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Between 33-66% of know sexual assault victims are age 15 or younger.

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"Children who grow up in a family where there is domestic violence are eight times more likely to be sexually molested within that family."

Self Defense


Monterey County Rape Crisis Center no longer offers self defense classes through our Center. However, read below for some general information on self defense and assertiveness training.

Knowledge is Power

Knowing facts, statistics and risk factors about sexual assault give us power to make informed decisions about self-protection. Whether we are being verbally harassed by a stranger, intimidated by an acquaintance, coerced by a friend, or attacked by a stranger, we have choices about how to respond. Our response to a threatening situation should be based on an assessment of our needs, external circumstances, perceived threat and our relationship with the other person.

Three basic components to self-protection:

  • Awareness: The increase of awareness of our self, awareness of personal space, and awareness of our environment. Being aware requires paying attention to our environment and intuition, and responding accordingly. The goal is to trust our intuition and act when we perceive a threat.
  • Assertiveness: It can be one of the most effective techniques for preventing an assault. To be assertive means to have the ability to exercise one’s own right without denying the rights of others. Assertiveness is a learned behavior. The importance of body language, eye contact, and a firm voice is talked about extensively. Learning to YELL (vs. screaming), naming inappropriate behavior and asking for it to stop.
  • Physical Techniques: This area includes verbal, psychological and physical skills required to respond to the whole range of threatening situations. Physical techniques are to be used as a last resort, since someone is very likely to get hurt once a situation becomes physical. If a physical response is necessary, it is used in conjunction with verbal and psychological techniques to increase the overall power and effectiveness of the response.