At IM-SAFE we have long stressed the importance of building a woman’s self-confidence by teaching a combination of critical verbal resistance skills along with last resort physical techniques.
The following study provides additional insight
University of Oregon sociologist Jocelyn Hollander designed a study that looked at the outcomes for 117 college students who took a self-defense course at their university, versus a control group of 169 students who did not. Out of all of those students, 75 from the original group and 108 from the control group agreed to take part in a follow-up interview. Although the study was not a large one, the results were clear.
A much lower percentage of women who took the self-defense class reported incidents of unwanted sexual contact than the women who did not take the class.
Approximately 12% of women in the self-defense group reported some form of sexual intrusion during the follow-up period, versus 30% in the control group. The latter figure of nearly one in three is consistent with the rate of sexual victimization of female college students nationwide.
The self-defense course that the women in the study participated in was designed specifically for women. The focus was on the lower-body strength of women’s bodies, and taught techniques to counter moves that are often made when a woman is attacked.
Additionally the class’s empowerment philosophy focused intently on the importance of boundary-setting and verbal defense skills as well. Unwanted sexual contact can span a range of behaviors from unwanted touching, sexual coercion, attempted rape, and rape.
The results are hard to deny – With the right kind of training, women are:
• Better able to recognize the warning signs of a potential assault,
• Are more willing to speak out and act on their behalf.