This is a Whitepages Culture Focus, written by Erin Schindler, Accounting Manager
On Tuesday morning, March 25, 2017, a group of women from Whitepages and hundreds of other Seattle women and men gathered together to arm themselves with the skills of self-defense, a set of skills that each of us hopes we never have to use.
An unfortunate event recently hit very close to home with the Whitepages team. Our former employee, Kelly Herron, was attacked on a Sunday afternoon run when she stopped to use a public restroom. Kelly had recently attended a self-defense class provided by her current employer, RealSelf. The skills Kelly learned at that class saved her life that Sunday afternoon.
Kelly could have stayed quiet, reducing her experience to a statistic, but she decided to make her story known and help spread awareness of violence against women. Her story has been documented all over the world and has helped empower women to realize their inner strength and power to fight back in the event of an attack.
In light of Kelly’s experience, Realself hosted another class open to the public.
The four main points of the class with Fighting
Chance Seattle are as follows:
Trust your intuition
Be Loud & Fight Hard
Hard Bones to Soft Spots
Below are some testimonials from our Whitepages attendees:
Why did you want to take the course?
Kelly’s story brought to light the fact that these attacks can happen at any time, anywhere. I avoid walking alone in dark alleys at night, but that’s not enough.
As a visibly trans woman, I am at a high risk of assault and wanted to take this course to give myself more tools to defend myself in the event of an attack.
To feel safer and more equipped to handle the unexpected.
What do you feel you got out of taking the class?
I really liked the simple equation that space = time. By honoring our space, we’re buying ourselves time to breathe and react appropriately.
Self-defense tools that involve only what I have on me at all times (my body!)
I really liked how it focused on your own mindset and not just how to physically defend yourself, the trainer emphasized how important it is to breathe, know your own boundaries, and to trust your instincts.
What was your biggest takeaway from the class?
To protect myself with the same ferocity with which I would protect a dearly loved family member.
Be strong, use your power, and yell!
I loved how so many people rallied together to make this an important event in our community. It was pretty empowering to stand in a room with hundreds of other women, shouting NO! over and over at the top of our lungs.
To learn more about Kelly’s story, check out her interview from Good Morning America