Empowered Today Inc. was born from the fact that 1 in 5 Australian women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime (Australian Bureau of Statistics) – a figure so startling, overwhelming and abhorrent that it started us down a path of research into the best options for female self defence and ultimately lead to the formation of Empowered Today Inc. In our research we found that there was a huge body of evidence for Empowerment Self Defence (ESD) being the best and most effective way to not only help women detect, avoid and defend themselves against violence; but also for them to become empowered in the process.
As Empowered Today Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation our course fees are kept deliberately low to encourage as many women as possible to attend these potentially life-changing workshops. We also believe money should never be a barrier to training and that is why we provide scholarships for people who may not be able to afford to attend our workshops in the normal course of events. If you have financial issues we are here to help work out the best way to help you get the training you need.
What we teach is a set of personal safety principles where the focus is not solely on repelling an attacker in the street. ESD training focuses on assertiveness, boundary-setting, consent, de-escalation, a range of physical strategies to rebuff without injuring, as well as harder physical resistance strategies. Teaching an array of strategies — not just fighting skills — is vital when over 80% of sexual assault is perpetrated by someone known to the victim, and when few sexual assaults occur as surprise attacks in public spaces.
Our training is trauma-informed so there is never victim blaming. Regardless of the situation the perpetrator is always at fault. We endeavour to create an emotionally supportive environment where you are in control of everything you choose to do. We also understand that human interactions on every level are complex and we believe that anything outside of your understanding is outside of your control. So as part of our teaching we take a psychological approach to understanding not only the motivations of perpetrators but also the more subtle interactions that happen in social, home and work settings. We are also aware that learning through play is a powerful tool so we integrate fun and game playing into our workshops.
Our aim is to provide you with information that you only need to hear once and when you have that information you never forget it; it shapes the way you deal with volatile situations. Common sense is not always common practice so we teach you what you need to stay safe without negatively impacting on your life.
According to Jocelyn Hollander, Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon and author of the most recent systematic review of the field, “Women’s self-defence training is the only sexual violence prevention strategy with solid evidence of effectiveness at reducing rates of victimisation”.
Please see here for more information on the range of workshops we offer.
“When a man says ‘no’ it’s the end of a discussion. When a woman says ‘no’ it’s the beginning of a negotiation”– Gavin De Becker author of The Gift of Fear
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