I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.
~ Susan B. Anthony
Awareness without action is worthless.
~ Phil McGraw
Deadline: Aug 31, 2013
Total needed: $2,000
Lynn Elaine Slaughter-Naves
Violence against women is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide. The problems are getting worse in many developing countries where adequate security forces don’t exist or worse, are turning a blind eye to attacks against women. While there are existing programs by large humanitarian organizations that work toward women’s security, research shows that many of these programs are working AROUND women, but not WITH them, assuming that women will “get hurt” if they try and protect themselves.
The good news is that not everyone sees women and girls as passive victims incapable of defending themselves. There are an increasing number of self-defense programs located in developing countries; many of them are based in small organizations that saw the problems of violence against women and girls in their communities and they decided to do something about it. These programs include No Means No Worldwide, along with Dolphin Anti-Rape and AIDS Control Outreach, both of which are based in Kenya, and the S.H.E. Thing Self Defense and Personal Safety program in Belize. These self-defense programs are highly specialized to address the types of violence that women are facing in these volatile areas; the trainers have spent years developing specialized, yet practical and effective defensive techniques.
The staff of these organizations have a wide-range of experience. They have trained thousands of school-children, college students, and grandmothers in the slums who were specifically being targeted, and they have even crossed into places like the Congo, which is known as the “rape capital of the world” in order to train women who are experiencing some of the worst violence imaginable.
They also work with men and boys to help change their attitudes toward rape and violence against women, as well as doing regional and international “train the trainers” programs to train people from other organizations who can then return to their countries and start self-defense programs in their own communities. They teach women and girls to fight back and survive in the face of overwhelming odds. According to a study by No Means No Worldwide, 1 in 4 high school-aged girls had been raped, but “it is estimated that Self-Defense training can raise a woman or child’s chance of prevailing in a sexual assault by up to 85%”. Self-defense is not an empty “feel good” strategy; it is a practical and effective means of resisting violence.
WorldWideWomensSelfDefense.com will provide a major online “hub” for self-defense programs based in developing countries. These programs are currently based mainly in small organizations, with no easy to way connect with each other or potential partners and donors. This website will provide programs with a means to:
Currently, these self-defense organizations are like little islands; they don’t have a lot of connection to the outside world, but they are seeking to expand their international support networks because there is strength to be found in unity and partnerships. By donating to the establishment of the WorldWideWomensSelfDefense.com website, you will enable these unique front-line self-defense training programs to expand their mission by giving them something that they currently do not have: an online “hub” through which they can connect with each other and the international community. Your donation will directly help to ensure that these programs can continue their work and expand their reach to provide more women and girls with the ability to protect themselves and not be left defenseless in the face of violence.