Widening our lens; shifting perspective

17 Sep, 2014

Welcome Readers!

Over the years, Prepare’s perspective has broadened. The organization has grown from a women’s only self-defense program with public classes in Manhattan to comprehensive evidence-based violence prevention programming for all ages and all genders across the quad-state area (and beyond, if we’re invited!).

We reach groups as well as individuals:
Now we collaborate with agencies, treatment programs, and community-based organizations. These programs are customized for the specific needs for that group and are often part of a larger effort to transform communities.

Since individuals can’t always make our public class schedule fit with their schedules, Prepare teaches private classes for groups of friends. Businesses and schools are often looking for special programs for staff development and/or work safety programs for employees on-site and in the field. We hear too many stories that begin with: “I was in the field for work and then ….”

We understand that context matters:
Prepare situates violence prevention in the larger social context that our students live in. We acknowledge privilege and oppression – they inform: the roots of violence, protective factors and vulnerabilities, and what options, if any, one has available for resistance. Resistance to violence comes in many forms and the choice not to resist (for any reason) must be respected as well. We examine media and pop culture, the implications of rigid gender roles and messages about agency, and replace myths with facts.

We are always learning:
Prepare programs take into account current crime data and research as well as generate research opportunities. For example, the journal Violence Against Women recently published an Editorial Special Issue: Self-Defense Against Sexual Assault with Guest Editors Martha McCaughey and our own Jill Cermele. Along with many other wonderful articles, our colleagues Dr Rosenblum and Dr Taska’s article discuss the results of their research using Prepare’s class as a trauma intervention: Self-Defense Training as Clinical Intervention for Survivors of Trauma Gianine D. Rosenblum and Lynn S. Taska Violence Against Women, March 2014; vol. 20, 3: pp. 293-308. Prepare classes reflect best practices for those affected by all types of trauma. Our founders and instructors are committed to ongoing training both in-house and with others. Collaborations with numerous experts have helped us create programs that are adapted to more populations, including those with physical or learning disabilities.

Next post – How do we IMPACT the status quo?

Please join us each week, and invite others to do so as well.


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