Arming Sisters…not with weapons, but with the courage and knowledge to fight back.
Upon working with Tahrir Body Guard (a group dedicated to ending sexual harassment in Egypt) setting up compact women’s self defense courses across Cairo, it hit me. Literally, mid joint lock, a light bulb flashed above my head. Sexual assault rates across North America towards indigenous women are at a sickening high.
For every 1,000 indigenous women in a district, 330 of them will be assaulted.
1 in 3 will be raped.
2 in 5 will experience domestic violence.
3 in 5 will be physically assaulted.
The most unique thing about these statistics? 88% of the time, the perpetrator is non indigenous. Meaning one thing: We’re being targeted. Targeted to flawed laws, racism, and deep rooted corruption in the institutions set up to protect and serve the public. Up until recently, 7 March 2013 recently, when the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized including tribal provisions, tribal governments had no authority to properly address cases.
Keep in mind, while the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is a huge step, it only covers our indigenous sisters in the United States, leaving our indigenous sisters in Canada on the same continuing path. Aside from legal protection not being able to cover the indigenous women across Turtle Island, a signed bill, regardless of borders, will not bring down the rate of assault for years to come, or delete the racism and corruption from society.
Back to the light bulb. Compact self defense courses. If they could be set up in Egypt, and laid out to the point where any woman could walk away with valuable information to save her life in the span of a 6 hour class, why not do this across Turtle Island? I couldn’t find a single reason as to why this couldn’t / shouldn’t be done, so I set out with the following aim…
- Crowdfunded. Non-profit.
- 2 day compact women’s self defense course talking on awareness and mentality as well the physical application of 10 moves that could save a woman’s life…they have mine.
- Top 20 most populated reservations across Turtle Island. 10 stops in the United States, 10 stops in Canada spanning the late Summer months / early Fall.
Should this goal be completed, we will directly reach 2,000 women, and thousands more as they share their knowledge. Since this project is run from funding, should funding go over the set goal, courses will continue to move forward as there over 900 reservations throughout Turtle Island, the stops are, to a degree, infinite.
Help us protect our sisters. Because an act of violence against women anywhere, is an act of violence against women everywhere.