When I created my business several years ago, my main goal was to help people be safer by offering safety/self-defense products and live educational classes. But as I taught more groups and got feedback from my students, I came to realize that most of my students were either survivors of violence or had been affected by violence in some way.
I decided that I needed to expand my programs to not only show my students the threats to be aware of, but to be more confident by knowing how to effectively respond to any threats they may encounter. Confidence can be hard to come by for many women (and even more so for violence survivors) making many “everyday” situations almost unbearable due to anxiety, feelings of helplessness, and the sometimes constant fear of being violated, or violated again. One sure way to help with those feelings is to have more confidence in yourself, more options when something happens to you, and more control over yourself when you’re responding to uncomfortable or dangerous situations.
So I started expanding what I taught and how I offered it. I also changed the name of the program from LaBCaF (which stands for “Legs and Brains, Claws and Fangs”) to FemVincible (a description of having confidence in all parts of your life). Through in-person & virtual classes, facilitator certification, podcasts, videos, articles, and online programs, I now enhance as many aspects of the students’ (and survivors’) lives as possible. Learning to have a greater awareness without paranoia and building physical and psychological boundaries to create greater safety. Learning ways of escaping from a person, a location, or a situation creates hope facing any challenge. Learning practical and extremely effective ways to dissuade or even disable an attacker builds a sense of power and confidence in taking care of yourself (regardless of age, fitness level, or physical challenges).
But there’s more to life than just surviving the terrible. The skills learned in our courses also support our students in being more confident in their relationships, their jobs, and in preventing dangerous situations and dangerous people from bringing stress and harm into their lives.
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