Photo by Deborah Hart
You Are Worth Fighting For!
Girls Fight Back is the world renowned personal safety and empowerment self-defense program for women and girls worldwide since 2001!
In 2020 I took over as the new owner of
Girls Fight Back and all associated programs.
I will continue our mission to teach simple, practical and empowering violence prevention techniques to help women live their lives fearlessly without apology!
We also offer gender inclusive programming!
Photo by Jeff Lagrone
About Girls Fight Back
Girls Fight Back was born in direct response to the June 2001 murder of a dynamic, athletic, and loved college student named Shannon McNamara. After Shannon’s death, her friend and sorority sister, Erin Weed, realized the need for practical and empowering options for young women to learn violence prevention and self-defense in a safe environment. By combining core values, a fun and empowering attitude, and the best safety and self-defense methods available, Girls Fight Back was born.
I took over the company in 2020 and my mission is to make preventing violence and fighting back an approachable topic for every woman and girl. We can be our own best protectors, we can live without apologies and we can be our own badass! When we are empowered to live our lives confidently and freely, there's no limit to what we can do.
We don't want to avoid preparing for the possibility of violence
by pretending it doesn't exist!
I have several gender inclusive programs available as well such as Students Fight Back (Title IX compliant), The Awkward Hug and newest to the family is my very own, Yes I'm Hiking Solo.
The Girls Fight Back interactive seminar is 75 minutes + Q&A and includes these key components:
Using your intuition
Basic safety – awareness, eye contact, verbal boundaries
How to be an active bystander and a good ally
The definition of consent
How to support a survivor
How to set boundaries that work for you
Verbal de-escalation skills
The basics of physical self-defense in our Badass Basics
Plus a review of improvised weapons, ground fighting, and how to sign up for a full-contact adrenaline & scenario based self-defense course near you!
We've empowered over 1 million people worldwide!
The Facts About Violence
1 in 5 young women will experience sexual assault in college.
Every 73 seconds someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
56% of Native American and Alaska Native women have experienced sexual violence.
44% of lesbian and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
1 in 2 transgender people will be the victim of sexual assault in their lifetime.
More than 1 in 3 women have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner.
Approximately 86% of survivors know their assailants.
Statistics were sourced from:
National Intimate Partner Violence Survey 2016
National Violence Against Women Survey 2000
Uniform Crime Report 2018
National Crime Victimization Survey 2003
Centers for Disease Control National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010
Victim blaming is wrong! If you are here with us today, you did the right thing.
The only person responsible for a crime is the criminal.
"GFB is truly sensational and inspirational. I love that she didn’t make me fearful of attackers or of being attacked. Instead, it made me aware of my surroundings, and her techniques made me feel safer."
Our Core Values
Teaching Girls Fight Back to women and girls in Fiji.
STRONG – We believe that every individual is their best protector. Our strength is not necessarily made up of mere physical muscle, but is built upon making a conscious choice to reclaim our sense of security in the world. We strive to empower individuals to be in control of their lives, to set boundaries that allow them to feel safe, to be wary of anyone who discounts their NO, and to learn how to live a safer life through their actions and help other people around them to do the same.
RESILIENT – Though the statistics are shocking, we are here to say that we will not conform to the violence. Our world and most of our individual lives have been wrongfully altered by violence. We believe in recovery on individual, societal, and world levels. Our message is presented without judgment to how anyone handled or felt about a past violent situation. These are very personal issues and there is no one right way to react or feel, but we can share the tools that empower people to fight back.
SPIRITED – Belief in oneself is essential. We believe that scare tactics do exactly as their name suggests—scare people. Instead, we strive to eliminate the taboo status of topics like violence prevention, self-defense, and personal security. Making these topics approachable and encouraging everyone to tell their stories, will begin to change the pattern of violence.
UNIFIED – Though each individual is their own best protector; we also believe that we are here on earth to look out for one another. Protecting yourself is a great first step, the next step is to educate and empower others. By working together we can spread the word about personal safety and self defense, while simultaneously working to eliminate violence. We want to re-enforce the truth that while most sexual assaults are committed by men, most men are not rapists. Though Girls Fight Back is not the answer to solving the problems of all violence that exists . . . we ARE one key part of the solution and we stand together with everyone who strives to combat violence in our world.