Girls Fight Back is an organization founded by Erin Weed in 2001. It was inspired by the late Shannon McNamara, who was murdered on June 12th, 2001. Girls Fight Back empowers students to learn about violence prevention withint their community in addition to self-defense skills. For over fifteen years, Girls Fight Back has been an inspiration for students around the country for learning the simplest, most effective techniques in self-defense and safety precautions. On September 22, 2015, Eastern Connecticut State University was honored to be visited by Girls Fight Back’s National Speaker Bree Swartz for an evening program. The presentation reviewed the basics of using your intuition, understanding the definition of consent, and safety tips such as having awareness, using eye-contact, and setting boundaries. Techniques on how to be an active bystander and a good ally, how to support a survivor of assault, and verbal de-escalation skills were also discussed. In what Swartz called “Badass Ballet,” the basics of self-defense were covered with much enthusiasm.
Throughout the seminar, Swartz presented a professional yet light-hearted atmosphere where the audience was fully involved in the teachings and techniques being taught. Afterward, Swartz introduced a self-defense training course called Impact, hosted by Kirkland Productions, which seeks to empower people about personal safety and self-defense even further. To wrap up the production, students were asked to join a group picture where they displayed their defense positions and smiled for the camera to conclude a successful evening.
Post Contributor: Garland Mann-Lamb
Last week, the Women’s Center launched the Red Flag Campaign on campus. The Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness project aimed toward educating students on the importance of healthy relationships, identifying relationship “red flags,” and feeling empowered to say something when a red flag is seen. As part of the campaign, small red flags were placed on the Student Center lawn, each stating a red flag situation such as jealousy, stalking, coercion, sexual assault, emotional abuse, isolation, and victim-blaming. The Women’s Center Ambassadors hosted tables in the Student Center and Webb Hall to share information on the Red Flag Campaign and the Sexual Assault & Interpersonal Violence Response Team, which is a multi-disciplinary team that provides assistance to victim-survivors of interpersonal violence.
At these events, students were able to sign a banner and take the pledge, “When I see a red flag, I’ll say something.” Over 150 students, faculty, and staff took the pledge, including athletes, coaches, men, women, professors, and administrators. The pledge doesn’t end with signing a banner. We encourage all to stand up and speak out when they see unhealthy characteristics in a relationship. How can you help someone? Say something! Lend a listening ear. Be supportive and non-judgmental. Refer them to services. Visit the Women’s Center to learn more about all the resources available to students in our area and keep an eye out for Red Flag programs coming to your residence hall in the coming weeks!
Thursday, February 26, 2015 | 3 pm – 4 pm | Student Center, Room 115
The 10×10 Campaign is open to any man or boy who wants to take action to prevent intimate partner violence, dating violence and stalking in their community. Even though most men are not part of the problem, they must be part of the solution. Men and boys are well-positioned to talk to other men and boys about preventing intimate partner violence.
Increasing your own awareness on the issue of intimate partner violence is merely the first step. With the tools that the 10×10 Campaign will give you, you can carry on the conversation and make others aware of the impact intimate partner violence, dating violence, and stalking have on society. For more information, contact Julie Hoagland at 860-457-4751. This event is sponsored by Eastern Connecticut State University, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and United Services, Inc. It is free and open to the public.