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Self-Defense: A Mini Unit

Self defense doesn't always mean kicks and elbow upper cuts. It can also mean that quick thinking and remaining alert in your surroundings.

1. Explore several philosophies of self-defense. This could include martial arts such as karate, tae kwon do, and jujitsu. There are also other methods of self-defense. Participate in a self-defense class if possible and/or interview a self-defense class instructor or a martial arts master.

2. Take a self-defense course designed specifically for your sex. For instance, if you are a female, take a course specifically designed for girls and women.

3. Your body language and tone of voice can play a role in stopping a hostile or violent encounter from happening. Think about the effect of body language and tones of voice have on statements. How can you express you express your displeasure with someone without putting them on the defensive?

4. Increasing your self-confidence can increase your sense of personal safety. Why do you think this true? What can you do in your own life to increase your self-confidence? How does this affect your sense of security in your surroundings?

5. How do images of people on the television and in the movies influence the way you feel about your own personal safety? Do you think people are more aggressive or less aggressive that they appear on television and in the moves? Do you think people are more likely or less likely to be victims than in the movies or on television? Explain your answers and why you believe this to be true.

6. Many magazines give teens conflicting messages on how to interact with the opposite sex. Find articles that give messages other than what your own personal beliefs are. Why do you think these articles give conflicting messages? What do you think the results of these mixed messages could be?

7. Explores the pros and cons of different self-defense tools such as pepper spray, stun guns, and other items. Why are your state’s laws regarding these items?

8. Explore your personal beliefs about guns. Do your personal beliefs differ from those of your family? Your peers? The police department?

9. Watch a police drama. Select a violent scene from the drama. How do you think the characters in the scene could have avoided the violence to solve their conflict?

10. Develop a directory of helpful resources for victims of violence. You could provide copies to local libraries, churches, community centers, etc.

11. Our society needs professionals who physically and emotionally 'repair' victims of violence. What professionals have this as a component of their career? Why training and certification do they need? How do they help victims? How do they handles stress brought on my continually helping others in crisis?

12. If possible, interview one of the professionals you listed above and have them help you to answer those questions.

13. What kind of programs for victims assistance are in use in your community? Are they being efficiently implemented? Where do they get their funding?

14. Job shadow one of the professionals you listed in number eleven above.

15. Find out and discuss the laws and policies that exist to protect children, women, and elderly victims of domestic abuse.

16. What skills do you have -- both technical and interpersonal -- that make you suitable for working in a field where you help victims?

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