Real Protection, Not False Promises
We aren't the first ones to say it, but anti-rape underwear is a very bad idea in a world full of bad ideas that purport to make women safe.
The notion that women should dress differently to keep themselves safe from sexual assault is dangerous and wrong. Clothes do not cause or prevent rape. Nuns and women in burkas are raped. Rapists cause rape. And rape culture, including the offensive notion that women need to keep their sexuality under lock and key to be safe, perpetuates the myth that women are helpless, that they cannot physically defend themselves.
Women CAN Defend Themselves
When we saw that this dangerous product reached its $50,000 funding goal, we'd had enough. We are launching our own Indiegogo campaign to provide REAL safety, confidence and protection to women and girls.
Impact Bay Area and Impact Personal Safety of Southern California are 501c3 nonprofit organizations that have been teaching effective boundary setting, personal safety, and physical self-defense skills to teen girls and adult women for over 30 years. Our classes take 3-6 days and the skills last a lifetime. And they work. We keep in touch with our graduates and conduct surveys. Hundreds of women have reported to us instances where they have used the skills they learned at Impact to keep themselves safe from harm. Yes, small women, women with disabilities, and women who aren't marathon runners can be taught effective physical self-defense skills against much larger attackers.
Far more often, we hear that the confidence our students gain from learning their full strength in our classes changes their lives for the better in all sorts of ways that have nothing to do with physical defense, but everything to do with the confidence to set clear, healthy boundaries with friends, family, coworkers, lovers, and strangers on the street.
Fund Real Protection
The makers of the "anti-rape panties" got one thing right: resistance is effective and it is not likely to increase harm. But wearing kevlar underwear is not resistance. It's a fig leaf hiding rape culture. It provides a false and dangerous sense of security. It's a disaster waiting to happen.
- What if it's an oral assault?
- What if the attacker gets frustrated and hurts the victim even more?
- What if you need to use the bathroom but can't remember the combination?
- What if you forgot to do the laundry?
- What if the assault is happening to someone else, someone who can't afford magic panties?
Why Fund Us?
Because we can help women and girls be safer--a LOT safer--but we need your help to do it. By funding our Indiegogo campaign you will make it possible for us to:
- train more expert instructors
- teach more teen girls, young adult women, and women real, effective self-defense skills using the tools they always have with them: their voices, their elbows, their knees, and powerful kicks
- raise awareness that women CAN physically defend themselves
You Can Make The World Safer AND Get Cool Perks, Too!
Impact Self-Defense training teaches practical self-defense and personal safety in a welcoming environment regardless of age, physical fitness, gender, or weight. We hold ourselves to a standard of excellence with everything that we teach. Our classes are tailored to meet the needs of different ages, genders, and communities. Our techniques have been refined over decades and we constantly incorporate new research about how adrenaline affects the body and mind, how violence happens in the real world, and the latest knowledge about how trauma affects survivors of assault.
- Our intensive training gives students effective skills that will last them the rest of their lives.
- We teach all of our physical skills full force, and in an adrenalized state. This "state dependent learning" means that the skills are available in a real attack scenario.
Our instructors receive hundreds of hours of training to keep themselves and our students physically and emotionally safe.
- In order to train full force, we utilize "suited instructors." These men and women wear specially designed body armor that allows our students to have the experience of hitting a walking, trash-talking human being with all their power without anyone being injured.
- Our classes are limited to 16 students so that everyone who takes an Impact class receives instruction that is tailored to their physical and emotional needs.
Where your money goes:
- It costs approximately $4,000 to train a new suited instructor. We need to train 6 new candidates in 2014 to meet demand for our classes. $24,000
- We will offer free and low cost classes to communities that are at particular risk for sexual violence. $10,000
- We will provide financial assistance to girls and women who cannot afford our classes. Personal safety should be a right, not a privilege. Freedom from sexual assault should not depend on whether you can afford a fancy pair of panties, even if that was effective protection. We are committed to making our classes accessible to all girls and women, regardless of income. $16,000
- Anything above our goal will be used to raise awareness that women are powerful, not helpless. The more women and girls who learn the confidence that comes from experiencing their full strength, the less anyone will think women need to depend on something like a modern-day chastity belt for their safety.
Help us hit our goal, and we will hook you up with Impact t-shirts, limited edition "Go Commando! Kick Like a Girl." t-shirts, spots in our amazing, life-changing full force self-defense classes, or even a private class for you and your friends!
Impact Bay Area and Impact Personal Safety of Southern California have been teaching full force self-defense for over 30 years. We help individuals to be safer, and as we teach girls and women that they are worth defending, we are changing a culture that portrays women as helpless objects who must rely on men for protection. We are subverting the very foundations of rape culture 16 women at a time.
Other Ways You Can Help
Even if you can't give to our Indiegogo campaign there are lots of ways that you can help change rape culture.
- Speak up when you hear people suggesting that a girl or woman was assaulted because of what she wore. Rape is never the fault of the victim.
- If you see a woman who looks like she is too intoxicated to protect herself, try to keep her from becoming isolated with potential assailants. Offer to call a friend for her or offer her a ride home. Rapists use alcohol, drugs, and isolation as tools to violate women.
- Attend a One Billion Rising, V-Day, Take Back The Night, Slutwalk, or other event where the focus is ending violence against women. Trauma happens in isolation. Community strengthens us all.
- Educate the boys and men in your life about why preventing sexual assault is the responsibility of men.
- Take a self-defense class! There are Impact chapters all over the country, and many other organizations that teach empowerment-based, non victim-blaming self-defense. Look for a class that gives you choices and tools, not prescriptions. A good self-defense class will never tell you what you should do. Effective self-defense is all about having options and listening to your instincts.
- Recognize that violence doesn't happen just to women and girls. Impact teaches men, boys, and transgender people self-defense skills too. This campaign focuses on women because the "anti-rape" underwear was marketed to women but we recognize that sexual assault can and does happen to anyone of any gender.
Impact Bay Area is rated a Great Nonprofit for 2013!