Warrior Sisters fights to end sexual violence, holds free self-defense training sessions for women
Lane County is consistently recording more sexual assault cases than the national average, according to the Warrior Sisters, a Eugene based organization of women who are fighting back.
Sam Krop was originally inspired to start this program after learning about the Gulabi Gang in India, another group of women standing together against violence and sexual assault. Warrior Sisters focuses on raising awareness of sexual assault and calling out men who disrespect women.
Krop believes a new system of assault prevention is neeeded because most prevention systems focus more on rehabilitation rather than prevention.
Warrior Sisters holds training sessions weekly at various locations. The courses are completely free and offer verbal and physical instruction. The combination of Krav Maga and communication techniques help women to navigate through dangerous situations. A big part of this process is learning to set boundaries and recognize uncomfortable situations.
“The counseling and statistic building side is important, but we should be giving women the tools to make the decision to protect themselves,” says Krop.
While UO’s Campus Crime Alerts may be a sign that walking alone in the dark can be dangerous, the Warrior Sisters says any decision a woman makes is a valid one.
“We don’t want to tell women what to do,” said Krop. “But we want them to be prepared and aware of their surroundings.”
Rachel Ivey, a trainer and co-founder of Warrior Sisters, recalls a recent letter sent by national sorority leaders urging the sororities of University of Virginia to avoid parties at fraternities.
“We can’t expect men to immediately change. We can’t get rid of assault, so we need to address that male violence,” said Ivey. “We have the ability to give women the resources to react and know better despite those botched systems.”
Warrior Sisters is expanding its efforts to five new chapters around the nation. They all follow the same basic principles of female empowerment and organization. Along with expanding outside the state, the sisters are trying to involve more University of Oregon students.
“People who take our courses will be prepared for those random attacks by strangers, but most of the assaults that occur are in a familiar place and by someone you know,” said Krop. “We want female students to be prepared for those instances before they happen.”
Warrior Sisters holds nearly three training sessions throughout the week. The next free session on campus will be Feb. 16 in the Bean Moore Conference Room from 5 to 7 p.m.
“People should know that women are learning to defend themselves and will not be vulnerable,” said Krop. “We are challenging those stereotypes and giving women the tools they need to protect themselves is just giving them another option for self defense.”
For more information on Warrior Sisters training sessions visit http://womens-selfdefense.org/.
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