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carrot Get some skills!

All Defend Yourself workshops cover prevention and avoidance, how to stop a threatening situation with words, and physical moves to use against attacks.

All of our classes have limited sliding-scale spaces for those who can't afford the full fee.

All of our classes are tailored to the life situations and experiences of the students.

Here are the classes and workshops coming up:

This comprehensive, multi-week class covers everything from bothersome co-workers to fighting off an attacker from the ground. Designed for women and teen girls age 16 and up. Cost: $320. Tuesday, Oct. 7 through Tuesday, Dec. 9 (skipping Nov. 25), 6:30-8:30 pm. Location: TBA.

Basic skills (prevention and avoidance, verbal skills, and physical strikes) for women and teen girls 16+. Saturday, Sept. 27, 1-4 pm. Cost: $79. Location: TBA.

Saturday, Oct. 25, 1-4 pm. Basic skills (prevention and avoidance, verbal skills, and physical strikes) for anyone who identifies as an LGBTQ woman or transman and is 16 years old or older. Cost: $79. Location: TBA. For more info, read our FAQ sheet.


carrotToo drunk to know better?

New research found that "Young women are often the targets of aggression when they're out in bars, but the problem isn't that guys are too drunk to know better. Instead, men are preying on women who have had too much to drink," according to NPR.

The solution, in part, is training bystanders -- especially bar and club staffs -- to intervene. And that's where Defend Yourself and partner Collective Action for Safe Spaces come in. Our new Safe Bars program offers just such training to bars and clubs in the D.C. area.

Defend Yourself's Lauren Taylor told NPR that "she realizes that this goes beyond just how people behave on Saturday night. 'Really what we're talking about is changing rape culture,' Taylor says. '[Rape culture] is the overall messaging throughout our culture that says this kind of behavior is allowed.'" Safe Bars was also featured on Slate.

Find out how you can bring us to your favorite hangout here.


carrotHave you ever had to use it?

Here's what Lauren Taylor, director of Defend Yourself, has to say:

When people find out about my work, one of their most common responses is a question: Have you ever had to use it?

My answer: Every day. more»


carrotWhat is self-defense?

Many people think of self-defense as what they would do if someone jumped them in a parking lot or dark alley.

We do teach ways to fight off an attacker. But self-defense is much more than that! It is a set of skills--verbal, emotional, mental, and physical--that you can use to keep yourself safe, claim your space, set limits, say no, heal from abuse or attacks, and live the life you want to live. more»

Defend Yourself works to empower people

-- especially women and others targeted for abuse and assault –- to end violence and create a world where they can be fully themselves.

In our classes you'll learn skills to help you prevent, heal from, and end violence and abuse.

You'll walk away armed with skills for dealing with everything from bothersome people to full-on attacks.

Our instructors are skilled, experienced professionals who have training in self-defense theory and techniques, in research on violence, and in teaching skills. And our students love them!

Find out about classes we have scheduled, or bring us to you, or sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know what's coming up. Call 301.608.3708 or email us.


carrotCustom classes -- just

for you!

Defend Yourself will come to you. If you have a group (workplace, sports team, house of worship, group of friends, Girl Scout troop, or whatever...) we can tailor a class to your needs. Just contact us via email.


carrotWhy self-defense?

Whether or not you live in a high-crime area, attack is an unfortunate possibility. For women especially, most assaults don't come from strangers in parking lots: They come from friends, acquaintances, romantic partners, or family members. more»



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