In the work CALCASA has done in California and throughout the country, through its national project PreventConnect, CALCASA promotes the development of comprehensive prevention programming that includes primary, secondary and tertiary prevention efforts. In the last 10 years there have been many efforts to highlight primary prevention strategies. However it remains important to recognize that secondary and tertiary prevention efforts are also necessary components of those comprehensive prevention strategies in order to meet each communities’ needs.

CALCASA believes in the value of Feminist Empowerment Based Self Defense Program Models as part of the continuum of prevention strategies that communities use to create a comprehensive approach to addressing and preventing sexual violence. While we recognize that there are a variety of self defense models being taught, we do not support those programs that blame victims or restrict women’s behavior.  Instead we support feminist models that:

  • Teach women and girls that their voices matter, that they have the capacity to embrace their own power, and that they can have ownership over their own bodies and are, therefore, agents of change in their community

  • Provide a community of support for alternate expressions of femininity that contribute to building positive social norms

  • Create an environment in which the power and autonomy of women and girls is respected and expected, including any and all decisions that they make over their own bodies (to keep distance from someone in line, to enforce their boundaries at work, to fight or not)

As we move forward in exploring how Feminist Empowerment Models of Self Defense can become an integrated part of comprehensive prevention programming we ask that you engage with us to fulfill our goals of bringing self defense to the national stage .

As a partner in this effort we ask you to:

  • Be part of a national dialogue regarding the benefits of Empowerment Based Self-Defense as part of a continuum of comprehensive prevention.

  • Reinforce the use of the Empowerment Model of Self Defense training that has been used by women to teach women for generations

  • Influence funders, partners, leaders and allies to include empowerment based strategies for skill building for women and girls inclusive of Feminist Empowerment Based Self Defense

For more information about these programs please contact us.

For additional material you can reference: