 50%.

Past Trainings

  • Bowdoin College: 10-hour Empowerment Self Defense Training for female-identified college students: 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Colby College: Intensive Empowerment Self Defense training – open classes and BIPOC specific. Frequent Bystander Intervention, De-escalation, and Facilitation training provided
  • Maine College of Art: Personal Safety and Active Bystander Training for all incoming 1st year students
  • University of Southern Maine: Empowerment Self Defense Training for 1st year students
  • University of New England: Active Bystander Intervention Training for graduate students and the school of social work.