We Are Worth Defending logo with green and blue lettering, alongside a silhouette of a confident Black woman ready for self-defense.

Vision Statement

We are Worth Defending envisions safer communities where the worth of Black women is evident through increased self-awareness, connection and amilpied voices. We impact social and systemic changes by advocating for a safer Ohio.

Mission Statement

The mission of We are Worth Defending is to empower Black women and girls as we  create and advance the movement of a new standard for ourselves and our community through empowerment self-defense

We are Worth Defending: Empowerment Self-Defense

Empowerment Self-defense (ESD) is an evidence-based intervention that combines verbal, physical, and intuitive tools to set boundaries; increase confidence; and identify, escape, and heal from dangerous situations.

ESD training provides women, victim service providers, and other community leaders with new tools for their lives, workplaces and communities. This intervention has a life-changing trajectory on women’s lives.

The Need For Black Women's ESD

The research shows that ESD achieves: 

  • 50% less likelihood of rape, victimization, or attack of any sort.  
  • Less likelihood of experiencing depression or alcohol abuse.   
  • 46% more likely to finish school.  
  • 52% have used skills to stop an assault on another person. 

Our goal is to make ESD available to everyone, especially Black women who have been systematically targeted with violence. 4 out of every 10 Black women have been victims of rape physical violence and/or stalking in their lifetime. This means more than 6 million black women are survivors.

Our History

IMPACT Safety, concerned about the low participation of Black women in self-defense classes, sought to understand the barriers Black women face in attending classes, accessing information or if black women felt self-defense was important to them. 

Through our initial research, we discovered several important concepts and the need for much further research. The primary findings were the need to have training specifically for the BIPOC population taught by black women, to address the historical and ongoing tension between accountability for interpersonal violence with the context of the justice system, and to have the training be accessible – in all ways.

IMPACT Safety partnered with ESD Global to develop a training curriculum for Black women that would be taught by Black women to address the issue of cultural competency.

We are Worth Defending: Empowerment Self-Defense was born.

What We Offer

We are Worth Defending offers Level One Empowerment Self Defense training classes. 

Training is offered to the community at flexible times, and at a minimum cost. 

Ideally, classes are 2.5 hours for 15 participants. Suggested cost is $35 per person.

However, training and cost can be tailored to your needs. No one is ever turned away for their inability to pay the training fee.

Want To Train With Us?

Click the button below to complete a training request.

Or, for more information, contact our Program Manager, Venica Miller, using the contact form below.  

Contact Our Program Manager Directly

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