Over the last few years I have volunteered to teach self defense to women who have been victims of heinous acts of violence. A few of these organizations include shelters for women who have left their homes, with the clothes on their back, out of the fear of being beaten by their boyfriend or husband one more time. Sadly, many women don’t leave and wind up killed or in an abusive relationship for years.
These have been the most challenging classes I have ever taught and at the same time, the most rewarding. I watch these women learning self defense with such a commitment and intensity that it brings tears to my eyes. It makes me realize how lucky I am. I was lucky enough to have parents that built up my self esteem instead of tearing it down, that stuck up for me when I wasn’t treated right, and who instilled a serious sense of independence in me so I can take care of myself.
The other fortunate experience in my life, is that I found an incredible martial arts school with an outstanding teacher. My years training and teaching at World Martial Arts Center developed this inner strength as well as my outer strength while teaching me how to protect myself and others.
I have always known that I would like to do more to help these incredible organizations that help support victims of violence. Recently, I read a book called, “Start Something that Matters” by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes. His One for One Campaign gives a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair that he sells. Inspired by this book, I decided to donate 10 percent of proceeds from my Stilettos and Self Defense DVD’s to charitable organizations who work towards a safer world for women.
The first organization I am teaming up with is called CAST: Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. I once taught a class for a group of brave women who have come forward with their stories to empower others as well as to help raise awareness of the atrocities happening within our own borders. Check them out and become inspired too!
Do you know a girl that’s in college, lives alone, or travels a lot? This Christmas, buy her something that can help save her life! Stilettos and Self Defense DVD’s are now on sale, and even better, donating to a great cause.