• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

Yes! And Dear Article Author........


The title of the article was:


“Why Self-Defense Classes Don’t Prevent Sexual Assault”


And the feeling in my stomach was........ argh! Here we go again.


Veteran Women’s self-defense advocate Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans helped me out of the funk and told me that:.


"About 20 years ago our agency created a Success Line, in addition to our hotline, as a way to collect stories of escaping, diverting, avoiding, preventing, and the occasional physical fighting back. It was amazing how little credit women were taking for the range of option defenses they used.


One women actually kicked an intruder who was following her up her stairs to her apartment and he fell backward down the steps and she got away into her apartment.


One women actually kicked an intruder who was following her up her stairs to her apartment and he fell backward down the steps and she got away into her apartment.

She called and asked, 'Was that a success story?'


It seems that being chosen as a target is enough to demoralize and disempower and put us in the mindset that we have done something to be chosen. That’s why providing a range of training, including strategies, along with mobilizing to challenge and dismantle rape culture in all its forms, is critical.”



Yes! And......


Dear Article Author,


Even if you are feeling that the training you received didn’t work for you, why would you want to undermine the women for whom it did work? Or diminish the chances that someone might go to a quality program that addresses all of the issues that you bring up so that they might be able to respond in a way that does work?


Not every diet works for every person. And even the worst can help some.


Yet, in this case, there is actually research that supports the efficacy of a good Feminist/Empowerment Self Defense program. So I am sorry that your experience was not good for you.


My experience has been wonderful for me and for many women and girls who I care deeply about. And I have heard hundreds of stories of success because of the training that these people have gotten in programs like ours.


My experience has been wonderful for me and for many women and girls who I care deeply about. And I have heard hundreds of stories of success because of the training that these people have gotten in programs like ours.

And yes, way down at the bottom of your article you do give some positive comments about good programs, and just like my note now, keep in mind that it might just be far enough down that the majority of people stopped reading long before the bottom.


Or unfortunately, probably shortly after the headline. Which means that is what is stuck in their head. The headline.


There is no one solution to ending sexual assault, abuse, and interpersonal violence. It needs to be this, and this, and this, and that too.


Can we please spend more time working to rise up all of the different pieces than shooting some of them down?


Can we please spend more time working to rise up all of the different pieces than shooting some of them down?

Stronger together?

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