New Self-Defense Group at Scripps

By Bere Villela ’12Staff Writer

Jennifer Mathai and I are starting a new CLORG at Scripps, called It Ends Here. Our mission is to empower Scripps students to teach effective self-defense techniques as well as to counter myths and misinformation regarding personal safety and sexual assault. We hope to accomplish this in a variety of ways, such as training a group of students to give self-defense workshops and partnering with other groups such as res life, queer/allied, anti-racist, feminist and social justice oriented organizations on campus.

We hope to change the way sexual assault is talked about—or rather, not talked about—on campus. The sexual assault "training" we receive as first-years is ineffective and counterproductive and does a disservice to Scripps students. It is a lecture in which all first years sit in Garrison theater and giggle about "slap, grab, twist, pull." Or is it "slap, grab, pull, twist?" Honestly, I can't remember, nor do I think I will when I'm in a stressful situation. Furthermore, no matter how hard I slap, I doubt whether the person attacking me would even feel it. Often perpetrators of assault are doped up on adrenaline, drugs, or alcohol, meaning that anything short of a debilitating move is ineffective. Furthermore, this move ignores the fact that baggy pants or tight jeans makes the person's member inaccessible to twist and pull. The eyes and the throat, however, are ALWAYS vulnerable and readily accessible. It Ends Here is grounded in the premise that all people are capable of defending themselves; strength and a black belt optional, but never required.

As a community, we need to recognize how it is that sexual assault happens on campus, and that we must teach ourselves and each other how to be safe. We need to stop being paranoid or oblivious to the reality of sexual assault. As a community, we need to find ways to heal and ways to hold perpetrators accountable.

We're looking for people to get involved in a variety of ways: by coming to our events, participating in a training, coming to our meetings or taking on a leadership position.