• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

A Violence Prevention Strategy for all Genders?


“I am trying to understand the link between ESD, or the principles of ESD, as a violence prevention strategy for different types of violence for all genders. You have so many references to girls, women, and women's self-defense and you also say ‘children’ a lot. Are you only about women and girls? Or are you about ending violence?”


I can totally understand your confusion. In the 1970’s, Empowerment Self Defense was birthed and nurtured by women, feminists, and civil rights activists who were predominately female-identified. The focus of their work was to bring self-defense to women and girls because of the high incidences of violence and abuse that they were subjected to.


Over the past half-century, our understandings about violence and abuse have changed. There is a lot more research. There is a lot more open conversation. In addition, our understandings of oppression and intersectionality have been developed, have deepened, have matured.


There is a lot more open conversation. In addition, our understandings of oppression and intersectionality have been developed, have deepened, have matured.

Therefore, we have had to develop, deepen, and mature.


Abuse is abuse, no matter who is on the receiving end.


Violence is violence no matter who is on the receiving end.


With that understanding, we still must decide how we allocate our limited resources when it comes to choosing who to work with first, or more, or deeper.


So yes, we say women and girls a lot, and that is okay. Still, the majority, according to the research we have available to us now, of violence is perpetrated by men against women and children. This does not mean that there is never any other type of violence, nor other types of violence should not be addressed. It is a work in progress.


This does not mean that there is never any other type of violence, nor other types of violence should not be addressed. It is a work in progress.

At ESD Global Self-Defense, we are committed to developing programs that address all types of personal violence perpetrated against any people.


No, we do not address military actions because we just can’t, at least not at this moment. Though we are pretty sure that if we teach the whole world how to set and respect boundaries and defend themselves when needed an amazing shift will occur.


I hope this helps. 😀