Girls Fight Back


Hello Ladies.  I want to tell you all about this great event I went to on Sunday Sep 27.  It was called Students Fight Back, and it is part of a bigger organization called Women Fight Back.  This organization was started by Erin Weed after the murder of her best friend, Shannon McNamara, in 2001.  Family and friends were devastated by Shannon’s murder, and it was even featured on the TV show America’s Most Wanted.  To honor her friends memory, and show tribute to her amazing life, Erin decided that no women should ever be unable to defend herself from an attacker.  She immersed herself in learning all levels and techniques and self defense and partnered with the best violence prevention experts in the world.  She began traveling around teaching self-defense and safety tips to women and college students all over the country.

I learned a lot at this session, and I would like to share that information with you all.

Did you know:

  • That 1 in 3 females murder victims ages 12 or older are killed by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 5 women will experience sexual assault in college.
  • 57% of survivors of sexual assault know their assailant.
  • Women are not the only ones who are sexually assaulted, men can also be victims.
  • Every 2 minutes, someone is sexually assaulted.

When I heard these statistics, I was shocked.  I could’t believe that so many women had been hurt in this way.  And it made me feel concerned for my own safety.  Erin felt the same way after Shannon’s death, and it was these facts that made her come to an amazing realization:  If you learned that every 2 minutes someone died from drowning, wouldn’t you think that those people should have learned how to swim?  So, if you know that every 2 minutes, someone was sexually assaulted, wouldn’t you think that more people should learn self defense?

It makes complete sense when you think about it.  The best way to stop sexual assault, is to teach women, and young adults how to defend themselves.  Now self defense does not always have to start with punches and violence.  The simplest form of self defense is to say ‘No’ and tell the person that what they are doing is not right and is making you feel uncomfortable.  Hopefully, this will be enough to stop the situation then and there, but should anyone ever disrespect your ‘No’, you have every right to defend yourself by any means necessary.  Your life is important and is worth defending, so never be afraid to fight for it.

We learned some great self defense moves at the event.  They were easy to learn, but packed a lot of hurt.  After attending this seminar, I am planning on signing up for a self defense calls and practicing my moves, and I encourage you all to consider learning some moves as well.  Even just knowing one attack could get you out of a dangerous situation.

There is so much information that I learned at this event, I hope that the little bit that I included in this post will be helpful to you.  If you want to learn more about Girls Fight Back, self defense moves, or sexual assault resources in our campus I will put some links at the end of this post.

But, there is one final thing I want to leave you all with.  Your life, and your friends lives are so important.  It is time that we, as women, start taking care of ourselves and each other and not have to always depend on our male friends and family.  By leaning to take control of our own lives, I am confident that we will eventually be able to stop sexual assault in this country.  It is my hope that one day, women will be able to walk home at night without fear of being attacked.  We can make this happen, we just have to take the first step.

UW-Platteville Counseling Services:

220 Royce Hall
1 University Plaza
Platteville WI 53818
Appointments 608-342-1891
Information 608-342-1865

RAINN Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE