This month has been declared national sexual assault awareness month, and I ask that we take this time to educate ourselves (both men and women!) about the importance of being aware of our surroundings and educating ourselves on how to protect ourselves in the event of an attack.
The statistics around rape and sexual assault are alarming, with one study showing that one in four college women report surviving rape (15 percent) or attempted rape (12 percent) since their fourteenth birthday- astounding! Here are some articles that you should read, that show just how staggering the statistics are:
“One In Four” Article – Click Here
WPIX Article- Click Here
While alarming, there are things that we can all do to protect ourselves against perpetrators! As many of you know I am a representative for the Gracie Women Empowered Self Defense program, a program that teaches you how to protect yourself in the event of an attack- something we all need to know. To learn more about this click here, it will change your life just like it changed mine!
In honor of National Sexual Assault Awareness month, I ask that we remind ourselves about the importance of our safety, and discuss amongst ourselves what we can do to help keep ourselves physically and emotionally protected.
A serial rapist being held at the Penitentiary of New Mexico agreed to do an interview with MSNBC’s “Lockup” in which he shared all the details of how he was able to rape 22 different women. From a self-defense perspective, the interview is extremely enlightening, since it identifies exactly what the predator is thinking when he is planning and perpetrating the crimes, thereby helping us to strategize ways in which to prevent an attack from happening and equipping us with the knowledge of how to react in the event of an attack.
Before watching, please note, that this video contains graphic language and depicts very scary scenarios:
This is a very scary clip but extremely telling of what people who commit these crimes are thinking. Like I said earlier, knowing how they go about committing them can then help us know how to avoid and defend against them!
The most important thing we can learn from this is how heightened awareness is our first line of defense. Life makes it so that we can’t always put ourselves in the safest of scenarios, but we can make ourselves more aware when we do have to be in isolated areas. Standing up tall, making eye contact, with those around us, and using verbal assertiveness can help deter assailants who are looking for an “easy target”. Also, we should avoid being isolated from the public at all costs. Although he used a weapon to coerce the women into their own car, if you can run, defend yourself, and avoid isolation, your chances of survival will be much greater. Studies show that if he will kill you in public, he will most likely be planning to kill you in private.
As many of you know, I am a representative for the Gracie Women Empowered self-defense program; a program that has changed my life and one that I know can change yours! In this program we teach you all both the awareness principles and the simple techniques that you need know in order to protect yourself in the event of an attack! As women (and men too!) it is SO important that we learn how to defend ourselves. Rape and assault is a very real threat, and the statistics are staggering.
For more information on the Gracie women empowered program please visit here.
If you or someone you know has survived sexual assault, contact RAINN at 1(800) 656-HOPE or RAINN.org for confidential support.
Thanks for the responses!
Here are my favorite;
We don’t see very many women directors still to this day. Many, many movies that we see are directed by men. I’ve seen a couple movies that were directed by women, and let me tell you, they were just as good as the other movies directed by men. I think women are just as creative and intelligent as men are. Many people don’t give enough credit to women. We are strong, independent women who deserve more credit than what we get. – Jessica Koch
An existing problem that still goes on is that women are not treated fairly. For example, why do the WWE Divas are given less than 2 minutes of airtime every week for a match while the guys get a solid 10 minutes or more? – RKo
What is International Women’s Day you ask? It’s a global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future! I bet you didn’t know that in some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is actually a national holiday!
So today, let’s take some time out to express our gratitude for the women that have paved the way for us, and to express thankfulness for the amazing women we have in our lives today.
Women have made so many strides in all areas of life; we’re leaders of political parties, CEO’s of major fortune 500 companies, pioneers of social and political change, and prolific figures like Michelle Obama, Oprah, and Hillary Clinton come to mind. Phew… I’m proud to be a woman!
While undoubtedly women have progressed leaps and bounds, many would argue that the journey still continues. What existing problems do you still see women facing in 2012, and what would you like see addressed!? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts! I’ll be reading and I will feature my favorite pieces of feedback right here on my website!
For more info on how to get involved check out the International Women’s Day website.
I had a great time with my sorority sisters of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. at Syracuse University! I joined them during the day where they were hosting their annual “This is not a wife beater” event. We all decorated men’s white tank tops with our own designs and messages. The self-defense seminar was a great success and I definitely think all the college women who attended left feeling empowered!
If you would like to bring the Women Empowered program to your college campus, please contact email@example.com subject: Empower My Campus.
This Thursday, Feb 9th, I’ll be leading a free self-defense seminar for college women! During this seminar I’ll be teaching the Gracie Women Empowered techniques that have changed my life, and that can change yours!
The statistics are staggering- one of four college women will be sexually assaulted & it is our responsibility to learn how to protect ourselves in the event of an attack.
This seminar is extra special to me, as I’m partnering with my sorority Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. to bring this to the Syracuse college campus.
Where: Archbold Lower, Syracuse University
When: Thursday, February 9th 5:17-7:00pm
See you there! Soleil!
Missed the Gracie Women Empowered segment on HD Net!? Fear not, I’ve got you covered!
Check out this video!
“Inside MMA”, a show on HD Net will be doing a special feature on the Women Empowered Program at the Gracie Academy!
The segment with Ron Kruck will air on Monday, January 30th at 8pm on HD Net. Make sure you tune in to learn more about this amazing program that is empowering women all over the world!
For more info on the Women Empowered program visit click here.
For the first time since 1929, the FBI is making plans to change the definition of rape! This is a much welcomed, groundbreaking change and is something that activists and philanthropists have been campaigning for, for a long time!
The revamped definition of rape will be much broader; thereby including sex attacks by relatives, non-traditional penetration, and also the rape of a male. The proposed new definition is “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
Sexual assault is a devastating crime, and effects millions of men and women around the world, and I find it so encouraging to see the government making changes to the law to protect the women and men of this country!
With that in mind, I have to stress the importance of us all also to learning how to protect ourselves in the event of an attack! Please visit the Women Empowered page of my website for more information.
Self-defense isn’t only something that women should learn… this is an equally beneficial skillset for men, and the Gracie academy offers a variety of classes for men!
If you or anyone you know has been victim of a sexual attack, visit RAINN.org for online help resources or call the anonymous help hotline 1-800-656-HOPE.
Today I wanted to draw your attention to a global movement to end violence against women and girls; V-Day.
“V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery.”
As you all know, stopping violence against women and the empowerment of women in general is a subject that is extremely near and dear to my heart, and I encourage you all to get involved! The V-Day movement offers tons of opportunities for you to help support this worthy cause. For more information on this please visit the V-Day website www.vday.org!
For more information on the Women Empowered program that I am directly involved with please visit the Women Empowered page here.
Please take a moment to watch this extremely inspiring video about the origins of the V-Day organization;
University of California, Los Angeles students are being warned about a sexual attacker on campus after campus police said a female student was sexually assaulted outside student housing around 2:30 a.m. last Friday. Sexual assault is a devasting problem that occurs worldwide, and we all need to take it upon ourselves to learn how to protect ourselves!
To read the full article click here. Please know, that this is not meant to instill fear, it’s simply important for us to remind ourselves how important it is to take our safety into our own hands.
UCLA students are invited to join me and try a free Women Empowered class tonight (class is scheduled for every Tuesday) at 7:30pm at the Gracie Academy, where you’ll learn principles of awareness and techniques to protect yourself!
As I’m sure you all know… I always say that I wish every woman could learn the self-protection techniques I have learned! They’ve changed my outlook on life and have without a doubt had a tremendous impact on my confidence! Well now… every woman can own these skills too, and it has never been easier for you to learn self-defense from home. The Women Empowered Gracie Self-Defense system taught by the Gracie Brothers (and myself!) is now available online, and from your mobile devices! Now you can learn from your laptop, your iPad, and of course your smart phone. All you need is fun training partner
Simply go to GracieUniversity.com, and when you complete your free registration, you will automatically get the intro class and first lesson for free. Once you have the lessons in your library, you will be able to access them from your mobile device anytime and anywhere!
Although sexual assault statistics are staggering (1 in 5 women), we should all want to physically and emotionally protect ourselves so that nothing can hold us back from living empowered, happy lives. Start now by learning the techniques that changed my outlook on what is possible in life!
To log on to GracieUniversity from your mobile device, visit www.GracieUniversity.com/mobile
and for more information on the Women Empowered program visit Women Empowered.
Check out this incredible video footage from the Women Empowered seminar that myself and Rener Gracie led at the McChord Airforce Base back in September! You’ll hear first hand accounts from the Airforce women participants, and see why every woman, military or civilian, can and should learn these personal protection strategies!
If you are interested in bringing the Women Empowered program to your Military Base or community organization, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Women Empowered’ for more information.
Back in early September, I had an inspiring experience with the women from the 267th Security Forces squadron at the McChord Airforce Base. Sexual assault is a devastating problem that occurs worldwide, but the statistics are especially staggering on military bases. I find it extremely encouraging to see the military taking the initiative to help equip their women with the tools to defend themselves not only on the field, but also in their everyday surroundings.
Rener Gracie and I were brought in to teach these women the ten core techniques of the Women Empowered program, as well as principles of awareness and boundary setting to help reduce the risks of ever being put into potentially dangerous situations. This was the first time we had taught all ten of the core techniques in only two days, with just four hours of training each day! Although doubtful at first, all the women became so invested in the course, and with their extreme level of focus, cooperation, and willingness to help each other- the seminar was a complete success!
Every single participant in the course agreed that the material surpassed their expectations of what solutions “self-defense” could offer them. Whitney, a participant in the civilian’s course, and founder of ‘I Tap Boys! Women’s Jiu Jitsu’, wrote “I attended the Women Empowered Seminar in Burien, Wa on September 15th, 2001 led by Rener Gracie and Eve Torres. Having trained in jiu jitsu for over 2 years, I had never taken a formal self defense course and I was curious to see how the Gracie Academy had developed a women’s self defense program based on jiu jitsu concepts. Some of the things I was really impressed by were Rener’s and Eve’s ability to teach both experienced jiu jitsu athletes and beginners. The environment they created was non-threatening and yet very serious which felt appropriate for the subject matter at hand. This seminar really took my jiu jitsu to the next level. I learned how to use the guard position to not hold, control, and submit someone but to escape a worst-case-scenario situation. Some of these techniques I probably never would have learned in my regular jiu jitsu class. I would highly recommend this course to all women regardless of their experience in jiu jitsu”.
Although a ‘combatives’ program is offered to most of the military, some women expressed hesitation to involve themselves in such courses because they often become aggressive fighting grounds for the participants. The Women Empowered program thrives in a cooperative setting and is an effective course that focuses on defending against sexual predators at various stages of an attack.
Just because women are still the minority in the military doesn’t mean they should endure more incidences of sexual assault. Educating both men and women in the military about sexual assault, and offering our female soldiers courses like the Women Empowered self-defense program can reduce the military’s disproportionate numbers.
I was so proud of and inspired by the women I met at McChord Airforce Base. Our military women deserve to feel safe when they retreat to their lives off of the field, and I hope the military continues the initiative to empower the women who play a vital role in defending and protecting our country.
To bring the Women Empowered to your base, contact email@example.com
The success of the seminar was also covered by the “NorthWest Guardian”.
Here’s a photo’s taken on the day of the seminar.